July 2003 archive

(82 entries)

July 31, 2003

Happy birthday, J.K. and Harry!

Rowling is our Queen,
Rowling is our Queen,
She's raking all the shillings in*,
Rowling is our Queen...

Rowling will write everything,
She won't leave out a single thing,
That's why all her readers sing:
Rowling is our Queen.

* yes, I am aware that shillings don't exist anymore, but pounds didn't fit and dollars seemed inappropriate. not that shillings isn't. shut up.

srah | 11:39 AM | TrackBack
Tags: books, harry potter, j.k. rowling

Guest blog-entry by another personality in my head

i am sooooooooo excited to see gigli, peeps. it's this one new movie with my boy ben afleck and j-lo she's so pretty, even if this one girl srah says her posture makes her look like donald duck. what is she talkin about ne-way? she dosnt no shizzle about my girl jennifer lopez and how shes from the block but shes still keepin it reel, ya know? like she only has five butlers just like she did back in the day. newayz, aparently this movie is really really a chance for benben and jenny to show there acting skillz. j-lo plays a lesbian but she isnt one in real life, so that has to be hard. and she has to sound like shes from new york city when shes really from the bronx so i bet she had to have some training. but my girl did all that work and i think its really going to pay of. and b diddy hes so hottt and you can tell he really luvs jenny bcuz i herd he gave her a dimond the size of her hed. i dont no about in the movie thou. but i do no im going 2 b 1st in line for tix on friday!

but dont take my word for it, read these reveews. they compare it to glitter, with my girl mariah, so i no its gonna b good!

p.s.: heres another story about the movie. it sounds reely good!

srah | 10:39 AM | TrackBack
Tags: movies

July 30, 2003

Château de cons

This week on The Real World...

I like Ace a lot better since the idiots decided to barricade themselves in their château and refuse all contact with the natives. He is quite snuggly - at least according to Christina, his room- (and apparently sometimes bed-) mate.

His snugglitude was enough to save him when he ate all of Christina (Mme Food Coveter)'s eggs. These people, despite being 7 in a house, are apparently too stupid to have communal groceries. I want to hit them. Christina went off on CT, thinking it was he who had eaten the eggs. Then when Ace confessed, she said he was too snuggly for her to be mad at him. Plus, adds srah, he always looks like he's going to cry. The Real World website says, "Looks like Christina is serving up a scoop of double standard."

Alas, the snugglitude was not enough to save Ace from her wrath after he and CT got drunk and noisily played pool while the others were trying to sleep. CT got drunkenly belligerent and gave the housemates more material for talking about him behind his back. He only ever deserves about half of the abuse they give him, but this group is really good at being snarky and has chosen him as their communal victim. I want to hit them.

Next week's episode looks to be a big fat pile of same ol', same ol', as they continue all of the stupid fights they were having this week and manage to accomplish nothing and never ever move on. I want to hit them.

srah | 11:44 PM | TrackBack
Tags: the real world: paris, tv

July 29, 2003

Nous serons des reines! Fichues reines d'âne d'enfer!

I've installed a wee translation thingy in the right column. Do you think it's really worth it when it comes out with things like:

The walk of Ye' ll the board, the scurvy of ye continues!

For anniversary S to celebrate Becky ', we went to re-examine pirates of the Caribbean. By observing all the appropriations love a true member of my family, I found my to call: pirate the trainer of dialect. Not a trainer of dialect for pirates in films, naturally, nor the trainer of dialect for the pirates of Pittsburgh. I will sail the seven seas, teacher of the pirates of beginner to the more authentic noise.

srah | 5:09 PM | TrackBack
Tags: language

Ye'll walk the plank, ye scurvy dogs!

To celebrate Becky's birthday, we went to see Pirates of the Caribbean again. Watching all of the credits like a true member of my family, I found my calling: pirate dialect coach. Not a dialect coach for pirates in movies, of course, nor dialect coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates. I'll sail the seven seas, teaching novice pirates to sound more authentic.

In other news, I decided I was tired because I was dehydrated, so I've been drinking vast (avast!) amounts of water today. It hasn't helped so far, so I've decided that since I can't remember the last time I had anything citrus-related, I have scurvy instead. Much more pirate-appropriate, anyway.

srah | 12:07 PM | TrackBack
Tags: health, job search, movies, pirates of the caribbean, pirates of the caribbean: the curse of the black pearl

Deck the halls

Let the bells peal. It's the day after my sisters birthday, and as such 'tis the beginning of the holiday season. Yes, srah's birthday is nearly upon us, and the people will cry out with shouts of joy to recognize the momentus event. Let the countdown begin at 28 days.

srah | 11:58 AM | TrackBack
Tags: birthday, holidays

Shorty doo-wop

Erica says, of people she knows online, "I think most people are shorter than I think they are." Which makes me wonder... how tall do you think I am?

