May 2003 archive

(89 entries)

May 31, 2003

Even más fotos





Various trips in southern Auvergne

NYC trip

Shenandoah Valley

srah | 10:49 PM | TrackBack
Tags: assistantship, auvergne, bruges, new york city, photos, shenandoah valley, travel, vichy

May 30, 2003

Go Rats!

My high school is the 685th best high school in this great Satan nation of ours.

Cant u tel from it's alumnis?

srah | 2:06 PM | TrackBack
Tags: ann arbor

May 29, 2003

Allez-les... whoever

It amuses me and confuses French students of English and anglophone students of French that the French verb supporter, rather than meaning "to support" means "to put up with".

However, to talk about football fans, the French have borrowed the English word supporters and frangled it into the French term supporteurs. It makes me giggle to imagine French football "fans" in the stands, looking at their watches and loudly asking, "Is it over yet?"

srah | 3:16 PM | TrackBack
Tags: french

Begone with you

Is this movie playing near you?

It is? What are you doing reading my site? You are supposed to be at the movie theatre!

L'auberge espagnole is a lovely French film that perfectly documents the experience of studying in another country, from the linguistic mishmash that results to the relationships you make. If you have ever lived or wanted to live in another country, or if you have ever wondered about the experience, I highly recommend it.

srah | 2:48 PM | TrackBack
Tags: l'auberge espagnole, movies

Guest blogging chez K

Okay, precious folkses. For the next couple days, while I work on the Big Move to MT, I will be helping Katie out by enriching her blog with CRAP. I can be found at:

It may be a bit longer than expected for the Big Move, as the phone line that my computer's modem dials through has very beautifully decided not to work, just when I was going to put last night into making the big push to MT. Oh well, I needed the sleep anyway. Hopefully I'll be converted by the end of the weekend.

srah | 9:15 AM | TrackBack

May 28, 2003

Reload! Reload! Reload!

I went to see The Matrix Reloaded last night. My thoughts are as follows:

Lambert Wilson, despite being a real live French person, has the fakest French accent ever. He has a good English accent and was trying to cover it up, very ineffectively. He just sounded German. I still lurve him just for being French and I curled up in a little ball and giggled when he would swear and order wine.

Keanu Reeves seemed to me to be lacking in keanureevesocity. I didn't hear him say "Whoa" or "I know kung fu" once! I was not once distracted from the film by his abyssmal acting talents, which sort of disappointed me. Or maybe I just wanted an excuse to invent the word keanureevesocity. What was with that dress he was wearing?

Was I the only one who felt like Zion was eerily similar to the Ewok Village? Oh.

I love the Keymaker's voice. I love the Keymaker. But having a character called The Keymaker just makes me think of Ghostbusters. "Are you the Keymaster? I am the Gatekeeper."

Alex and I stayed for the Matrix Revolutions preview after the credits. Um... yeah. I was not impressed. Alex said I wasn't necessarily supposed to be, because it was just a teaser. This "teaser" didn't tease me at all, though. It made me go, Huh. Well, I've already put the time and money into seeing the first two, so I guess I might as well see this one too, although the film itself holds no particular appeal.

I am only wearing black from now on.

srah | 10:38 AM | TrackBack
Tags: movies, the matrix, the matrix reloaded

May 27, 2003

Le voy a sacar la chucha a mi pololo

srah | 4:26 PM | TrackBack

Passive-aggressive battle tactics, or Dear neighbors, I'm

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srah | 4:26 PM | TrackBack

I think I've been Beatlefied

srah | 4:26 PM | TrackBack

It's just another manic

srah | 4:26 PM | TrackBack

Hopeless Public Television

srah | 4:26 PM | TrackBack

That explains why I could never remember which of

srah | 4:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Ass means

srah | 4:26 PM | TrackBack

Hello from

srah | 4:26 PM | TrackBack

Rough waters ahead

srah | 4:26 PM | TrackBack


srah | 4:26 PM | TrackBack

Identify yourself,

srah | 4:26 PM | TrackBack

Normal last-minute panic

srah | 4:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Please do not invite any retarded

srah | 4:26 PM | TrackBack

To quote

srah | 4:25 PM | TrackBack


This day has been going by disturbingly quickly. I just found myself wondering if it was getting near lunchtime... then realizing that I ate lunch three hours ago.

srah | 3:04 PM | TrackBack
Tags: bentley, work

Imagine radio DJs who knew their music

I was listening to a local oldies station yesterday and the song Imagine was playing. When the song ended, the idiot DJ said something to the effect of, "What a perfect song for this Memorial Day. Imagine, imagine, imagine no... freedom. No freedom. Whoa, heavy. So remember all the men and women who died for your freedom. Because freedom is the most important thing in the world. Go USA."

Okay, maybe not the "Go USA" part, but the rest was pretty much what he said. He took a great song and took a bit out of context, and mangled it to try to make it fit his own agenda. How about "Nothing to kill or die for"? How about "Imagine all the people/ Living life in peace"? Where's that fit into your Memorial Day war spiel?

Also on the topic of radio DJs, do you think there's a special school for NPR DJs? Or do they just get made fun of in Regular DJ School?

srah | 1:28 PM | TrackBack
Tags: holidays, memorial day, music, radio

I'm watching you...

