Wednesday, December 21, 2011

you CAN come home again

They say you can't go home again. And at least physically, that is not true.

Of course you can get in your car/plane/bus/tardis and travel back to where you grew up/where your family is/where you keep most of your stuff. But often times the place that you get to just isn't the same as you remember.  (that is what the saying means, of course, but, like my brother Ryan said last night "I'm just trying to break it down for you guys")

This always strikes me when I come home for winter break, especially this year.

My brother Daniel has taken over my room upon my absence. The only real change to the room is a lightsaber mounted on the wall and an x-box in the corner but it is enough to remind me that it's not my space anymore. 

And that makes me more than a little sad. And it reminds me that I have a future out there to be worrying about.
(but instead I ignore the scary thoughts about next year and the echos of concerned relatives "what are you going to do? what are you going to do? what are you gonna do?" and burrow myself into another knitting project)

The most radical change - the one that takes the most getting used to and always reminds me that I don't really live here anymore - is the refrigerator

this is not our fridge. this is a stranger's fridge, which is what I see every time I come home for the holidays
Every time I come home it's completely different, and it serves as a microcosm of the changes within my own house, my own family.  Sure, the cheese is still in the cheese drawer, the vegetables are still sitting (ignored and browning) in the vegetable "crisper" drawer, but the contents and configuration are constantly changing.

Sometimes completely new foods show up that I have never heard of or foods that should never have been bought (called over my shoulder: "Who eats blue cheese stuffed olives???" response from the living room: "Oh they're really good. Try one! Try- just try one. Just. Try it. Fine! Don't ever say I don't introduce you to new things").  Then again, there is still a bottle of sake in there that has been lurking at the back of the fridge for several years now. I'm not sure where we got it. Or why.  But it's still there.

I am almost always completely thrown off by the refrigerator.  I open it, seeking refuge for my gurgling hunger, and stop short as I glance around and remember I have no idea what is in there (or how long it's been in there).  It's just one more thing that's different. 
One more reminder that I don't live here anymore and I better get on with my life, because things are changing without me.

Wow. blogging therapy.

In the end, the refrigerator becomes normal again.
I learn not to eat that thing in the black tupperware that's been there since before I got home, that blue cheese stuffed olives are pretty delicious, after all, and that home will always be home. It's just waiting for me to normalize.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

There might be ghosts.

After my first week living in this historic house I wrote a post about how it's haunted, citing mainly the fact that we have a medicine cabinet and none of our lights really work.  I have settled in to the house since then.  I am no longer weary of the tiny door to the attic at the foot of my bed nor the demon stove, which only seems to attack Marca.

I did, however, have a hard time sleeping a few nights ago because I dreamt that there were two children jostling me awake every hour or so to tell me something important.
They might be ghosts.
sometimes, they don't even know they're ghosts.
BUT if they are dream-children, this (according to DreamDictionary) means I am repressing my inner child, because I was mad that they were trying to wake me up.  It could also mean that I need to wake up to my full potential, or something. You know. If you believe in that sort of thing.
(Dream interpretation, that is. Not ghost children.)

It is also possible that they are trying to tell me something. Like "stop eating tomatoes" or "you're going to start having problems with indigestion...oooOooOOoo"  - which is entirely possible because I woke up with chest pain the next morning and was told it might be esophageal spasms. 

Anyway, I named that post "Ghost Adventures: Charleston"  because it was about ghosts, adventures, and being back in Charleston.  But recently that post (and my blog, as a result) got a bit more attention when GHOST ADVENTURES CAME TO CHARLESTON.

just a few honest guys in Ed Hardy t-shirts lookin to tell a story
Yep, they came here, stayed over night in a "haunted" jail a few blocks away from campus (that is now a school for textile arts and historic preservation) and caused a general ruckus.  But unfortunately, I confused a few people with the title of that post, which of course was the second item when you Google searched "ghost adventures Charleston" or "ghost adventures in Charleston" etc.

ALSO, even though I had a HUGE paper due the next day, I knew I couldn't be in the same city with these guys and not try to see them.  I didn't want to tell my grandchildren the story about how I almost met Zak Bagans, but decided it would be more prudent to spend my adventuring time in the library. So I went.

staging a boo hag hanging at the jail. gotta love twit pics.
And there was nothing to see.
A few other fans meandering around the building, a mild greenish glow from a room upstairs, and dashed hopes.  But at least we tried. At least we ventured.  And I got the paper done, don't worry.

Though I am still a bit upset I didn't make a weird noise that could later be analyzed in slow motion and captioned to say "Die Zac" or "Go home" or "Boo hag's gonna get ya."

Tune in for the Charleston episode on Travel Channel on December 16th!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

procrastiknitting, meet procrastiblogging.

Things that I am thinking about right now:

  1. I don't want to be writing this paper.  
Prompt: If you'd been put in charge of raising you, what would you do the same and what would you do differently? What "risk factors" do you think you could have avoided? 

Seriously. "Tell me how your parents messed you up. Be explicit. Also, be explicit enough to fill 2-3 pages single spaced."
I told my mom about having to write this and all she said to me was "Don't let me read it. I don't want to read it."  Relax, Mom. I'm trying to figure out a way to write this paper but not write this paper.


I feel like shouting it from the rooftops! Which I could probably do because we have access to the fire escape.
      3.  I would rather be using this time to finish knitting my sweater.

I only have the sleeves left to do. Well, and 8" of the right side...but if I play my cards right, I could be finishing that to.night. If I ever write this damn paper.

This is what it's going to look like. (pictures to prove my skill later)

OK, no more procrastiknitting or procrastiblogging.  Time to settle into this awful paper.

Good night.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ghost Adventures: Charleston, SC

Back in Charleston for my last year of college. It's bittersweet.  I love being back here, but it's a bit like visiting a dying relative:  I know my time is short with Charleston so I am trying to make the most of it. Every rain storm, every sunset, every "what is that smell?" hits me in a certain place in my heart.
But I can't be sad. Because it is Charleston after all, and being here just makes me overcome with happiness.

This year, I am living in a historic house. (or is it "an historic house?" I never understood that)  It feels like living in an apartment, even though it is owned by the College and we live on dorm furniture.  It also feels a bit like living in a haunted house.

Evidence our house may be "haunted"
  1. Our bathroom is a prime murdering location:
    • The light comes on in sharp flickers, as if the last time it was used was to light a meat locker or an abandoned warehouse.
    • We have a medicine cabinet.  Which is just begging ghosts/zombies/murderers to pop up behind you when you're putting your toothbrush away.
  2. The demon fire that heats our stove top MELTED a tea pot. Melted it. Melted a seasoned tea pot meant to withstand hot stoves. It didn't melt all last year OR the day before on the same stove on the same burner. Only conclusion: demon fire.
  3. At the foot of my bed there is a crawl space. To the attic. Just one tiny latch standing between me and whatever decides to come out of there. Nuff said.
  4. The floor is squeaky. Which is, you know. Annoying.
However, even though our house may be haunted, it hasn't killed us yet (knock on wood)!