(No helping from those who have seen me in real life... I would like an objective opinion)

I also find that people, looking at me, think that I am younger than I am, but that people who know me online (at least in the John Hannah milieu) think that I'm older than I am. I suppose I exude a sense of maturity *snort*.

srah | 8:53 AM | TrackBack
Tags: srah

July 28, 2003

We'll be queens! Damn hell ass queens!

With Cheryl's going-away party over, The Gang needed a new project. So our latest endeavour is finding royalty to marry. It's a very difficult process, because you have to find people who fit several criteria: being reasonably close to our own age, not frightening to look at, and high enough on the line of succession that we won't have so many people to kill off that it will look suspicious.

As queens, we will bring new blood and good-old American gumption to the royal houses of Europe. We will do good works. We will arrange matches between our children. We will hook people we know up with peerages and cushy government jobs. We will rule with iron fists and crush our foes!

And will there be monkey-butlers? You bet there will!

srah | 12:20 PM | TrackBack
Tags: boys, marriage, royalty

Blog-ethics... blethics?

Is it wrong to go back and change things in your blog because you found a funnier way of putting something?

(Note: This is a rhetorical question. I don't actually care if it is or isn't right.)

srah | 12:01 PM | TrackBack

Learning is fun!

To be added to srah's list of favorite French words: dédaigneusement.

srah | 10:19 AM | TrackBack
Tags: french

It was a dark and stormy night

This year's Bulwer-Lytton Contest (for the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels) results are online, including:

"When the time came for Timothy to fly the nest, he felt the best years of his life were ahead of him, if only because he had spent the childhood ones living in a nest."
- Sian Arthur - London, England

srah | 9:02 AM | TrackBack
Tags: discovered

Glamorous animations

I've been doing a bit of shopping-around for a laptop recently, but I don't know exactly what I want. However, thanks to my computer-advisor, who we will call Robert*, I have found something that looks like it will fit my needs.

* Real name: Bob

srah | 8:03 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Tags: technology

You may include 'talented lyricist' in my long list of accomplishments

Happy birthday to Alfie,
Eat lots of alfalfy,
Watch the Duchess of Malfi,
Happy birthday to Alfie!

srah | 1:10 AM | TrackBack
Tags: alfie, birthday

July 27, 2003

Unconscious Mutterings

Shan't spoil it for the rest of you.

srah | 10:51 AM | TrackBack
Tags: memes, unconscious mutterings

A pirate must indulge a little pardonable swagger

I saw my pirate movie last night. Sigh...

It was lovely. There are movies that make me laugh, but my face returns to a neutral movie-watching face after that. This is one of the few that makes me grin. Tho' I'm sure Legolas had something to do with that. Mmmmm.

Pirates are wonderful. If I can be very nerdy for a moment, I think I like them because they have such interesting language. They have muddled, strange accents from being on boats with a mix of people, and they have a vocabulary all their own. I am so going to start saying things like, "I can't bring this ship into Tortuga all by me onesies, savvy?" Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow reminded me a bit of Ozzy Osbourne, if Ozzy were a pirate. According to IMDb, he based the character on Keith Richards.

You couldn't make a movie with the dastardly pirates fighting with the heroic navy. It wouldn't work, because they audience will always side with the pirates. As bad as real-life pirates were, literary/cinematic pirates are lovable, if only because they're usually not very good at piracy. I even liked the bad pirates.

I have found a career path after all. Two years at the School of Information, then it's the pirate's life for me.

srah | 10:37 AM | TrackBack
Tags: gilbert and sullivan, movies, pirates, pirates of the caribbean, pirates of the caribbean: the curse of the black pearl, the pirates of penzance

I've got a fever! And the only prescription.. is more cowbell!

Spent last night alternating between downloading mp3s being a good, upstanding moral citizen of these here United States and running to the other room to watch Saturday Night Live's Best of Will Ferrell episode. The highlights were James Lipton's invention of the word scrumtralescent and Dissing Your Dog, which is exactly the same dog-training strategy I've been employing for years.

srah | 10:13 AM | TrackBack
Tags: saturday night live, tv

July 26, 2003

'One more lesson like that and I might just do a Weasley.'

I did wonder about a few of these lines while reading Order of the Phoenix, but I certainly didn't catch all of them:

Order of the Phoenix Fun-Tastic Innuendo List

[via Somewhat, Muchly]

srah | 1:20 AM | TrackBack
Tags: books, harry potter, harry potter and the order of the phoenix

July 25, 2003

Serious linguistic discussion between serious linguists

Jez and I were IMing about important and useful phrases to learn before travelling abroad. We came up with the following. Don't say I never taught you anything.

Felmelegítené ezt a cuclisüveget?

Kann ich ein Opernglas ausleiben?

Godmorgen, mit navn er - Hvadbehager? - mit navn er - Hvadbehager? - Mit navn er... Slim Shady.

srah | 7:15 PM | TrackBack
Tags: language

Prescriptive? But of course.