I am a paranoid freakazoid, I know, but every summer I suffer from the impression that everyone in the Sorting Room hates me and talks about me behind my back. Fortunately for me and my being-snuck-up-on complex, they can't do that anymore - literally, anyway. I'm at a different computer this year, so I don't have my back to the room. Now they have to talk about me in front of my back. Which they probably don't do anyway. I have problems.

srah | 11:38 AM | TrackBack
Tags: bentley, work

Feed a cold, feed allergies

It could be a cold. It is a possibility. But I think my eyes are a bit too itchy for a cold.

Anyway, at this point, I would kill for a Cantal-and-butter baguette sandwich. But why must it come to that? Feed me, and save humanity.

srah | 10:49 AM | TrackBack
Tags: food, health


I am allergic to spending weekends with my family. I am allergic to the evil dog. I am allergic to my boyfriend going to Lake Michigan while I go to cemetaries. I am allergic to Movable Type. I am allergic to tissues. I am allergic to myself. I am allergic to you.

I am full of theories. And snot.

srah | 8:40 AM | TrackBack
Tags: allergies, health

May 24, 2003

The move to MT will be even longer and more arduous

...If I have to do it manually. Ho hum. There are a lot of steps here. Maybe it will take me until November.

srah | 1:26 PM | TrackBack

The move to MT will be long and arduous

In case anyone wondered, I have somehow managed to blog 2486 blog-posts since the beginning of time. It will be super-fun to go through all of those and fix dates and things. I half meant that, because I do like to read my own crap quite a bit.

srah | 1:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

I... I went to France, y'know...

I am a bit disappointed all of a sudden because I just realized that I can't remember a single person asking to see my pictures since I've been home. I've foisted them on several people, but I don't remember any requests. No one cares...

srah | 2:58 AM | TrackBack
Tags: assistantship

TechnoSrah, part deux

Well, I was so frustrated at my lack o' skillz (yes, I totally spelled it that way), I went and installed Movable Type in order to prove myself. It took until 2am to get everything configured and I worked through dinner, but I did it. I don't know how I did it, but it's up there now and I may start blogging there soon. I'm not sure yet... my Blogger Pro subscription lasts until October 2003 so it seems like a waste to switch now, but MT is very lovely and tempting. I'll keep you posted.

Muchas muchas gracias to Shireen and Bob and Robin for their help and support during this difficult time.

srah | 2:47 AM | TrackBack

May 23, 2003


testing... testing... 1, 2, 3...

srah | 10:25 PM | TrackBack

NationStates Update

Remember my country, The Empire of Srahnce? Here's the latest (the country has changed quite a bit in its month of existence):

The Empire of Srahnce is a very large, safe nation, remarkable for its barren, inhospitable landscape. Its compassionate population of 163 million enjoy extensive civil freedoms, particularly in social issues, while business tends to be more regulated.

The large government devotes most of its attentions to Education, with areas such as Defence and Commerce receiving almost no funds by comparison. The average income tax rate is 26%, but much higher for the wealthy. A small but healthy private sector is led by the Basket Weaving industry, followed by Uranium Mining and Gambling.

Same-sex marriages are increasingly common, genetic researchers have been expelled, the nation is completely gun-free, and all tarrifs have been abolished. Crime is relatively low. Srahnce's national animal is the llama and its currency is the donut.

srah | 2:48 PM | TrackBack

Ooh ooh, pick me first!

Why do all churches seem to want to be called First X church of X? Is there something better about being the first one? This is frustratingly repetitive to archives employees who have just made it to the Fs.

srah | 2:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

More on today's footwear

Most normal people with sort of scrubby-looking, leaky shoes would get rid of them, rather than thinking to themselves, These are really great shoes! You can't get rid of shoes like this! I just can't wear them when it rains!

Then again, I'm not most people, and I'm certainly not normal.

Unfortunately, I find myself back in Michigan surrounded by people who are relatively normal and who would probably insist that I débarrass myself of them if they knew I was wearing leaky shoes. Relatively normal, or at least pretending to be so. I wouldn't hang out with anyone who was completely normal. That wouldn't be any fun.

So anyway, these are great shoes despite their leakiness, and you will have to pry them off my cold, dead feet to get me to take them off.

srah | 2:02 PM | TrackBack


Dudes, I am hopeless. I tried to put in a Blogroll to update my links and it didn't work at all. Why am I broken? Why don't I know how to do the simplest computer things? Why, when I put it in, did it refuse to be the font-size I told it to be and did it insert random insane characters into all of my other javascript scripts that messed them all up? I think I will have to give up all hope of ever putting this thing on Movable Type because I can't even do this. Help help help...

srah | 1:41 PM | TrackBack
Tags: technology

The Friday Five

1. What brand of toothpaste do you use?
Right now I am finishing off a tube of Aquafresh bought in France because it was the only kind I could find that stood up. Normally in the US I buy Colgate because I like their packaging better than Crest's. They're all the same, anyway.

2. What brand of toilet paper do you prefer?
Whatever my mommy has bought. In France, I bought The Pink Kind That Is On Sale brand toilet paper. I was very loyal to this brand.

3. What brand(s) of shoes do you wear?
I don't have any loyalty to a particular brand. My current trainers are Nikes (prounounced "nykes" because I bought them in France), but I think my last pair were Reebok or Adidas or something. Right now I am wearing a French shoe labeled Buggy. I don't know if that is the make or the model.