Alright, now I must get to work like a good college student. I must confess that I wrote this first to get my writing brain loosened up so that I could write my first paper of the semester (assigned the first day of classes and due the third day of classes! yay. shouldn't I be taking ice skating instead? clearly I'm doing this wrong)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

this type


My ears prick up at my name. I am walking from the MARTA station to my office and halfway through one of the tunnels between two buildings (the kind that go over the street) when I hear someone call my name. Who would be calling my name this far from the office? Maybe it's one of the people I work with who ride MARTA.

Anyone who knows my name can't be a stranger.

I turn around to face the person who has called my name.   ...And I do not recognize this person.  He is about my height, mid forties, African-American, bespectacled. I've definitely never seen him before.  But how could he know my name?
Maybe I met him around the office.  Maybe someone directed him to one of the interns because he needed help on a project.

I put on my polite face.

He says hi, and allows his business card to do the introduction.  He talks to me about working in the building, asks me about my job, what I am doing, what I am studying etc.  It dawns on me that the only way he could have known my name is if he had read it off my ID badge.

As the topics get more personal, I realize this is not a business transaction.  And then as he walks with me through the lobby towards the elevators, my suspicions are confirmed.
"So, what are your lunch plans?"
I told him it was my last week of work and burrowed myself through people deep into the back of the elevator.

It's happened again!  Sometimes people have a "type" that they date/are attracted to...but what if a type has you?

I did not get this kind of creeper attention before...
  1. I got a job, and
  2. I got my hair cut.
This damn Zooey Deschanel hair is just too cute for its own good. And all kinds of creepers are getting trapped in it like a fisher's net. Made of bangs.
Oh, Zooey.

Re: Paco (reply-all)

Reply-alls suck.  I get it now. I get all the lame office humor about conference calls and intra-office memos.  I may even enjoy Office Space more now. 

A few weeks ago, I became part of a weekly event called Subway Wednesdays.  An email would go out Wednesday morning asking who was planning on coming.  Once I replied, however, I became bombarded by reply-alls.  They all referred to an inside joke about a pinata from the office July 4th barbeque. 

At first the magnitude of the emails annoyed me, but it was actually pretty funny...

Me:  agh I keep getting email notices
        and they are reply-alls to a lunch invite today
        and they are all jokes about some girl named Liz marrying a pinata named Paco

Jenna:  you're making this up

Me:  and this last one:
"Hey Alex, how bout we throw Paco a bachelor party?! Nothing but the finest equine for our ol' buddy! "
Jenna:   hahaha the people you work with are awesome
Me:  except I know for a FACT they can not bring Paco to lunch today
        at least not all of him
        because his leg is in my cubicle

Jenna:  O_O
Me:  hollowed out and full of Reese's cups

Jenna:  that is grotesque, madam  
           and incredibly tasty
Jenna:  hahaha
           speaking of severed limbs, DEXTER

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

one more New York story

I'm trying to decide the best way to tell this story. It needs to accurately convey my emotional states through every point: exposition, rising action, climax, denoument, the whole enchilada*. So here goes.

(*side note: don't ever use the phrase "the whole enchilada" in an essay on an exam about Skinner's learning principles, or your professor will leave the comment "" next to it and [along with the receipt of a crappy grade in the first place] reduce you to a shapeless mess of low self-esteem noodles in tepid weak sauce)

The last advice Mallory gave to me before heading to New York for the first time ever was
"Make sure you get a window seat on the left side. You'll get to see Manhattan from the plane as you fly in!"
So when I checked into the airport and picked my seat at the ticket printer, of course I got the last left-side window seat. 30A. Success.  Boy, I thought, what a super lucky day for me.

As I boarded the plane, I realized I was not so lucky after all.  For some reason, this was the stupidest plane ever and there was a big ole jet engine obscuring my view.

I took my window seat and began to read my book.  The man in the seat next to me (the aisle seat - this plane had a [][]  [][][] set up) sat down as he was chatting to his friend. They were play-arguing about how many apps he had on his iPhone.
"I've got everything I need. Why would I put anything else on here? ...yeah I know, that does sound cool. But I don't need anything fancy! I've got what I need, I'm happy, leave me alone!  hahaha"   
Hmmm, I thought, that is the most sensible iPhone user I've ever eavesdropped on. A few minutes later, he broke the silence between us, the pointed silence created between two people on public transportation (and that's all a plane is, really. Public transit. Just like taking the bus!), to say
Plane guy: Don't let me hog the arm rest. I'm always hogging this thing.  (friendly smile)
Me: Oh, no, I'm fine. Thanks though.
      (inner monologue): Shit. Now when he does hog the arm rest I'm not allowed to get upset about it. ...Wow, I am pretty crammed up against this window. I look like I'm trying as hard as I can to be as far away from him as possible. And he's just trying to be nice. (I try to loosen up my body and unroll from the ball I have hunched myself into.)
 Then, a few minutes later:
Plane guy: So, whatcha readin'?
Me: (tilts book to show cover) It's one of the Game of Thrones books. It's the second one. It's pretty good. But I don't usually read fantasy so... I dunno. I like it, I guess. (inner monologue): Why am I talking so much?? I'm one of those annoying plane people. No. Wait a minute. Why is this middle-aged man interrupting my precious book reading time by asking stupid questions?  ...He must be one of those nervous fliers who talks to people to pass the time and distract him from worrying about his impending fiery death.
So, in an act of kindness from the "hey, this guy could be Jesus" school of thought that I learned from my mother, I indulged his chatting.  We talked about what I was studying in school (a lot to say) and the city of Atlanta (less to say) and local sports teams (even less to say).  He asked my advice about schools and SAT scores because it turns out his "friend" sitting in the aisle next to us was actually his sixteen year old son.

Eventually, I realized our conversation was none too interesting, and I began to check the time more and more frequently. But I kept smiling, because I had no way of escaping the conversation (I couldn't think of a cleverer way to say "Can you please stop talking now, I'd like to read at least two pages of my book before we land, thanks.") But as I've learned before, my please-let-this-conversation-be-over-soon smile is virtually indistinguishable from my you're-my-favorite-person-ever smile, at least to people who don't know me.