While watching TV last night, I noted three times that a character said "me" when he meant "I" or vice versa. I realize that people do talk like that in real life, but to do so on TV is just going to encourage people to speak English badly. I'm sure it happens on TV all the time, but it just got to me last night and drove me insane.

Use "I" as the object of a preposition and fear my wrath. Constant vigilance!

srah | 1:19 PM | TrackBack


Ann Arbor is aflame and no one cares. The blaze:

  • is expected to take several days to completely extinguish
  • is taking out a whole block
  • necessitated the assistance of three neighbouring fire departments
  • had huge cranes dumping water from above
  • created a smoke cloud visible from Dearborn and Detroit Metro Airport, and
  • caused enormous traffic back-ups from idiots (yours truly included) driving towards the smoke cloud to locate the fire and gawk.

And this is all I can find online.

srah | 9:00 AM | TrackBack
Tags: ann arbor

July 24, 2003

And yet more of The Real World

It was the third of June
On that younger day
Well I became a man
At the hands of a girl
Almost twice my age
- Neil Diamond, "Desiree"

For those of you who moved back to France just to avoid watching this show, I will torture you with the latest: Leah is mean and no one likes her. She has a brother named Pascual who is in 10th grade and who comes to visit. Christina and Mallory fight over Pascual. Mallory and Simon (!!!) smooch around in a club ("You know, Simon, you're a really good kisser." "Thanks. You're quite good yourself."). Mallory goes and hooks up with Pascual. Leah doesn't like that. Eventually Mallory and Leah talk it over and become beeeeeeeeeest frieeeeeeeeeends again. Hooray.

srah | 8:51 AM | TrackBack
Tags: music, neil diamond, the real world: paris, tv

Based on drive-to-work conversation

How many characters on Head of the Class can you name, just off the top of your head?

One of the IMDb user comments:

Stretching the realms of plausibility is what makes sitcoms great! Well, actually, Alex P. Keaton is what makes sitcoms great. And he's not in this. So, it ain't great. And, what's more, it stretches the realms of plausibility. The students in the class are geeky. A little too geeky if you know what I mean. And they never get beaten up! I smell a rat, and that rat is of alien form. Yes, I think it is fairly obvious that the only explanation for their super- intelligence and their physical invulnerability is that they are extra- terrestrials planning an invasion. Impossible? Remember, Robin Williams looked human in Mork and Mindy. I rest my case.

srah | 8:37 AM | TrackBack
Tags: head of the class, tv

Votre dévouée élève, qui vous aime de tout son coeur

While reading The Professor (thanks for suggesting it, Katie), I was full of fantasies about updating it (à la Pride & Prejudice/Bridget Jones), writing a novel loosely based on it, or bringing it to the big screen. The book is about an Englishman who is unhappy in his work, so he goes off to Belgium and teaches English. I like it despite the protagonist's airs of grandeur, because there are parts that remind me of my experiences as a teaching assistant in France.

No man likes to acknowledge that he has made a mistake in the choice of his profession, and every man, worthy of the name, will row long against wind and tide before he allows himself to cry out, "I am baffled!" and submits to be floated passively back to land. (Chapter 4)

That reminds me of this post about never ever leaving a job.

Belgium! name unromantic and unpoetic, yet name that whenever uttered has in my ear a sound, in my heart an echo, such as no other assemblage of syllables, however sweet or classic, can produce. Belgium! I repeat the word, now as I sit alone near midnight. It stirs my world of the past like a summons to resurrection; the graves unclose, the dead are raised; thoughts, feelings, memories that slept, are seen by me ascending from the clods--haloed most of them--but while I gaze on their vapoury forms, and strive to ascertain definitely their outline, the sound which wakened them dies, and they sink, each and all, like a light wreath of mist, absorbed in the mould, recalled to urns, resealed in monuments. (Chapter 7)

Believe it or not, I do feel that way when I hear "Vichy" or "Grenoble" or sometimes even just "France". Maybe not to that extent, but I'm not a character in a Brontë novel, either.

"Would you object to taking the boys as they are, and testing their proficiency in English?"

The proposal was unexpected. I had thought I should have been allowed at least 3 days to prepare; but it is a bad omen to commence any career by hesitation, so I just stepped to the professor's desk near which we stood, and faced the circle of my pupils. I took a moment to collect my thoughts, and likewise to frame in French the sentence by which I proposed to open business. I made it as short as possible:--

"Messieurs, prenez vos livres de lecture."

"Anglais ou Francais, monsieur?" demanded a thickset, moon-faced young Flamand in a blouse. The answer was fortunately easy:--


I determined to give myself as little trouble as possible in this lesson; it would not do yet to trust my unpractised tongue with the delivery of explanations; my accent and idiom would be too open to the criticisms of the young gentlemen before me, relative to whom I felt already it would be necessary at once to take up an advantageous position, and I proceeded to employ means accordingly. (Chapter 7)

Thrown into classes and frightened of your French being mocked by your students? Sound familiar?