4. What brand of soda pop do you drink?
I try to avoid pop if possible, but usually end up drinking Coke when I do drink it. I drink Coke over Pepsi for the same reason I pick Colgate over Crest - I prefer red-and-white to red-white-and-blue.

5. What brand of gum do you chew?
I don't like to chew gum. It makes me feel trashy-looking.

srah | 9:09 AM | TrackBack
Tags: food, friday five, memes

May 22, 2003

Better late than never

I get so proud of myself when I suddenly understand things I didn't understand the first five hundred times. I was just listening to Up the Junction by Squeeze, which starts with the lines "I never thought it would happen/ with me and a girl from Clapham" and only just got the connection... Clapham Junction. I still don't know what Clapham Junction is, besides a London Underground stop, but I am very pleased with myself for having finally made the connection.

Sometimes I have to share these things in my blog because I know no one cares and I don't have enough real-life friends to lose them by telling them stupid things like this.

srah | 2:22 PM | TrackBack
Tags: music

A story to build your vocabulary (you're welcome)

Being a member of the digerati, I often lose track of time. I was embrangled by my borborygmus, but it became pellucid when I looked at my watch and realized I hadn't had breakfast. I hadn't been hungry at the time and had considered it otiose to eat when I wasn't hungry. I got up and went to the kitchen, stubbing my hallux on the doorframe on the way. I found a bottle of iced tea, which I decided would quench my thirst, if not my hunger. After drinking it, I didn't know what to do with the cullet. Garbology told me I should throw it away, but something told me I should recycle it instead. Frustrated by these antipodes, I decided to defenestrate it instead.

[thanks to Cheryl for sending me the link and giving me something useless to do over my lunch hour]

srah | 1:07 PM | TrackBack

I sound high but I'm not

Dude. Why do we keep pets?

It occurred to me this morning that most people would squish a spider if they found it in their house, or at least put it outside. But lots of people keep animals on purpose, feeding them and medicating them and all. If you really think about it, it seems ridiculous that we try to keep some animals out of the house, considering them pests and keep others in, considering them members of the family. I was so annoyed by this that I spent all morning trying to squish Howie.

srah | 12:56 PM | TrackBack

Down with pants

Alex and I saw Down With Love last night. As a big fan of Tony Randall movies Doris Day and Rock Hudson movies, I was rather excited about it and rather disappointed. I found it fluffily entertaining but confused, disjointed, overcomplicated and long. It felt like it wasn't sure whether it wanted to be a Doris Day/Rock Hudson movie or a parody thereof. I would recommend it on video, but it's not particularly worth seeing on the big screen, except maybe for David Hyde Pierce, who was excellent as Tony Randall the hero's neurotic boss and friend. He made me giggle.

srah | 12:54 PM | TrackBack
Tags: down with love, movies

A Rubenful of coleslaw

So. American Idol's over.

I called it.

That is all I have to say about that.

srah | 12:44 PM | TrackBack
Tags: american idol, american idol 2, tv

What I learned on a trip to the mall

When they closed the United Artists cinema at the mall, I was not terribly upset because it was kind of skanky and I never went there anyway. It did, however, seem like a waste to have a big movie theatre there and nothing playing. I decided that if I suddenly became rich, I would buy the theatre and show old, foreign, and art-house movies there (with free parking!).

At some point while I was gone, someone did just that, freeing me up from investing in the potentially risky scheme of putting an art-house cinema in a place frequented by brainless 15-year-olds. It plays harder-to-find things, but some of the mainstream films as well. Alex and I are going to see the Chilean film Te Amo (Made in Chile) tonight, and L'Auberge espagnole comes out next week, so I will be moving in there then. I am happy to discover that someone has made Ann Arbor suck just a little bit less.

srah | 12:43 PM | TrackBack
Tags: ann arbor, l'auberge espagnole, movies

May 21, 2003

As if I haven't quoted enough songs lately

I hadn't missed speaking French as much as I thought I would. I hadn't had a nervous breakdown and taken to wearing a tinfoil hat and muttering to myself in the corner. Then I listened to La pêche à la ligne on my headphones.

... C'est à peine l'aurore/ Et je tombe du plume/ Mon amour dort encore/ Du sommeil de l'enclume/ Je la laisse à ses rêves/ Où je n' suis sûrement pas/ Marlon Brando l'enlève,/ Qu'est c' que je foutrais là ?/ Sur un cheval sauvage,/ Ils s'en vont ridicules/ Dehors y a un orage,/ Y sont mouillés c'est nul !...

I love that part. I wanted to play it for all of my friends here at home. 'Isn't it funny?' I would say to them, 'Listen to the lyrics. Can't you see it? Isn't that funny to imagine?' But no. It's not. Because no one I know knows Renaud, which is what makes him and the wild horse and the big romantic scene so funny. And even if they did know Renaud, they don't speak French so they can't understand the lyrics in the first place.