As the plane began to lose altitude, I finally got my first view of the city.
taken by snaking my camera-arm around the sleeping woman in front of me
Then the man next to me turns to me to shake my hand.
Plane Guy: I just realized this whole time we've been talking and I don't even know your name.
Me: Sorry! I'm Claire.  (no last names. my momma didn't raise no fool)
Plane Guy: Claire? Claire. nice name. I'm *****.   ...hey listen, Claire. I was wondering, I'd like to have your number. 
UM WHAT. wait, wait, wait. Maybe this man is just trying to be nice. He knows I have never been to New York before, and he probably wants to exchange numbers in case I get lost or need help. Or maybe to give to his son? Claire, you never should have told him you've never been to New York before. He'll probably murder you. Don't give him your number. WAIT, unless if you don't give it to him you make him angry, leading him to murder you. Walking on a razor's edge... 
Me: Um...O...K.... it's ***-***-**** (give him a fake area code. genius. that way, there's no hesitation when I roll off the numbers, so he won't get wise and murder me on the plane.)
Plane Guy: "yeah, I was thinking we could grab lunch sometime at Atlantic Station...
...maybe grab a glass of wine...
FULL OF RUFIES AND POISON???? are old enough to drink, right?"
CREEPY DUDE, you KNOW I am in college. Also, your 16 year old son is watching you try to make lunch plans with a 20 year old girl from the plane. I WILL NOT BE HIS NEW MOM.

At this point,  I am refusing to move my head at all. I am staring straight ahead, towards the front of the plane where the stewardesses are ushering people off the plane. Away from other creepy passengers. To safety.

Me: Um, no, my birthday is in a month.
Plane Guy: (playfully) Well you do eat, don't you?
Me: Um... (the blood has drained from my face) yeah (I am petrified by uncomfortableness and fear of upsetting a potential murderer)

Plane Guy stands up and begins to get his belongings from the overhead bins. (Thank you, Jesus)  He has stopped talking to me and I am using the silence as an opportunity to plan my escape route. Then he looks over at me, and adds as an afterthought:
Plane Guy: Hey Claire, tall?
How the hell am I supposed to answer that? I believe I replied something to the effect of

Me: uh, kinda, but not as tall as my DAD or my THREE BROTHERS. They're tall. And pretty muscly. Quick to anger too. And as protective as mother geese. So, I dunno. Does that answer your question?
I then waited for everyone else to exit the plane, hoping that this man would get far far ahead of me.  Then, just for good measure, I hid in the women's bathroom for about 20 minutes.

Welcome to New York City, Claire!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

married to the Eiffel Tower

So I've just finished watching a documentary called Married to the Eiffel Tower.  It's about three women who are objectum sexuals.
"Objectum sexuality" or object sexuality is defined by Wikipedia as
"a pronounced emotional and often romantic desire towards developing significant relationships with particular inanimate objects. Those individuals with this expressed preference may feel strong feelings of attraction, love, and commitment to certain items or structures of their fixation."
One woman married the Eiffel Tower a few years before the production of this documentary.  She is also a world champion archer, and developed a particularly strong relationship with her bow, Lance.  She also has significant relationships with the Golden Gate Bridge, a samurai sword, various wooden gates and the Berlin Wall. Throughout the movie, we get to see several moments of this woman and her fellows caressing buildings, sharing a bed with miniature models, and visiting their significant others (some of which are in different continents).

Mrs. Eiffel Tower visited Berlin to see her lover:
To the Berlin Wall: "I tried to hate you. I tried. ...I curse myself for being human. I wish I were an object like you!"

This movie is just as interesting as I had hoped it would be and is filled with leagues of psycho-data to analyze and think about.  The only part that made me marginally upset was that these women (all objectum sexuals are women, according to the documentary) claimed to love these objects soooo deeply.  With more passion and depth than most human relationships.  But they also loved so many at the same time.
Does Mrs. Eiffel Tower have no respect for the sanctity of marriage? She spends a great deal of her married life fawning over the  Berlin Wall (who is married to another woman in Sweden, the scoundrel) and falling in love with every red fence she sees with just the right angles. 

The documentarian fails to reveal that objectum sexuals believe in polygamy until the last ten minutes of the film. 

Anyway, I learned something today! Someone else watch this so we can have a chat!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

things I think about in the airport...

I'd like to share a few examples of how my mind occupies itself when its plane is delayed for two hours. I scribbled down a few starts for things to eventually blog and apparently today is "eventually." Here they are.

I have a habit of, every once in a while, looking around and thinking "these are the people."

These are the people I will be trapped in this elevator with.
These are the people who will be left alive with me if everything in the world is destroyed except for this room. Everything  except for this specific bank of seats in the B gates at the LaGuardia airport.
These are the people who might (in a survival situation) look at me and think to themselves "could I eat a human being?" Or, you know, vice versa.
These are the people I will be stranded on a deserted island with (if somehow this plane from New York to Atlanta flies over a deserted island. Or an ocean for that matter).

These are the people.
please don't let me spend my last hours on a MARTA train
I will scan the faces of the people around me, trying to judge their character by the way that they talk or laugh or whether they move their stuff and offer the seat next to them. He's a good guy, I think. But will his kindness make him weak? These are the kind of things you need to know. 
(Additionally, which one of these people is most likely to stab me? The small Asian boy. Watching Power Rangers on his iTouch. Just trying to be a hero.)

So this is who I'm stuck with, I think. I already hate the way that woman cackles at her cell phone. That guy over there didn't even bring a book to an airport. He's clearly not the survival type. That muscly guy on his laptop could be useful... Maybe he's a g-man or an ex-cop. 
So as people around me stress about having to deplane and where Gretchen put her boarding pass ("is it in your bag? It's GOTTA be in your bag cuz it sure as HELL ain't in mine!") I am assembling my team. And deciding who to leave behind if we find an abandoned working vehicle in our now post-apocalyptic landscape. 
...I'm looking at you, cackling cell phone lady.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

mmmm light pollution

As my plane was flying over New York on the way back home, I looked down on the sparkling city below.  I had already been delayed 3 hours and thought I might sleep on the plane until I got distracted by the view outside my cabin window.

Then my sense of geography started to fail me.
If that's New York, and we're on the East looks like we're going further East right into the ocean! Or maybe North to Canada??  

This worry (that the pilot had no idea where he was going and I was going to be stranded in Canada for the night) began to creep into my thoughts and disrupt my reading.

"Tobacco,  introduced to London the year after Shakespeare's birth,...  
Oh no what if the flight is actually going to Canada?
...was a luxury at first but soon gained such widespread popularity... 
I got in the right gate. Right? B8. Yeah. I got in the right gate. My ticket was scanned. It made that satisfying "ping" noise that means I am supposed to be on this plane.
...that by the end of the century there were no fewer than seven thousand tobacconists in the City....  
Dad would be so upset if he drove all the way to the airport at midnight and I'm actually in Canada.
...It was employed not only for pleasure but as a treatment for a broad range of complaints... 
no. they won't be upset. They'll be worried, won't they? I'll probably end up crying if I have to call home and say I accidentally ended up in Canada.
...including venereal disease,... 
but NO. I won't cry. I'm an adult. I'm a grown-ass woman. I just went to New York all by myself!
I'll take care of everything. I can get myself a hotel or something, and email work to explain my absence and book a new flight and - yeah. I'll be fine. 
...and even bad breath." 
Shit, I have to read that whole passage again. Didn't take in a word of it.