She liked to learn, but hated to teach; her progress as a pupil depended upon herself, and I saw that on herself she could calculate with certainty; her success as a teacher rested partly, perhaps chiefly, upon the will of others; it cost her a most painful effort to enter into conflict with this foreign will, to endeavour to bend it into subjection to her own; for in what regarded people in general the action of her will was impeded by many scruples; it was as unembarrassed as strong where her own affairs were concerned, and to it she could at any time subject her inclination, if that inclination went counter to her convictions of right; yet when called upon to wrestle with the propensities, the habits, the faults of others, of children especially, who are deaf to reason, and, for the most part, insensate to persuasion, her will sometimes almost refused to act; then came in the sense of duty, and forced the reluctant will into operation. A wasteful expense of energy and labour was frequently the consequence; Frances toiled for and with her pupils like a drudge, but it was long ere her conscientious exertions were rewarded by anything like docility on their part, because they saw that they had power over her, inasmuch as by resisting her painful attempts to convince, persuade, control--by forcing her to the employment of coercive measures--they could inflict upon her exquisite suffering. Human beings--human children especially--seldom deny themselves the pleasure of exercising a power which they are conscious of possessing, even though that power consist only in a capacity to make others wretched; a pupil whose sensations are duller than those of his instructor, while his nerves are tougher and his bodily strength perhaps greater, has an immense advantage over that instructor, and he will generally use it relentlessly, because the very young, very healthy, very thoughtless, know neither how to sympathize nor how to spare. Frances, I fear, suffered much; a continual weight seemed to oppress her spirits[...] (Chapter 16)

Frances, another teacher at the school, takes English lessons with some of her students, just as I did in Spanish at Valéry Larbaud. She likes to learn, doesn't like to teach, and is intimidated by some of her students.

"Confound it! How doggedly self-approving the lad looks! I thought he was fit to die with shame, and there he sits grinning smiles, as good as to say, 'Let the world wag as it will, I've the philosopher's stone in my waist-coat pocket, and the elixir of life in my cupboard; I'm independent of both Fate and Fortune'" (Chapter 22)

Never mind. I'm just a nerd.

srah | 12:07 AM | TrackBack
Tags: assistantship, books, french, grenoble, quote, reviews, teaching, the professor, vichy

July 22, 2003

Meesa meejahoor

I am what Meg calls a meejahoor. Recently I have been constantly trying to read four or five books at the same time and watching movies when I come up for a breath of non-literary air. I think this is because I was deprived of English-language books and movies (or at least of selection) in France and I'm now so inundated with them that I gave myself and get in over my head. Read/viewed within the past week:

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - it's a reread, but an interesting one, what with all I've learned in book 5. I like it when Sirius tells the gang, "If you want to know what a man's like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals."

Mr Darcy's Daughters - I couldn't get all the way through this. I tried, but I've finally come to the conclusion that I can't read sequels written by other people. They never have exactly the right voice, and there's an odd tendency to put modern concepts into Jane Austen books. This very dumb book does it too. I'm not disputing that there were homosexuals then, but there aren't openly gay characters in Austen's books, and putting them there feels all wrong. It's like published fan fiction.

Diary of an American Au Pair - A bit of travel-fluff. I love travel-fluff. I like the trend of Bridget-Jones-single-gal novels when I need something light to read, and it's even better when there's culture shock to boot.

A Mighty Wind - I went to see this with my parents this weekend, and no one in the theater laughed as hard as we did. I think Best in Show was slightly better just because it had fewer characters to keep track of, but this was still mighty good and had fun music. "I think Crabbeville in autumn would look quite magnificent."

Writing the Novel - It was a book about writing novels. It made me feel a lot better about having no idea what I wanted to write about and reaffirmed some of the things I'd read elsewhere:

"Characters take on a life of their own and insist upon supplying their own dialogue."
"It's encouraging to note that we're in the majority, that most writers have been obsessed with the idea of becoming writers before the nature of what they might write about revealed itself to them. [...] The identification of self as writer comes for most of us before we know what sort of writer we'll be or what we'll write about..."
"I learned quickly that my self-image as a writer was stronger than my self-image as a potential great novelist. I didn't really care all that deeply about artistic achievement, nor did I aspire to wealth beyond the dreams of avarice. I wanted to write something and see it in print. I don't know that that's the noblest of motives for doing anything, but it was at the very core of my being."

The Professor - Lovely. Will eventually have a post all to itself.

Shanghai Knights - Not as good as the first one, but what sequel is? Still pretty enjoyable. "I'm a thirty year old waiter/gigolo. Where's the future in that?"

Greenfingers - Not spectacular, but rather cute. It's a movie about inmates in a British prison who discover a love for gardening.

Farm Fatale - I can't stop reading this woman's books, even though I don't really like them. I don't know who I do like in the fluffy-single-girl genre, so I just keep reading what I know, even if I don't like it. Any suggestions?