Vous me manquez...

srah | 4:00 PM | TrackBack
Tags: assistantship, french, music

Maybe it's a circus bear

The evil institution that will have me in its clutches next year is making me jump through hoops to prove that they can't charge me out-of-state tuition. I have lived in Michigan all my life, folks, except for spending a few months in France twice. You can't charge me out-of-state tuition. I would qualify for in-city tuition if such a thing existed, you jerks. Now I have to fill out papers and tell the university everywhere I've studied, everywhere I've worked, and every single place my parents and I have lived since 1948.

srah | 11:22 AM | TrackBack
Tags: university of michigan

Young man, are you listening to me?

My new phrase is going to be "that's so jive". We really don't hear this phrase enough.

srah | 9:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Tags: music

I must exorciiiiiiiiiiiiise the demons

Money talks
but it don't sing and dance and it don't walk.
And long as I can have you here with me
I'd much rather be
forever in blue jeans.

Honey's sweet.
But it ain't nothing next to baby's treat.
And if you pardon me
I'd like to say we'll do okay
forever in blue jeans.

I am in such pain. I've had this song in my head sans cesse for at least five days now, I think. I hope that by inflicting it on you and listening to something else, I can get it out. Pray for me.

srah | 8:45 AM | TrackBack
Tags: music, neil diamond

May 20, 2003

Little girl lost

People kept having to re-explain things to me today, over and over again. I felt like I didn't understand anything. To be precise, I felt almost exactly like this:

King: GUARDS!!! (two guards come in) Make sure the prince doesn't leave this room until I come and get 'im. (starts to go)
Guard 1: (repeating) Not to leave the room, even if you come and get 'im.
Guard 2: *Hic*
King: Nono.... *Until* I come and get him.
Guard 1: Until you come and get him, we're not to enter the room.
King: (stops) Nono, no... You *stay* in the room, and make sure *he* doesn't leave.
Guard 1: And you'll come and get him.
Guard 2: *Hic*
King: Right.
Guard 1: We don't need to do anything, apart from just stop him, entering the room.
King: Nono. *Leaving* the room.
Guard 1: Leaving the room, yes.
King: All right?
Guard 1: 'Right.
King: Right. (goes out the door)
Guard 1: Oh! If if if uhhhh.... if if uhhhhh.... If if if we......
King: (coming back in) Yes, what is it?
Guard 1: Oh. I-if....... Oh....
King: Look, it's quite simple.
Guard 1: Uh.....
King: You just stay here, and make sure 'e doesn't leave the room. All right?
Guard 2: *hic*
Guard 1: Oh, I remember! Uhhhh, can he leave the room with us?
King: No...nono, no. You just keep him in 'ere, and make sure...
Guard 1: Oh yes, we'll keep him in here, obviously, but if he *had* to leave, and we *were* with him...
King: nononono just KEEP HIM IN HERE
Guard 1: ...Until you or anyone else...
King: No, not anyone else, just me...
Guard 1: ...Just you...
Guard 2: *hic*
King: Get back.
Guard 1: Get back.
King: All right?
Guard 1: Right, we'll stay here until you get back.
Guard 2: *hic*
King: (pause) And, uh... make sure 'e doesn't leave.
Guard 1: What?
King: (pause) Make sure 'e doesn't leave!
Guard 1: The prince??????
Guard 2: *hic*
Guard 1: Oh, yes, of course!! I thought you meant him! (motions towards the second guard) You know, it seemed a bit daft me having to guard him when 'e's a guard...
King: (pause) Is that clear?
Guard 1: Oh, quite clear, no problems!
Guard 2: *hic*
King: Right. (starts to leave. The guards follow him) Where are *you* going?
Guard 1: We're coming with you!
King: Nono, I want you to *stay* here and MAKE SURE 'E DOESN'T LEAVE!
Guard 1: Oh, I see, right!

I never really felt pity for that guy before.

srah | 5:51 PM | TrackBack
Tags: quote, work

Grandmah srah

For a moment, I thought I had forgotten how to spell Alzheimer's. Then I realized I had never really known for sure. Is it better to be ignorant than senile? I'm not so sure.

srah | 4:25 PM | TrackBack

Hey short girl

Who has the responsibility of introducing me to the members of the staff I don't know at Tea? Is it my ultimate boss, my project supervisor, my sub-project supervisor, or my mommy? Probably none of the above. It's probably me.

Unfortunately, I can't bring myself to do it, because I feel they should know and fear me already, from the tales and lore shared with them by the others. I consider them new staff and me old staff. I am a mutant: the five-year returning temporary summer employee.

And this happens every summer.

srah | 3:46 PM | TrackBack
Tags: work

De nouveau à la bibliothèque

Very confused. Many projects. Little sleep over the weekend. Very little archival knowledge osmosed (is that a verb?) during the last five years I have worked here, but no one seems to realize that I was just photocopying and reorganizing the supply cabinet and don't actually know anything about archives. All will be fine once I am settled in. I hope.

srah | 11:11 AM | TrackBack
Tags: work

May 19, 2003

That famous movie, Mr Neil Diamond goes to the Decoy Museum

Our return trip was rather uneventful, marked by some creative and dirty Mad Libs (the title of this post is one of the cleaner things that came out of it) and a profound lack of visits to llama farms. We did go through the Skyline Drive and see some lovely scenery, reminiscent of the Auvergne to those of us who had been there.