(excerpts from Bill Bryson's Shakespeare: The World as Stage)

how do you know?

When does one discover that he or she is immortal?

Surely it's not all as cut and dry as vampires make it seem. Sure, you get sired, you die, you rise again, you live forever. Never aging past that point.

But then there are stories like Tuck Everlasting. All the poor Tuck family did was drink from a spring! And there was no warty old witch or enchanted crow or strongly-worded sign to warn them against it. They were just thirsty.
don't drink the Kool-aid, Rory
In the book, the family discovers they are immortal because some mortal peril befalls their cat (or horse? it's been a while)  but the cat doesn't die. Like magic or something. And then the horse gets injured, and one of the family gets mortally wounded or something - anyway! No one dies. Musta been that darn spring water!

BUT what if it's not that easy? What if some new magic made you immortal and you had no way of tracing it back?  It could have been as simple as eating an avocado between 12:36 and 12:37 AM on a Friday the 13th.  It could have been winning six games of Monopoly in a row (maybe over several years).  It could have been letting an old lady have your seat on the bus (because, let's face it, most old ladies on the bus are probably gypsies). 
but then again, gypsies come in all shapes and sizes. Don't drink the Kool-aid, Meryl Streep!
My point is, when do you start to notice you're not aging? In our society, it's possible to avoid mortal injury for several years at a time! How are you supposed to know you're immortal if it was an accident?
Eventually the comments have to stop being "Jen, you look amazing!" and start sounding more like "That bitch Jen is back. How is her- what is her... face... doing- how does she...? ...Bitch."  And even then, when would you start to notice?

I sure hope I'm not accidentally immortal.
Everyone would hate or fear me, I'd outlive everyone I love, and I'd have to see 6 more Transformers movies squeeze their way into theaters.

and to think some people would kill to live forever...

I'm lookin at you, Voldemort.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


30 Rock is filmed in Brooklyn. Sad face.
I just got back from New York!  For the first time in my whole life. Until this weekend, all I knew about New York came from movies and TV.  And in the case of a few of those (like How I Met Your Mother, Friends, Will & Grace, and Seinfeld) they aren't even filmed in New York. Or even on the East Coast.
So all I knew came from
  • Jungle 2 Jungle
  • Home Alone 2
  • Big
  • Kate and Leopold
  • Someone Like You
  • You've Got Mail
  • Hitch
  • ...I don't need to list these. Just think of pretty much every movie ever made. Except the ones by John Hughes.
Overall, this did not give me a very good idea of what the city is actually like and gave me a weird set of expectations going into this trip.  Mostly that the city of New York exists to be filmed: with wet streets to reflect lights at night and the streets perpetually bustling around a single person as he or she walks slowly, obliviously through them with a look that betrays the fact that their thoughts are far, far away.  Thinking about him. Or her. Or how to keep their superhero costume from bunching under their day clothes.

But surprise(to me)! New York is a real place. That exists. It exists when the cameras aren't there. It exists when the Glee kids aren't dancing around all over the place and the Gossip Girls aren't...gossiping.  So if I learned anything from this trip it's that New York is real and real people really live there.
There are lots of opportunities to take pictures of people taking pictures.
I also learned all those apartments in shows like Friends don't exist. Unless you have a trust fund. Or you're in Brooklyn.

My goals for this trip:

Eat real New York Pizza.

Eat a real New York bagel. 
- Russ and Daughters - check.

Find Bret and Jemaine's apartment.

See a famous person.
- BAM! Saw Brian Williams walking around NBC Studios wearing hipster glasses. - check.

Overall, a COMPLETELY successful trip that surpassed all my expectations and thoroughly exhausted me.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

litter bug

Today I walked to my dad's office (from my office 6 blocks away) to pick up his car to drive home since he went out of town on business.

That is too much information.

The important part is that I walked 6 blocks, strolling over a bridge and past a few homeless men sleeping under some trees.  In doing so, I encountered the usual debris that you find on the side of the road: empty bottles and cans, plastic grocery bags, spoons, towels and articles of clothing that have been soaked by the rain and dried into misshapen slabs of shirt-brick.

I don't know or understand the mindset behind littering.  Is it really "Oh, I am done using this piece of garbage/spork/Haynes t-shirt, so I may as well drop it where I stand instead of finding an appropriate trash or recycling receptacle in which to deposit it."
Maybe it's "I bet I can make it into that trashcan from here! [pause] Oh well."
Or "AHHHH I am being chased by a vagrant/thug/angry mother bear! I must empty my arms of all this trash so that I can run away to safety unencumbered!"

One of my fears is littering that happens by accident.

Say you are in the middle of a six hour road trip.  You recently stopped for lunch, but haven't stopped at a gas station since, so Happy Meal bags litter the floor with their junk food brethren: empty pretzel bag and Ziploc baggies once filled with cereal.
Suddenly the mood strikes you, and you realize what a beautiful day it is and decide to roll down the window when ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE and your bags whip around in a junk food tornado, and just as you are cursing your bad food decisions and promising yourself that on your next trip you will bring PB&Js from home and maybe some carrot sticks or grapes if you have them and they're not too sour or some hummus if you can find those pita chips from the party two weeks ago, the tornado of trash finds it's exit out a tiny gap in the window you are rushing to close and zips out of site to fly haphazardly between several lanes of traffic.
The next thing you know you are getting pulled over by highway patrol and assigned a $5,000 fine in a state you would never even want to live in, let alone pay 5K to.

This is my night mare.

Top 5 Most Disconcerting Pieces of Highway Trash:
  1. Scrubs - you know, doctor pajamas.  Why these would end up on the side of the road baffles me.  Best Case Scenario: a new father wears them in the Delivery Room and tears them off in a fit of joy at the birth of his son, opens the window, and tosses them out to drift to the street below.  Worst Case Scenario: sloppy murderer.
  2. Gloves - not gardening gloves, which belong outside, but medical latex gloves. BCS: a volunteer doctor uses them while testing a homeless man for AIDS or the flu or something, and snaps them off and drops them to the ground, accustomed to the OR where dropping latex gloves is common practice.  WCS: sloppy murderer. (clearly clean enough to use gloves/scrubs, but not enough to think to burn them instead of flinging evidence around. Unless he/she wants to get it's a game. oh damn)
  3. Trash bags - opaque black trash bags, in particular.  My mother implanted the horrifying thought that there might be a baby in that bag on the side of the highway.  A poor defenseless baby its parents didn't want. BCS: the trash bag tumbles out of the back of a pick-up truck as it gains speed. WCS: Abandoned baby.
  4. Needles - maybe you've never encountered a syringe outside the doctor's office, but I have, and let me tell you it is not pleasant. BCS: drugs. WCS: drugs.
  5. Underwear - somehow I always see t-shirts or underwear on the side of the road. This happens too often to be allowed.  BCS: a seven year old rushes to keep up with his mom as they walk to Centennial Olympic Park to play in the fountains. In his dash to catch up to her, his underwear falls out of the pile of dry clothes he is holding and lands, dejected, on the sidewalk. WCS: rape.