Zazie dans le métro - I'm in the middle of this one, but it's already overdue so I'm afraid I'll have take it back to the library before I finish. A little girl comes to Paris, wants to ride in the metro, the metro's on strike, she runs away... not a whole lot of action, but the dialogue is interesting because it's written the way people talk, with "cexé" for "ce que c'est" and things like that.

America's Sweethearts - Bof. Lots of dislikable characters. Julia Roberts was okay. "I really want to play a character like a The Terminator. The Hispanic people are crying out to see a deadly, destructive, killing machine that they can embrace as their own."

Kate & Leopold - This must be Meg Ryan's last single-gal-in-the-city romantic comedy. She should have stopped before this one. She was too old for the movie and too old for Hugh Jackman and Liev Shreiber. She can still make divorced-mother-of-three romantic comedies or branch off into something else, but I really don't want to see her doing this anymore.

Plus, she looked like she was going to cry during the whole movie.

Plus, I hate time-travel.

In the director's cut, there's a scene at the beginning where Meg Ryan's character is doing media research on a movie and someone claims that your main character doesn't need to be likable all the time. Meg Ryan doesn't agree, and he argues that she probably isn't likable all the time. She responds, "I'm not the protagonist in a major motion picture." But she is. And she's not likable. So it doesn't work.

Victoria's Daughters - I just started this last night, so they've only just been born. I'm quite liking it, though. I do like a bit of non-fiction from time to time.

srah | 7:03 PM | TrackBack
Tags: a mighty wind, books, harry potter, harry potter and the goblet of fire, movies, mr darcy's daughters, quote, the professor, time travel, writing

To speak, or not to speak?

When Robin and I bought crêpes at Art Fair, the fellow making the crêpes had a French accent. I wanted to speak French to him, but I couldn't think of anything to say. Afterwards, I told my mother how I was kicking myself for having said nothing and my mom was disappointed. She thinks that I should use my powers for good whenever I have the chance. I think she fears that if I don't get into the practice of using them for good, I'll turn to evil. No one wants to be Lex Luthor's mom. I myself was disappointed to have passed up an opportunity to practice, out of fear that I'll eventually lose my French altogether.

Robin, on the other hand, didn't think I should have said anything. "When you were in France," she said, "would you have wanted strangers to speak English to you just because they could?" She's right - I usually end up getting insulted when I say something in French and people respond in English.

On the other hand, it might be nice to hear your native language in a polylingual desert like Michigan. Who knows? What do you think?

srah | 5:54 PM | TrackBack
Tags: french, language

By the way

I'm guest-blogging at So Joyful! this week while Katie is off (ugh) communing with nature. Come on over if you'd like to read my series of pirate-themed posts. Arrrrrrrrrrr.

srah | 5:45 PM | TrackBack


Jezebel wins with his clever me me me me me comment!

srah | 5:07 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Pardon me while I spew into a Paige™ box

Construction continues. The building is shaking. It's not a pleasant massage-like vibration, but a sort of constant horrible shaking that gives one a feeling rather reminiscent of being car-sick. Bleaaaaaaargh.

srah | 11:55 AM | TrackBack
Tags: bentley, construction, work

Says the pro/am translator:

Another of my favorite French words: nombreux. I like it because it sounds nice and because it is one of the unusual adjectives that goes before the noun.

srah | 11:02 AM | TrackBack
Tags: french

The Thursday This-or-That?

1) DVD or VHS? DVD! My family watches everything with subtitles on, because we never understand anything anyone says. We are movie-readers. I like to watch things in Spanish with French subtitles or in Japanese with German subtitles or in Swedish with Pig Latin subtitles. My family prefers English All Around. I like DVDs for the extras, too.
2) Best Literary/Movie Villan: Voldemort (Harry Potter) or Sauron (LoTR)? Awww, they're two different species. I suppose I prefer Voldemort because I know more about him and who he is and why he went bad. I'm sure if I read some of the other Tolkien books, that would be revealed to me about Sauron, but I haven't done so yet.
3) Meat: rare or well-done? Somewhere in the middle. I like it pink and tender and I don't mind a bit of reddish juice as long as the blood isn't gushing out.
4) High Speed Internet-Cable or DSL? DSL! DSL! Actually, High-Speed Internet Cable might be faster, but the word "cable" is taboo in our household.
5) Women: 1-piece bathing suit or Bikini? One piece, down to my elbows and knees, full of ruffles and flounces and with a little cap to go with it.
6) To be fair--Men: Boxers or briefs? Boxers, because you hardly ever see plaid briefs. And I don't really want to, thankyouverymuch.
7) Beer or Liquor/Wine? Beer is icky-poo.
8) Coke or Mountain Dew? Pop is also icky-poo, but sometimes I have a craving for Coke with pizza or some other junkyish foods. Mountain Dew is vile.
9) In honor of my 10/18/03 nuptials: Morning or Afternoon/Night Wedding? You can have a night wedding? That sounds like fun. Then you could serve waffles and scrambled eggs at the reception.
10) Carpet or Hardwood Floors I think I prefer vacuuming to mopping, but hardwood floors are prettier. So I'll go with carpet until I have my own horde of slaves.
11) American cars or foreign? Furren. I liked my Honda Civic and I like the VW Jetta because I sat in one at the Detroit Auto Show and it had adjustable up-down seats for short people. I want a plaid Mini.
12) Cutest TV Twin: Mary-Kate or Ashley Olsen? For real. What? Who cares?
13) Coffee: Caffeinated or Decaf? Ice cream.
14) Thought-Provoking Question of the Week: Computers: Do they make life better or worse? Why? Life is neither better nor worse for computers - just different. I don't think life has improved because of computers. I think it's changed, but I don't think we can make judgments about the quality of life in the past. Either that or Yes, my life is vastly improved by computers because I love them to bits. You know, one or the other.