srah | 11:55 PM | TrackBack
Tags: mad libs, neil diamond, road trip, travel

May 18, 2003

Travels in Fauquier County

On the way back from New York, Bob, Cheryl, Robin and I went wine-tasting in Virginia. First, we went to Chrysalis Vineyards, where we had a little dribble of eight wines, including the rather delicious Viognier. I skipped and smiled and sang and danced and twirled and giggled to the car, and we drove to Piedmont Vineyards, passing an ostrich farm on the way. At Piedmont, we tried another six or so wines, and by the end it became evident that 100-pound Sarah had not eaten lunch. Luckily Robin was just as pompette joyeuse as I was, so we whispered-very-loudly to each other and everything was enormously funny.

srah | 10:50 PM | TrackBack
Tags: alcohol, road trip, travel, virginia, wine

May 17, 2003

'Young, black and restless, with money in my anus'

We're staying with Robin's aunt and uncle in Irvington, New York, home of Mme. C.J. Walker, the first Black woman millionaire, according to Robin. Aunt Sue made us a big breakfast, then we took off for New York City by train. We met up with Cheryl's old roommate, Julie, at Grand Central Station and took off for our first stop, the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is cool because you can pay as much as you want to get in, and the roof has a nice view of the city. We saw a lot of nice art (including the temporary exhibit on Manet and Velázquez) and, trying to find the exit, got lost approximately one hillion jillion times. But exit we must (had to?) because the day was young and museum-going is tiring to the feet. So we took our feet down the street (that rhymes) to Central Park, where we sat for a while, eating hot dogs and taking in the scenery (people and otherwise).

After Central Park, we went to see the Brooklyn Bridge. First, though, we had to use the bathroom, and chose for this purpose the Busiest Starbucks Bathroom In The Entire World. Luckily while waiting in line and speculating about what the people in the bathroom could be doing to take up so much time (snorting crack, having sex, being dead), we did get to spot a bit of filming going on outside the window. Unfortunately, they seemed to be filming in the other direction, so I will not be a star again. After we relieved ourselves, we got in touch with Robin's cousin Tom, who came into the city to meet up with us. The six of us ventured onto the bridge, but did not make it too far, as everyone had managed to pair up in such a way as to stick the two gephyrophobes together. Robin and I walked on the strongest beams and tried not to look down, and very much enjoyed looking at the bridge from afar.

After the bridge was safely out of sight, we went to Battery Park, to look at the Statue of Liberty. That was the original idea, but there were plenty of other things to look at, what with all the FREAKY BEEPING STREET PERFORMERS (sorry... you may know my great love for human statuary). In addition to these horrid things, there were many entertaining things to see, like bagpipers, people dressed as Italian peasants dancing around, and Denis Leary. We sat around for a good hour and a half, just people-watching and people-mocking. A good time was had by all.

After we realized we had been sitting in the park for hours and missing out on more sight-seeing, we hopped off to Chinatown to pick up a quick case of SARS, wandered into Little Italy, then went to dinner at the Mexican restaurant near Julie's apartment in Harlem. The bathroom was full of mirrors, which scared and confused everyone who entered and tempted the others to go just to see. Luckily only Bob actually ran into the wall. The food was so-so, but the atmosphere and company were good. After dinner, we visited Julie's apartment, drank margaritas, and I played a tipsy game of Euchre and lost very quickly. We made our way through the streets of Harlem with two guys threatening to get in a fight on the sidewalk right next to us, and made it safely to the subway, which was full of the drunken New York youths from whom the title of this post is quoted. I don't get it either. Ouch.

We took the train until Yonkers ("Yonkers?!"), which is where Tom lives, then he drove us back to Irvington, where we curled up into bed straight away, exhausted after our Adventures In The Big City.

srah | 8:59 PM | TrackBack
Tags: new york city, road trip, travel


I dreamt I was out in a snowstorm, looking for my glasses. I found two other pairs of glasses on a snowbank and I didn't know if I should take them with me or let them be buried. It occurred to me that maybe the owners knew exactly where they had left their glasses and would miss them if I took them with me. It didn't occur to me that if I left them there, they would quickly be buried and never found again. Philippe was there, skiing away. He always seems to show up in my dreams that take place in the snow.

Next, I was watching a video about a famous Chilean skiier nicknamed "Hot Dog", who had freakishly enormous forearm muscles. The video talked about how he had somehow mislearned how to move his arms when he was little, which made his muscles have to work a lot harder and grow to enormous size. The weird thing was that every time the video showed muscles and should have been talking about muscles, the word "muscle" was replaced by "hot dog".

srah | 9:10 AM | TrackBack
Tags: dream

May 16, 2003

...And an outbreak of the French disease

John Adams: Wake up, Franklin, you're going to New Brunswick!
Benjamin Franklin: (Half asleep) Like hell I am. What for?
Stephen Hopkins: The whoring and the drinking!
(Franklin gets up and walks off)

I felt I had to share with you the bit of dialogue that started running through my head as soon as I realized that Harini now lives and studies in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and that New Brunswick is that New Brunswick.