So, you just learned a lot about how my brain works! Yay!

...I'm sorry.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

make me a match

I really wanted to watch Driving Lessons, but sadly the technology available to me does not read the "back-up" copy of the movie I have. Looks like I won't be enjoying a moody Rupert Grint set to a soundtrack by Sufjan Stevens tonight after all. Mreh.
Instead, I am watching the movie The Matchmaker. I don't want to sound too hipster, but if you haven't heard of it, I'm not surprised.

Shit. That sounds incredibly hipster.

I will set the scene:
Janeane Garofalo is (surprise!) a single and cynical thirtysomething sent to Ireland for work and finds herself in the middle of the annual matchmaking festival.  She scoffs at romance in general and ignores the beauty of the Irish countryside because she just needs to get her job done, goddammit, and get home. It's kind of like a Katherine Heigl movie in the 90s. Except with less attractive people and more sheep. Everything goes wrong, no one is moving fast enough, and her hotel room is frustratingly inadequate. But amidst all this turmoil and the horror of spending a week among verdant countryside and friendly people, might she find love where she least expects it?  Well, you're just going to have to watch it and find out for yourself.

I like it.  There's a reason I put it in, of course. I have only seen it once and can't quite remember if I liked it or not, but I just finished watching The IT Crowd through the 4th season, and I find myself thirsting for more Irish accents.  Maybe I should have watched The Commitments. ...maybe I'll watch it next. But for now I am watching The Matchmaker and it is the perfect match for my movie-watching needs right now.  Even if it doesn't feature Rupert Grint.

by the way, if you haven't already, and I haven't already told you, and you haven't already bugged me to watch it for several months, then you should watch The IT Crowd. Go on. Scoot on over to Netflix for a few hours.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


This summer, I am fighting my inactive tendencies!

Kinda. A bit half-heartedly, to be honest.
I am running.
If you know anything about me, you know that I hate this. I hate running. I believe that it should be used only in emergency situations and as punishment for real sports.  But when a friend asks says "we should go running! At the park!" what else can you do but take a second to consider your slight jiggly-ness and say "definitely!"

On a good day, I can run for about eight or nine minutes. That's right. Minutes. 
On a bad day, I can run for 20-30 before succumbing to my doom and accepting death.  ...there's a story here. Allow me to explain:

Last week, Kala and I decided to run someplace different: a trail by our house that goes through the woods, under bridges, and past the movie theater. We parked and started off down the trail.
We ran, I stopped to walk after my lungs stopped working, and I walked until Kala turned around and we met in the middle.

As we started to walk back, the sky started getting unnaturally dark for 6PM and the air was heavy with imminent rainfall.  I looked up, and thick, dark clouds loomed overhead.  The trees swayed and I noticed a suspicious lack of bird noise.

Storm's comin'.

"Hopefully we'll make it back before the rain hits!" we said.

The rain hit, hard. Trees thrashed violently. Lightning cracked and thunder boomed threateningly.
But that wasn't so bad. In fact, it was kinda fun to run in the rain. And then the trees started trying to kill us.
It was a bit like that moment in Pac Man: you're chasing a blue ghost and you've almost caught up to it- you feel powerful and like everything is going your way- then (blink) it's pink again and suddenly you're the hunter become the hunted.
The trees which were normally sought as shelter have become the scariest. things. in the world. Like the forest in Snow White, or the poor interpretation of the last Triwizard challenge in Goblet of Fire (where the maze tries to eat Cedric and Harry).

doesn't look so scary now, but just wait till the trees come to life
I would say I ran for my life, but if that were true, my life doesn't seem that important to me. I had already run more than normal that day, and when the storm hit and Kala shouted "let's just run back" over the rain, my reaction was "sure!"  Actually, I believe at first it was "well, the Mythbusters say you'll get wetter running through rain than walking" but this was no ordinary summer rain.  It was no delicate sprinkle, no short-lived shower.  This was a monsoon.  A monsoon that was hurling trees at me like a kid throws water balloons. Except tree limbs don't splash when they hit pavement, they block the trail or fall directly on top of you.

We managed to finally get out of the Death Woods, Kala running the whole way. I stopped twice to retie my shoes and a few times out of sheer exhaustion.  I escaped with only a scrape across my thigh, but I learned something about myself: In the case of a zombie apocalypse*, a visit to Jurassic Park, a mugging, an alien invasion, or a missing-identity spy thriller, I am going to die.  I will stop to rest my lungs or tie my shoes and I will get eaten, or beaten, or shot.
I was also reminded why I will never be Sydney Bristow.

not bad for a summer afternoon.

*the Zombieland kind, not the Shaun of the Dead kind.  Zombieland zombies can move pretty fast (Rule #1- Cardio). In the event of a SotD Z-day, I might be able to survive by hiding and/or using my sewing machine to bludgeon any that come close to me.

Friday, June 17, 2011

soup to nuts

Riding the train to an internship where I earn good money while being held responsible for projects that actually matter to the progress of the company may trick me into thinking I am an adult, but this is not so.

I was in a meeting the other day (doesn't that sound so grown up?) hearing a pitch from an interactive media company.  They presented their services and generally talked themselves up for any future business we might be able to give them. They promised to follow through with a project, and assured us they were more than capable to join a project at any point in its development. They would be able to work with us "from soup to nuts."

From soup. To nuts.

I wrote the phrase down on my paper, and because there wasn't much else to take notes on in this meeting, it stood out a bit on the page, attracting the attention of my fellow intern, who chuckled appreciatively.  He then started to doodle a soup bowl and a handful of peanuts with an arrow between them. I puzzled over where this phrase could have come from.  I know it meant from begininng to end or running the gamut or whatever, and behold, according to Wikipedia...
It is derived from the description of a full course dinner, in which courses progress from soup to a dessert of nuts.
 AHA! So now you know.

He then promised that they will monitor and investigate all steps of the project, saying "we do due diligence."

...unsurprisingly "doo doo diligence" inspired many suppressed giggles and acted as a gentle reminder that although I might dress for work and be able to vote and eat hummus and could potentially serve my country in the armed forces, I am not, in fact, an adult. 