srah | 7:47 AM | TrackBack
Tags: memes, tuesday this-or-that

1000? Who are you people?

I would just like to point out that the 1000th comment on this blog since the move to MT is coming up. I had never thought to count comments before, so I have no idea how many are on the old blog, waiting the years it will take for me to be ready to import them. 1000 is unfathomable to me. Who will it be? Who will it be???

srah | 1:23 AM | TrackBack

Those three little... letters


srah | 12:08 AM | TrackBack
Tags: technology

July 21, 2003


I tried to call Alex in Mexico, thinking that this time I wouldn't be silly and try to speak Spanish to him. Problem being: Alex wasn't there. Don't know who was, but she didn't speak English.

Ella: Lksjro;isjeofjsoiejfisejfliisje;lifje
Yo: May I speak to Alex?
Ella: ¿Lkjw;oeijfowe;jfioweinfwe quien?
Yo: ¿Con Alex?
Ella: ¿Ljolsijeofisjifjlisejflseijflisje assistantes liwnelinwleifniwe?
Yo: ¿Uh... sí?
Ella: Lkwjeoinfwenofiwen numero. ¿Tiene pluma?
Yo: ¿Qué? ¿Qué? ¿Pluma? ¿Ah... sí?
Ella: Bueno. 982340923842092384308204092348.
Yo: (writing down various numbers that have no relation to the ones she gave me) ¿...2348?
Ella: Sí. Wlerjiowjfnk assistantes owiejroiwjeroiwjer llamar lwejrwiejrojwer.
Yo: Okay, okay, mmm hmmm. Gracias.
Ella: Hasta luego.
Yo: Au revoir. (immediately smacks self in forehead for speaking French)

Extremely traumatic. I should be warned when I'm going to have to speak Spanish. I should be prepared. I'm going to have a heart attack.

srah | 8:39 PM | TrackBack
Tags: conversation, in spanish, pato

'It's a pretty long article about why her hair is brown'

Cheryl, adding the description above, sent me a Mandy Moore interview that, among other things, talks about her next movie (Mandy's, not Cheryl's):

In "Saved," due out this fall, she seems to mock her own righteous image in a story about a teenager attending a Christian school who tries to "save" her gay friend by having sex with him -- and winds up pregnant. "It could be quite controversial," Moore says slyly of the film in which she co-stars with Macaulay Culkin. Moore plays the friend of the pregnant girl (played by Jena Malone).

I wouldn't dream of making a judgment about this movie, except to say SERIOUSLY, SERIOUSLY. I just hope that the pregnant girl's name is Belle.

srah | 1:44 PM | TrackBack
Tags: discovered, movies

'West Bloomfield and Troy: Where it's not happening'

'West Bloomfield and Troy: Where it's not happening'

The Detroit Free Press is running a series of articles "exploring Gov. Jennifer Granholm's idea that Michigan needs to create 'cool cities' to keep young people from moving away." This series has been running for a few weeks or so, and they are up to Troy and West Bloomfield, of which they say:

It would be something of a stretch to call Troy and West Bloomfield "cool."

OK, some would consider it an outright lie.

I don't even live there and it makes me want to move away. Have they run out of cool cities already, so that they have to cover this? Maybe there are good things about Troy and West Bloomfield. Let's keep reading.

Troy and West Bloomfield are representative of many affluent communities in Michigan that simply don't need coolness to prosper. Housing values soar and strip malls multiply like gerbils despite the fact that both communities essentially pull their shades by 11 p.m.

What's that I hear? Is it the sound of young Troy-and-West-Bloomfieldites picking up stakes?

Between 1990 and 2000, the number of 20- to 34-year-olds in Troy declined by 12 percent. In West Bloomfield, a community of 65,000 residents and 26 lakes, the drop was 20 percent.

Despite this trend, there has been little movement in either community to create the kind of defined, downtown entertainment hub that has brought young professionals -- and their wallets -- to Birmingham. One obvious reason for that is Troy and West Bloomfield have no downtowns. These communities are products of the auto age. They're geared for driving and parking, not walking. And they are filled with handsome brick homes and well-manicured yards, with subdivisions sporting vaguely English-sounding titles like Chatfield Commons. The artist lofts, smoky clubs and odd little shops seen in cities that evolved before the car are nowhere present. In their stead, Troy and West Bloomfield have chain restaurants, Linens 'n Things and Home Depot. [...]