Robin, Cheryl and I drove down to Fairfax, Virginia last night and spent the night at Bob's, then the four of us set off this morning across the lovely state of New Jersey to visit Harini and check out her new digs. We went out to lunch at a place called Stuff Yer Face. The spelling offended Harini, but I was just glad it wasn't You're. Through the window of the restaurant, we got to see, taking place in the street, our First Ever Real Life Fist Fight Between Grown-Up People. I haven't seen a fight since middle school. Viva NJ.

srah | 11:01 PM | TrackBack
Tags: 1776, road trip, travel

Cars on the New Jersey turnpike: more than nine

It's hard to count when they keep moving and I can't tell who I've already counted. Yes, we have set off to look for America. And despite the fact that we were there yesterday, Michigan seems like a dream to us now.

srah | 12:56 PM | TrackBack
Tags: michigan, music, road trip, simon and garfunkel, travel

May 15, 2003

Quiero mas hispanophones

I guess I was mentally prepared from last time for people not to understand me in French. My problem now is that no one understands me in French or in Spanish. It's frustrating when I say "Quiero una zanahoria" and Cheryl doesn't understand that I want a carrot. I am a mutant to come back from France speaking Spanish, but everyone in Vichy spoke some Spanish or could be taught.

srah | 4:25 PM | TrackBack
Tags: assistantship, language, spanish

Dirty old man

My friends and I are such nerds that not only did we not eject Cheryl's dad's Neil Diamond 3-CD set, but we listened, sang along, and totally got into it.

In other news, I only brought two pairs of pants on this trip, so I will be Forever in Blue Jeans.

srah | 4:25 PM | TrackBack
Tags: music, neil diamond

It's worth a shot

Have you noticed how boring srah has gotten since she returned home? This is because it takes so long to boot up the computer, dial in to the Internet, wait for Blogger to load and then worry about learning how to type things in English. Please leave blahblahs to try to convince srah's parents that their Human-Computer-Interaction-student daughter needs DSL. I don't think they'll be impressed, but hey.

srah | 12:30 PM | TrackBack
Tags: technology

Blogging from the Big Apple

I will be bringing my blog-log notebook along with me this weekend, as I go on a Road Trip (it has to be capitalized, doesn't it? I wouldn't know - I've never been on one) with Cheryl and Robin to Virginia and New York City. I, at the age of almost 22.75, have never been to NYC, much to the chagrin of many of my students, who couldn't care less about Michigan and wanted to hear stories about some place they'd heard of.

I'm sure I will come back full of stories of culture shock and interesting things seen. If you are reading this from NYC, be nice to the slack-jawed yokel with the camera, for she be me.

srah | 12:18 PM | TrackBack
Tags: new york city, road trip, travel, virginia

srah finally catches ten minutes of American Idol

I don't quite see why my sister is obsessed with Clay because to me, he looks like the love child of David Bowie and Fraulein Maria. I have decided that Ruben is going to win, based on the following careful observation: in American Idol I, the guy with Sideshow Bob hair was the runner-up, so this time the runner-up will be the guy with Sideshow Bob feet.

srah | 9:23 AM | TrackBack
Tags: american idol, american idol 2, clay aiken, tv

Makes srahs happy:

Email from students. It's nice to know they haven't forgotten me already.

srah | 9:13 AM | TrackBack
Tags: assistantship

Bruce's pyjamas have penguins on them

My monkey-butler, Bruce, has been kept busy bringing me chocolate to help me deal with the fact that Jez, but not myself, is listed for the search request huge foam-rubber Moai head. Where have I gone? Is there no justice in this world? In other huge foam-rubber Moai head news, Katie has discovered that huge foam-rubber Moai heads can be used as sex toys.

srah | 1:37 AM | TrackBack
Tags: huge foam rubber moai head

May 13, 2003

Be glad you only know me online

Robin and I went out for bagels for lunch today. I wanted to try the garlic-dill cream cheese, so I asked for it on an onion bagel. Unfortunately, they were out of onion bagels, but the bagel lady suggested a garlic bagel. So I had garlic-dill cream cheese on a garlic bagel. Garlic-dill cream cheese on a garlic bagel. I have been mocked and avoided all day, but it really is quite atrocious.

It is so noxious that I can smell my own breath. It isn't just my breath, though. I seem to be exuding garlic odor from my pores as well. Run away! I reek and I haven't brushed my hair in several days.

srah | 12:10 AM | TrackBack
Tags: food

May 11, 2003

Shall we take the speeder or the broomstick, dear?

Why is it, in movies, that if there are only two gay characters, they will almost always end up together? I know movies like to tie everything up and make everyone happy at the end, but sometimes it's just stupid. In Sweet Home Alabama there are significant gazes at the end between the sweet Southern Ethan Embry character and the rather scary fashion-designer Gay Best Friend From New York, when they clearly have nothing in common except for being gay. Heterosexual characters are never matched up just for being heterosexual - we would find it odd if Professor McGonagall ended up with Anakin Skywalker.

Very odd, in fact. I'm sorry I couldn't come up with two characters from the same movie...

srah | 6:03 PM | TrackBack
Tags: glbt, movies, sweet home alabama


I dreamt last night that Robin and I were lurking around John Hannah's country home, trying to find things that belonged to him to quickly steal as souvenirs before he got home and caught us.

srah | 10:29 AM | TrackBack
Tags: dream, john hannah, robin

Radio waves

NPR just reported that six monkeys given access to a computer for one month did not produce the works of Shakespeare. What did they expect? It is supposed to be infinite monkeys, infinite computers, and an infinite period of time. You're not going to get anything out of six monkeys in a month, and there aren't even enough computers to go around. This was a stupid, pointless experiment and more importantly, a huge waste of monkeys' valuable time.