FYI- "Soup to Nuts" is also the name of a 1928 comedy in the vane of Amelia Bedelia and the title of an episode of the acclaimed television series That's So Raven.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

summer update

Summer update:
 (aka the flimsy reasons I have not been writing as much)

  • I am reading the sequel to Name of the Wind, Wise Man's Fear. So far I am pleased, but I have on good authority that this book will also leave me in the lurch, without conclusion or any semblance of closure. Awesome. I am currently about 700 pages into this 994 page behemoth. ...and I am open to book suggestions.  Just kidding, I never read what people tell me to. Ask my mom.

  •  I am 3 weeks into my summer internship! It has been going well, but I am hesitant to include any details because I'm a little worried I may have signed some nondisclosure agreement that directly prohibits blogging about the projects I am privy to. And then they would find out through some secret division of the company that I had talked and would send a pair of agents to shoot me in the parking garage. I would narrowly escape, but only because my dad would squeal his car past me, brake quickly and shout "Get in!"  And then I would know he had been a part of it the whole time. But deep down I think I knew. Then he would ferry me to a private jet taking me out of the country, but I wouldn't be able to trust him even though it was probably my best option. This would lead to years of counter-espionage and a roller coaster relationship with my father. So... I will not be writing about it. Just in case.
That's about it. But those two things in themselves take up the majority of my time. But here are some notes I scribbled down to eventually blog, but couldn't find the space to do it:

From the overheard conversation at the dog park:
  • (on hearing these two women - previously strangers to each other - make small talk) If you're saying the facebook, you're too old to use Facebook. 
  • "I'm still trying to sell my house." (exasperated face)     "Oh my friend is looking at houses! Give me your address" ("so I can stalk/murder you." mind filled in those blanks. I watch Dexter, I know how these things work.)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Middle-aged Adults Really Take Aim

I have made it through my first week of work! Cubicle life is cubicle life. I have a wicker cornucopia (damn hard word to spell) that was left by the previous occupant and I have decided to fill it with odds and ends. Right now I have a stress ball shaped like Freud's head and a tiny plush monkey wearing a tiny College of Charleston t-shirt. Other than a picture of Randolph Hall, this is my only decoration.

To travel to and from my downtown office (don't I sound grown-up?) I either ride with my dad or take MARTA.  Something about riding the train reminds me of Universal Studios. or Disney World. So even though it is a 40 minute commute, there is some majesty to it (to me). This makes me wonder if people who ride trains to work everyday go to Disney World and think "Oh no, this crap again," when they board the monorail. Or "It smells like trains. This can't be Amity Island" and the Jaws ride illusion is ruined. I, on the other hand, think "Oh, it smells like fun rides!" when I descend into the Peachtree Center Station.

Maybe the majesty is not lost on all.  I was standing around waiting for my train the other day when I saw an older man staring inquisitively at the train tracks.  He stared, took a few steps, and looked down.
I thought about how wonderful it is that we never really lose our sense of childlike wonder. This grey haired man still took the time to stop and wonder at mechanics and how things work, like every over-alled Thomas the Tank Engine kid.
And just as I made a mental note to tell someone this wonderful story, he leaned over the tracks.... and spit a foot long stream of tobacco spit into the crevasse.

So much for child-like wonder.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

bad music

I was driving around town yesterday and listening to music on the radio when I realized that music on the radio is crap.

I know, duh. But not just the Top 40 stuff. I reached some sort of perfect storm yesterday when everything playing on the radio was just...bad. And that is when I stumbled across a certain song.

 Before I reveal this song, let me first define the term "guilty pleasure." According to wikipedia, the end-all-be-all knowledge source of the web, "A guilty pleasure is something one enjoys and considers pleasurable despite feeling guilt for enjoying it. The "guilt" involved is sometimes simply fear of others discovering one's lowbrow or otherwise embarrassing tastes."

Nowadays, in the age of hipster, liking something of "lowbrow taste" can be seen as ironic, and thus not embarrassing at all but rather a nugget of hipster street cred. However, a hipster could like something mainstream and feel guilty about it, like secretly enjoying Budweiser more than PBR.
In fact owning up to enjoying a certain song or movie despite it's lowbrow qualities may render it no longer a guilty pleasure. I'm not sure, I only just began exploring the intricacies of this term.

The song that came on the radio made me instantly stop surfing channels and start turning up the volume and singing at the top of my lungs. And that song, embarrassingly enough, was Evanescence's Bring Me to Life. I remembered all the words and couldn't stop my self from singing out loud.  I checked the windows to make sure they were securely closed, and tried not to be obvious about my singing enthusiasm when I stopped at a traffic light. It reminded me of middle school. It reminded me how everyone has a dark period in their life. We all experience our own musical dark ages.  Mine, like many of my compadres, involved Evanescence and Good Charlotte.

I also began singing along to other songs on the radio. I had opened a flood gate. It was a little like this:

So here I am, sharing my guilty pleasure. What's yours?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

girls rule and dogs drool ( a lot)

I took Einstein to the dog park today!
notice the drool that is about to plummet from his mouth to the floor below. number one downside to an exhausted dog.
 This probably wasn't the best idea considering I was freshly showered and would inescapably be flecked with mud within minutes, OR because it is pretty freaking hot outside and Eistein and I have too much hair to really be comfortable (except when in the shade). Yet still we ventured to the park and enjoyed the adventure.

At first, it was just poor Einstein. No friends, no Frisbee skills, incapable of fetching a ball (he doesn't even run after it- how is this possible?).  Then some other dogs showed up and he revealed himself to be That Dog. That jerk dog who play-fights with everything and humps everyone. Bros, bitches, soccer moms. He's not picky, just overly enthusiastic. But he's fixed. Go figure.

Oh, I forgot to mention that these other dogs are attached to people. Presumably their owners, but who can tell? And as I sat at my loner table, reading Tina Fey's Bossypants and periodically intervening to keep Einstein from trying to "dominate" a German Shepherd puppy, I realized that this is about socializing dog owners as much as it is about socializing the dogs. I know what you're thinking: Duh, Claire. Where have you been? And I knew this, but it was illustrated brilliantly to me today.

Women come in with their dog(s), and you exchange pleasantries.  
  • What's his/her name?  
  • ...What is it? (this means "what breed?" but I take it slightly offensively because my dog isn't clearly identifiable and the supposition is that he must be some sort of mixie. which he is, but whatever.)
who doesn't love a panting pooch and a refreshing beverage?
These people very rarely learn anything about you, however.  The very least they will come to knowing about you is why you named your dog Vermouth or where you can get the best vegan dog food. I overheard one woman today say that she had a live-in dog trainer for four months. A LIVE-IN DOG TRAINER. I think live-in nannies and maids are lush, but a dog-trainer? I quickly realized I was out of my element.
I didn't have any cute stories to share about Einstein ("the little rascal ate poop this morning! It was adorable- like, we give you food, silly thing! Oh, parenting can be tough, right?? Hahaha. Oh, you!") so I decided to let the two women entertain themselves and I cracked open Bossypants and slurped my iced coffee.