In West Bloomfield, township officials are discussing the creation of a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood filled with shops and restaurants. [...]

Troy is likewise proud of its newly constructed community center, skateboard park and aquatic center, which have drawn teens and young professionals from the malls, at least for a while. [...]

The community center features an indoor pool and mini-water park and a huge health club. It also has a teen room, with a home-theater system, foosball, pool and air-hockey tables and video equipment. Though any teenager with aspirations of coolness will surely wince at the "This Place Rocks!" banners the city has plastered to the walls. [...]

I would like to point out that the previous sentence isn't really a sentence.

Troy officials say they hope to supplement these facilities one day with a conference center, hotel, amphitheater, butterfly garden and in-line skating paths.

For now, though, both communities seem content to stand outside the velvet rope of hipness and and have little desire to emulate Birmingham and Royal Oak.

So in the end, we come to the conclusion that Troy and West Bloomfield are cool because they have no young people and are packed with chain restaurants. Apparently this is what Michigan has to offer.

srah | 1:43 PM | TrackBack
Tags: discovered

Attack of the Crayfish!!!

It's quite disappointing that such a prolific creative genius as my own was allowed to wither on the vine. Or something.

We just got a new computer chez McN*tt and are in the process of transferring files from the old computer to the new one. In doing so, I've come across files that were transferred from an even older computer, and which date back to as early as 1987. It's full of stories I wrote in elementary and middle school, fragments of stories I never finished, story ideas, and all kinds of creative energy.

They are crap.

But at least I was writing crap. I've always loved to write, but I started getting busy with schoolwork in high school and my creative writing was replaced by uncreative report-writing. I don't think I've actually written anything but silly little song lyrics since 10th grade or so. It saddens me, and I think I really ought to get started again. I'm quite looking forward to NaNoWriMo, and I hope I won't be too busy to participate.

srah | 12:22 PM | TrackBack
Tags: nanowrimo, writing

Plungey plungey plungey

We had a surprise going-away party yesterday for Cheryl, who is off to Kent State in the fall. I am a horrible secret-keeper and kept wanting to blurt it out, so it's really best that we had it as early as we did. As it was, I had trouble not blurting out what her presents were as I handed them to her.

As I recall, I don't think I've ever been involved in a surprise party. Maybe I'm not invited. Maybe my reputation precedes me.

srah | 11:58 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

July 20, 2003

We don't need no water

I thought I might put in an ad for my partners in the Burn It! CD Swap (and make it easier for me to find them by having them all in one place. I like to pretend I'm doing this for non-selfish reasons, though. So ignore everything between these parentheses. You're already reading it? Drat.). They are:

Kyle Flood at KFlood Dot Net
Naked Armed and Dangerous
single smash

Hope you folks like furren music and The Neil, because that's all I listen to. Ha ha!

srah | 12:03 PM | TrackBack
Tags: cd swap

Unconscious Mutterings

Once again, I'll hide them in the extension for your non-spoiling pleasure.

srah | 11:49 AM | TrackBack
Tags: memes, unconscious mutterings

July 18, 2003

srah's Art Fair recap

I went to Art Fair this morning with Robin, and I think I may have actually gotten a tan. Yes, I can definitely see a bit of color there...

Oh wait, no. That was dirt. I am as white as ever. Never mind.

There is an astonishing amount of child labor at the Art Fair. It's summer, so I suppose the parents can't leave them at home, and Cute Sells, so there they are, hawking their lemonade and butterfly fries while the grown-ups cook them.

My dad and I bought some sweet potato butterfly fries last night, and although they were rather tasty, a nice pool of grease collected at the bottom of the plate. The man behind us in line asked the twelve-year-old vendor if there was any way he could get some cheese on them things. The TYOV told him no, although there was a vat o' cheese right behind him for some other food. I think it just didn't occur to the TYOV that cheese from one food could be applied to another, but I like to think that he was denying the man the right to be disgusting. You go, young person!

srah | 3:53 PM | TrackBack
Tags: ann arbor

July 17, 2003

I have a confession to make:

Whenever I hear the name Keira Knightley, I think instead of Keisha Knight Pulliam.

srah | 4:42 PM | TrackBack

Truth or Dare

This is more of a survey than a meme, I find. Care to answer yourself?

1. Do you have a disclaimer on your blog?

2. If yes, what prompted you to post one?
Haven't got one. And I don't have one... because I don't think anyone would read it anyway.

3. When you go to a new blog or read one that you've visited before, how often are you offended by the content? What do you do when this happens (email the writer privately, comment, ignore it, etc)?
Not very often. I usually ignore it, unless someone says something that's flat-out wrong, in which case I might take a moment to correct them. If they're blogging opinions, though, I leave them alone. This is their space, and if I don't like it, I leave. I am rarely offended by the content of my regular blogs, which is why they are regular blogs. If I'm regularly offended, they'll eventually drop off the blogroll.