I also heard a radio ad earlier in the week for an anti-depressive drug with anorexia as a possible side effect. Do you really want to cure one mental illness with another?

srah | 10:17 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Tags: discovered

Ann Arbor, cultural mecca

"You can't find herbes de Provence in the US," said an unidentified person named Renata who shall not be named, "and if you do, they're super-expensive."

I just want to make the observation that not only did I find reasonably-priced herbes de Provence in every grocery store I went to today, but I have also managed to locate Salers, Fourme d'ambert, Bleu d'Auvergne, St-Nectaire, and Tomme. Strangely enough, no Cantal so far, but Salers is close enough for now.

Boo-yeah. Thank you, Ann Arbor, for being a weirdy-beardy hippie-town full of people who eat things like imported cheeses and organic alfalfa.

srah | 2:06 AM | TrackBack
Tags: ann arbor, cheese, food

An opportunity for my personal hygiene habits to take a plunge

Because I am a Big Nerd, I have taken great joy in telling people that I didn't brush my hair today.

I got my hair cut yesterday, and the haircutting lady told me that it was so low-maintenance, I wouldn't even need to brush it - I could just finger-comb it and go. So I decided to test this out this morning, and my hair is just fine. And I can tell people I didn't brush my hair, because that makes me sound Really Cool.

srah | 1:39 AM | TrackBack
Tags: haircut

May 10, 2003

I find your lack of nervous breakdown disappointing

Five days back in the United States and I'm still not wearing a tinfoil hat. Frankly, I'm disappointed in my adaptability.

srah | 11:28 AM | TrackBack
Tags: assistantship

May 9, 2003

The Friday Five

Somehow appropriate...

1. Would you consider yourself an organized person? Why or why not?
I am obsessively organized in some respects, but mostly a complete slob.

2. Do you keep some type of planner, organizer, calendar, etc. with you, and do you use it regularly?
During the school year I often do, because I have to keep track of assignments, so I actually use it for other things too. During the summer and during the past year, I never had any idea what was coming up.

3. Would you say that your desk is organized right now?
For once, yes. But that's because my family had to clear it off to paint my room.

4. Do you alphabetize CDs, books, and DVDs, or does it not matter?
That is about the only respect in which I am organized. My room can be a complete pig-sty, but all of my books and CDs will be in order. Thus is the room of the library-working child of archivists.

5. What's the hardest thing you've ever had to organize?
My room is always a challenge. I tend to save things, thinking I'll need them later, and only throw them away when I realize I haven't needed them in the ten years since I first saved them.

srah | 11:11 AM | TrackBack
Tags: friday five, memes

May 7, 2003

Hellooooo nurse!

I am happy to be home with my family, boyfriend, and computer. In any order in which you prefer to read them.

srah | 8:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Tags: assistantship

The one... the only...

Katie has confirmed it... I am finally the one and only result for this search request.

I'm so proud.

srah | 4:25 PM | TrackBack
Tags: huge foam rubber moai head

May 6, 2003


A year ago, I did the band meme. So I will do it again today, but in French. This year's victim is, of course, Renaud.

1. Are you male or female?
"Femmes du monde ou bien putains/ qui, bien souvent, êtes les mêmes/ Femmes normales, stars ou boudins/ femelles en tout genre, je vous aime" (Miss Maggie)

2. Describe yourself:
"Moi j'étais rien-du-toutiste." (Socialiste)

3. How do they feel about you?
"Arrache toi d' là t'es pas d' ma bande/ Casse toi tu pues/ Et marche à l'ombre" (Marche à l'ombre)

4. How do you feel about yourself?
"J' peux pas dire qu'elle était vulgaire/ Ou arrogante/ L'était même plutôt au contraire/ Elégante" (Socialiste)

5. Describe your girlfriend/boyfriend:
"I love you because I do" (It is not because you are)
"Mon copain tu m' tiens chaud" (Chanson pour Pierrot)

6. What would you rather be doing?
"J' suis assis sur un banc/ Et je regarde les contemporains" (Cent ans)

7. Describe where you live.
"de l'autre côté de la terre" (Manhattan Kaboul)

8. Describe how you love.
"My loving, my marshmallow/ You are belle and I are beau/ You give me all what you have/ I say thank you, you are bien brave." (It is not because you are)

9. Share a few words of wisdom.
"Les dieux, les religions/ Les guerres de civilisation/ Les armes, les drapeaux, les patries, les nations/ Font toujours de nous de la chair à canon" (Manhattan Kaboul)
"Buvons un verre, allons pêcher/ Pas une guerre ne pourra durer/ Lorsque la bière et l'amitié/ Et la musique nous ferons chanter" (La ballade nord-irlandaise)
"Mais si t'es mon pote, tu m' laisses tricher au Scrabble" (Si t'es mon pote)

srah | 8:55 AM | TrackBack
Tags: french, in french, lyrics, memes, music, renaud

Qh1111 The reqdjust;ent1

I can4t type any;ore on these stupid Q;erican keyboqrds.

srah | 8:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Tags: assistantship

May 5, 2003

Far be it for me to comment on others' foreign language skills

"I hope you enjoyed this flight due to the inconveniences we had at the beginning."
- our captain

srah | 6:02 PM | TrackBack
Tags: travel

Pop idle

There is a series of vidéo clips showing on the plane. Jennifer Love Hewitt should not act, let alone sing, and looks disturbingly like Gene Simmons.