That's when I realized: if this is people socialization too, I am failing. Big time. I am that kid in middle school who sits by herself at lunch so she can eat her food and read at the same time. I am the kid who pretends her backpack is taking up too much room so no one will sit next to her on the bus. Oh, who am I kidding? I was that kid in middle school. Why should that change now? I may have thought years of proper socialization and a strong friend group over the last ten years would change that, but again, who am I kidding?

I understand now that just because I didn't jump in to their "my dog is so silly" conversation doesn't mean I am some sort of loner deviant or a taller better-dressed version of Claire in middle school. I might just not be a dog person (the term "dog person" always makes me think "dog-person" like the Egyptian god Anubis) or at least not a coo-over-my-dog person. Which is fine with me. Just as long as I'm not reverting back to this person:

Actually, I look pretty happy to have gotten that i-zone camera, so it might not be so bad. But if I have to be in 6th grade again, I am straight up skipping health class this time.

EDIT: I totally forgot to explicitly say this: Read Bossypants. It is fantastic. Fantabulous. Wowza Hilarious. Read it. You can borrow my copy, because I won't be able to restrain myself from finishing it in the next six minutes. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

a drop in the family bucket

First of all, when did Neville get kinda hot? Things are changing so much!
Now to business.

So of course Mother's Day was a family adventure. Brothers and cousins full-on beating each other in the front yard, babies on the driveway, and 30 pounds of crawfish. We spent the day celebrating mothers and my cousin Laura's graduation with a crawfish boil.

Here are some soundbites from the day:

Dad (trying to share the art of crawfish boiling): You see, I am executing perfect technique: everything one-handed.
Because I need the other hand for.... what do I need the other hand for?
Me: Beer.
Dad: That's right. A beer. You are learning so fast!

My grandfather recently read a book about a grand prix racer told from the point of view of his dog. Yes, his dog. And the facts he shared with us sounded like the kinds of "did you knows" that he typically brings up at family functions.
Poppy: But really, dogs hate crows!  They like sparrows because they're close to God, but they hate crows. Hate 'em. 
(there were several more minutes of this, but I can not begin to commit to written word the intensity with which he conveyed this information. Like it was personally handed down to him by the Czar of Information and Facts.)

(My cousin Susan (24) left the conversation to smoke a cigarette as she talked to her aunt on the phone. After a few minutes or so, she comes back and sits down.)
Susan: :cough: 
Ryan: (pretending to cough) :cigarettes!:
Susan: Shut up! :cough: :cough:
Ryan: (pretending to cough) :two: :cigarettes!:
As you can imagine, this did not endear him to her and may have led to a bit of a tiff between two strong-willed argumentative family members. And it also may have begun the winding down that led us to finally pack up and leave. But who can tell? So many little things build up to get us to realize we can't spend any more time with each other. This was probably just one drop in the bucket.

Another fun family day with a fun fun family. My cousin Aidan spent a few hours stirring the crawfish and trying to make them bite his fingers. My brothers punched each other in the front yard. And we all spent hours in the sun, sweating, drinking and eating. Could not have been a better day.

Well. Maybe it could have.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

my, what big plastic tubes you have grandma

The world is a scary place.

San Diego KGTV reports:
A 91-year-old East County grandmother is getting national attention for making suicide kits. The woman started making the kits after watching her husband die a slow, painful death from colon cancer.

Death Bag and tubes
“I’m doing what I can to improve the world,” she told 10News. “There’s a lot of heartache and difficulty here.” Charlotte makes the kits — which cost buyers $60 — by taking large plastic bags and sewing soft elastic bands around the opening. There is a slot in the bag for a plastic tube carrying helium gas to be inserted. Helium — when inhaled in its pure form — is deadly. Kit users are responsible for securing their own helium gas.
“If heaven is so wonderful, you know you’d naturally want to go there, wouldn’t you?” said Charlotte. Charlotte said her sales were nearly $100,000 last year. That’s more than 1,600 suicide kits.
 This scares me for several reasons.
  1. My StumbleUpon apparently thinks this is the kind of story I would be interested in. And it was right. Damn.
  2. This woman is 91 years old and not retired. Stop working.
  3. Her name is Charlotte, so she reminds me of a spider luring people into her suicide web.
  4. This is a really scary way to go! Putting a bag over your head? Filling it with helium? Taking your last breaths as you look at the world through the distortion of the hand sewn plastic death bag? Geez.
  5.  Also, THE WORLD IS RUNNING OUT OF HELIUM. AND it's non-renewable! So even if you don't disagree with her on ethical grounds, know that she is ruining birthday parties for the rest of us FOREVER.
  6. She is not supplying the helium, so people are forced to interrupt their planned suicide night with a trip to Party City. Also, what's to stop people from getting the helium and making their own Death Bags? besides crippling depression.
  7. How does she advertise this? We know it's not word of mouth. It's probably through news reports like this: people see the story on the news and call the station asking for her phone number, claiming to be enraged but secretly wondering if they can get same-day delivery. But why would the news station give out her number? This doesn't add up.         
I just can not understand how this woman is so successful. I did hear recently that there have been more suicides than homicides in the United States in recent years, so I suppose there is a demand, but I never thought there would be such high demand for suicide kits. Or that a kindly 91-year-old would decide to fill that need. Although now I am picturing her more like the "old lady" with the demon head from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
All the better to eat you see you with
Also, I don't believe that killing yourself will be rewarded by admittance past the pearly gates. So she's selling a crock.

The world is a scary place.

Friday, May 6, 2011

back home again

I am back in the ATL for the summer. I already miss Charleston and the people who belong there, but I am also excited for the summer and anxious to have a few months without paper writing.

Right now, I am waiting to go to an interview for my summer internship, and in the meantime playing host to a cable guy drilling holes in the basement. But here are a few gems from my time spent at home so far:

Daniel is overall excited for me to be home and keeps bringing up memories he has of things we have done together that I can not recall as clearly as he can, like
"hey Claire, hey Claire, Claire. Hey. Remember, remember how we used to watch X-men 2 and eat Bagel Bites? Remember that?"
and this also includes
"Remember how I used to have most of my teeth? well look" 
and he pulls back his mouth to show me missing molars.

Ryan may be more entertaining. He and my mom should put on a show.

Scene: My dad and I are deciding what to eat for dinner, and Ryan decides he wants to eat too. Boys.  Ryan comes back from the freezer in the garage with a box of Mozzarella Stix. 
Me: Ryan, those things are like 6 years old.
Mom: No, we bought more. They eat them all the time. Ryan, tell her how many you ate that one time.
Ryan: Claire. I ate 25 Mozzarella Stix. I didn't poop for like four days.

(Mom sizes up the two of us as Ryan helps me move stuff inside)
Mom: Is he taller than you? I think he is. Ryan-show Claire your muscles.
(Ryan flexes his arm)
Me: What is that? That protrude-y thing? Is that even supposed to be there?
Ryan: Whatever it is, girls like it.

And Sean was doing calculus.
But now I am back home with my dog and my cat and the rest of the crew. This should be a good summer. But you never can tell at this point...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

uber tuber

I don't have much time to say anything. I have too much to pack and I have been uber busy studying for finals and saying goodbye "see ya later" to all my friends at school. Once I get settled back home, I will do a real post. I am sure ten minutes at my house will be enough for a two-parter.

But I saw this again, and it made me smile. Share with me!

courtesy xkcd

Also, if Celtic Woman is my go-to perfect study music, the Space Jam soundtrack is the perfect packing music. And Disney songs. And 80s/90s pop.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Social Guard

I am really hungry but have to write about this first.

I was stumbling around the internet this morning, bumping into some Mean Girls/Harry Potter tumblrs when an ad caught my eye on the side of the page.

It was a fake Facebook post (it said "advertisement" at the top, so people won't get confused and try to "like" it or something) that had a girl saying

Some Girl: Can't wait for tonight! Party at my house and it's going to be aMaZiNg!
Bitchy Girl:  No one wants to go to your loser party!
Some Dude: Sounds great, what is your address please?

And then next to the two posts this X pops up and says BLOCKED or something dramatic. The fake profile melts away to present what the ad is selling: Zone Alarm Social Guard.

This is a program designed to recognize key words and phrases to block cyber bullies and potential stalkers. Bitchy girl was a cyber bully and using the word "loser" flagged her, and that dude is probably a 43 year old because he asked for her address. Right?  They couldn't possibly be being sarcastic or just need her address. While I do fully understand cyber bullying and it's new prevalence and severity, I still don't know if I like the idea of this product.

The website says "SocialGuard scans millions of records using a unique algorithm to determine threats and sends warnings to you the minute they happen, not just once a day like the competition."
This program sends parents alerts at the tiniest sign of trouble. Woah. That's like if you got emailed every time your kid was picked last for softball or ignored at the lunch table. These things happen.
I believe that the answer to bullying is to start at the child; to promote tolerance and compassion and help kids see that they can bond together because this happens to everyone.  This is not always a parent's battle, and although you want to do anything you can to protect your child, I do not believe that being an internet helicopter is going to do any good.

Alerts you to alarming words used in private messages, status updates, and wall postings.
Alerts you when someone who may be a stranger is trying to interact with your kid on Facebook. 
Age Concerns
Flags friends that are much older than they claim to be; someone who may be pretending to be a kid. 
Dangerous Links
Catches dangerous links sent in private messages, status updates, and wall posts. Prevents viral attacks and data theft. (this thing checks private messages. hm)

Rules for being on the internet:
  1. Don't "friend" anyone you do not personally know. Even if you have friends in common. Meet them in person first.
  2. If your child is too young to be on Facebook, don't let them on Facebook.
  3. I can't think of any more, I'm too hungry.
I am getting all confused in my opinions. This thing really threw me off guard.
I hate bullies, and of course I hate internet predators, but this SocialGuard seems so...
I don't know.

What do you think?

Monday, April 25, 2011

a brief glimpse into the mind of a crazy person

Sorry about the brief hiatus. If anyone noticed. Today is the last day of classes, so of course this past week or so has been hellish.

I have had a few ideas for posts but haven't had the time to write anything that didn't involve the words "independent variable" or "arbitrary matching to sample."  So here are a few mini-posts. Let's call them vignettes.

25 April: 
This weekend was Easter weekend, which unfortunately got overshadowed by the sheer magnitude of work I had to do for Happiness class and Conditioning and Learning. On the brighter side, I was able to spend a good part of Saturday enjoying friends, hot dogs, sunshine and pool floaties.
this is not me. but I DO really want that floating fruit table.
On the redder side, this left most of my upper body sunburnt and angry.  I sat at my computer for hours gulping down ice water to counteract the heat emanating from my body and my overworked computer, to no avail.

When I finally went to sleep, I considered throwing my down blanket on the floor, but decided against it. (Our floor is really gross.) Instead I went to sleep in my sports bra and shorts (let me know if this is too much information).

Soon after closing my eyes, I heard a strange scratching sound coming from my ceiling, right around the overhead light.
...and my imagination ran away with itself....

(WARNING: the following is not factual, but a brief glimpse into the mind of a crazy person)

I open my eyes and look up to see thousands if not millions of fat angry cockroaches pouring out of the hole where the light used to be, coating the ceiling as they crawl out of their hiding place toward each wall. I see this, and calmly hop out of my bed, potentially spraining my ankle as I land clumsily on the small rug beside my bed.

I don't think to grab anything as I race to the door, calling to Marca who is finishing watching Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (it is Easter, after all). I slam the door shut behind me and try to coax her off the couch and downstairs where it is safe. She doesn't believe me at first, until the hoard begins crawling from under the door and oozing across the floor.
We bolt down the stairs and outside, where it is safe.

Who do we call? What do we do? Can I ever touch my stuff again?

As things calm down, I realize I am outside wearing just shorts and a sports bra.
And I realize, I am OK with it.

And that is the moral of the story.

Welcome to my brain.

from right: Tory Belleci, Kari Byron, and Grant "Third Wheel" Imahara

Jake and I were watching Mythbusters a few weeks ago when I wistfully stated something to the effect of "I wish Kari's baby had been Tory's. I want them to be together." There was talk of whether this exists on the world wide web in the form of fan fiction, and it probably does. But alas, I have been too busy to research further. 
Jake suggested that I write some, and I said something like "haha sure" which really means "that's funny, but I probably won't. Also DON'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO."  As I was falling asleep the other night a few lines came to me, and I will post them for you. But that's as far as it's gonna go. 

"Kari," Tory began, "I love the way you spell your name weird and how your nose squinches up all cute when you use a sledge hammer to destroy a car," she blushed, "but we can't let the world know about us.  They're just not ready. We're just not ready." She opened her mouth as if too argue, but he continued, "I'm too reckless, you're too refined. You're an artist! Plus, Grant will be outed as a third wheel-" 
She silenced him with a passionate embrace. He was almost thrown off-balance by the surprise. She pulled back, looked into his eyes and said, "I'm pregnant."

In reality she married some artist with a mustache. Puh.
And that is all you are getting. I feel ridiculous. And hardcore nerdy.