What kind of horrible pop music have I missed in the last seven months? How has America changed in my absence?

srah | 5:57 PM | TrackBack
Tags: assistantship, music

Richard Gere in underwear causes airsickness

Our in-flight movies were Chicago and Maid in Manhattan, both of which I had already seen and neither of which I had particularly liked. Unfortunately I finished my book about two hours into the 8+ hour flight, so I was forced to watch. If you are interested, Maid in Manhattan was better in French.

srah | 5:53 PM | TrackBack
Tags: assistantship, chicago, maid in manhattan, movies

Du calme, s'il vous plaît

I wish I'd gotten more sleep last night. At this point, I feel like if my fellow passengers don't stop chattering at each other in German and giggling with the flight attendants, who are blocking the way to the toilet with their duty-free carts, I will go insane and start screaming. It's a good thing I don't have a nail file or some other dangerous weapon.

srah | 1:21 PM | TrackBack
Tags: travel

No hablo inglés

I'm going to continue saying "pardon" when I bump into people. I'm just going to say it for the rest of my life and you can't stop me.

We are somewhere over Iceland and I don't know what time to write for this post. Is it 1:12pm? Is it 7:12pm? Is it whatever it would be in Iceland time?

srah | 1:12 PM | TrackBack
Tags: french, travel

Free German food is better than no free food at all...?

It suddenly occurs to me that while I took advanced math classes until 8th grade, repeated Algebra instead of taking Geometry at the high school, and began the slippery slope to math-hatred, I could have done the same with French.

In 9th gradem I had the choice between French 2 and French 2AC (accelerated). Having no self-confidence, I signed up for French 2 and got bored and frustrated with the French level of my classmates. Thankfully I had friends in 2AC who persuaded me to move up. If I had stayed in French 2, I imagine I would have gotten bored and quit and I wouldn't be where I am today.

Of course, Where I Am Today is trapped in the Frankfurt-Main departures lounge, eating a sausage-and-cheese sandwich on dry bread. So maybe that wouldn't be a bad thing.

srah | 9:20 AM | TrackBack
Tags: french, travel

The word is trouvé

Renata, a correspondance is called a connection or a connecting flight in English. Someday we will master English again.

srah | 7:05 AM | TrackBack
Tags: english, french, translation

Delicate mental state

I was going to cry before we left Paris, but I decided I was too bored to cry. Now, after crossing the Frankfurt airport, which is full of Germans who didn't understand when I spoke French to them, I think it's time for the blubbering to commence.

srah | 6:59 AM | TrackBack
Tags: assistantship, travel

Meanwhile, back at the ranch

When I tell people that I'm going to grad school at U-M, they have a tendancy to say "Oh, so you can live at home! Oh... so you'll have to live at home..." as if living at home will be miserable or upsetting. I lived at home during my undergrad summers and had no problem, and when people react in this way, I tend to say that my family's not bad to live with.

But now, 1.5 hours away from landing, it occurs to me that they may have been making those "Well... good luck..." faces not because it will be difficult for me to live with my family, but because it will be hard for them to live with me. After seven months as a lone wolf, I will have to be trained back into society. Please be patient with me.

srah | 5:45 AM | TrackBack
Tags: assistantship, school of information, srahfam, university of michigan

May 4, 2003

'We're from Vichy and we like to poop'

"Why did you miss your train, srah?"
"Jenny locked me in our hotel room."

Thankfully this scenario was only imagined, but... The door of our hotel has three locks, none of which really work from the inside. But after the receptionist hit on her, Jenny was concerned about being Raped By The Man and tried to lock him out. Which was all very well and good, except that she couldn't get it back open. We had visions of trying to break the key off the rings and slide it under/over the door so Renata could rescue us, but after 5 minutes, Jenny finally got it to spring free. Hooray.

srah | 11:25 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Tags: assistantship

Travel woes

How on Earth am I going to get all the way home? Why on Earth do I have so much luggage? At least Renata, Jennifer and I are all leaving from Paris on Monday so we're making the impossible voyage together.

srah | 8:20 AM | TrackBack
Tags: assistantship, travel

'Tis the season

I feel the need to point out that today, May 4, 2003, I heard the song Last Christmas on Cherie FM-Vichy.

srah | 3:07 AM | TrackBack
Tags: assistantship

May 2, 2003

Boba Fett in Vichy

Just when you thought Vichy couldn't get any stranger, along comes the Cusset Star Wars Convention complete with special guest Boba Fett. It's a shame it's coming at a time when I have so much to do, because I would have gone just to experience the weirdness and to say hi to Boba.

srah | 3:00 PM | TrackBack
Tags: assistantship, star wars, vichy

And I have pictures

This weekend I have worn a turban and a flowered crown. I have been granted a diploma for weirdness. I have witnessed the birth of Shakiro, the Colombian thong-wearing street performer. I have helped to hold down a cat so that it could be given a mohawk haircut. I have learned how to say "take off your pants" in Italian. Just a normal weekend in Aurillac, quoi.

srah | 1:14 AM | TrackBack
Tags: assistantship

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