4. On the blogs that you read, how much of the content do you think is dramatized?
If by "dramatized", you mean "made-up", I think very little is. I think many of the blogs I read are, however, expressed rather dramatically. That's what makes them fun. Things are presented in a way that makes them stand out from the everyday, even if they are everyday things.

5. Do you dramatize your own posts?
I don't make much up, but I do tend to lean to the creative. I may present things in a different way than others might see them, but I don't think I invent.

6. If you do dramatize your blog posts, why do you do it?
See question #4. I want to be interesting. I want to see my life as something exciting and unusual, and I want other people to do so too. If I get bored with life, what's the point?

7. If you do dramatize your blog posts, do you keep a separate journal (online or off) where you document events and emotions that are more realistic/accurate?
No. My life is odd because I see it that way, or vice versa. I don't think I need a separate journal at this point.

8. Have you ever blogged something that was totally made up but blogged it as though it were real?
Not intending it to be taken seriously. I probably threaten to kill people and claim to explode, but it's all hyperbole.

9. How did your blog come to be?
I had come across not.so.soft several times while doing John Hannah searches, because she mentioned him once. It seemed strange to have your life online. I think I read Annica's next, and since An was doing it, it seemed to make sense. I fiddled around with Blogger (because both of the previously mentioned blogs were done with that service) while I was in Grenoble, but didn't get into it, then it clicked for some reason in the fall of my senior year in college. The time was right, I suppose.

10. Some blogs take on a life of their own that is totally unexpected, would you say this is true with your blog?
Only that i didn't expect to actually get into it and that I don't think I would have imagined it would have the place in my life that it has.

11. Describe, in general, what a blog is as if I had no idea what it was.
A blog. Weblog. It's like an online journal. It's like a journal, but it's online. I write about things that happen to me or things that are going on in my life. Other people sometimes just post links. What's the point? I don't know. Listen, just take a look at a few and maybe you'll get it.

12. Describe, specifically, what your blog is to you.
It's my Pensieve. It's where I put all of my thoughts so that they stop knocking around in my head. I work out a surprising lot through my blog, given the dearth of serious content. In France, it also managed to replace a lot of letters and emails and phone calls and help me keep in touch with the folks back home.

[via stuff and whatever]

srah | 12:00 AM | TrackBack
Tags: memes

July 16, 2003


I've sponsored Krista for Blogathon, since I won't be blogging myself. I've always meant to blog a thon, but the fates are agin' me agin' this year, so I'm sponsoring instead. If you'd like to do something kindly, you might do so as well.

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

Crazy girl was not shunned by others at Borders

It is very comfortable when you can meet with strangers and, within minutes, get into the kind of conversation where you can't finish one thought before you start a new one, so you speak completely in varying layers of parentheses. I, who am often so shy with strangers, was so happy to meet other assistants that I bubbled over and was unshutuppable.

I believe, however, that a good time was had by all.

srah | 11:16 PM | TrackBack
Tags: assistantship

Crazy girl goes to Borders and scares people

I've never met anyone I knew through Blog before I knew them through Real. I will today, although I knew her through Elsewhere Online first and I have already met people from Elsewhere Online before so I guess it doesn't matter.

And there are crêpes at Art Fair.

srah | 6:32 PM | TrackBack

Die, Real World, Die

I don't even want to waste cyberspace by telling you what an unbelievable freak of nature Adam is. I'm surprised nature hasn't eliminated him yet. I'm glad this show is only 30 minutes long because I might have had an aneurysm if it had lasted any longer.

Also, watching the stupid stupids try to work together for their fakety fake-ass job, I realized that think I might hate group work, due to intense misanthropy. Robin and Cheryl tell me that U-M students do this sort of thing rather often, and it occurs to me that I haven't really done any since high school. Uh-oh.

srah | 12:17 AM | TrackBack
Tags: the real world: paris, tv

It's beginning to look a lot like Art Fair

"Jewelry is out in booths," said a co-worker at TPTIBLOT, "Paintings are hanging on canvas walls. It's going to start pouring any second."

The scene is set and the weather has taken its annual sudden mid-July turn for the worse. Art Fair, annual second scourge of Annarborites*, has indeed arrived. For the next four days, Ann Arbor will be crawling with insane tourists from out of town who like to waste money on hand-woven caftans, wooden flamingoes wearing shoes, and bright pink paintings of nothing with little bits of things glued to them.

I will, like all of the other Annarborites, make grumbling excursions into the madness. "Might as well get out there, since we can't drive anywhere," say the Annarborites, secretly liking the opportunity to people-watch and buy things at sidewalk sales. I will buy greasy, overpriced food on the Union's courtyard and laugh at people who actually buy things from the fair.

Art Fair would be a lot more fun without all the art.

* U-M students being the first.

srah | 12:02 AM | TrackBack
Tags: ann arbor

July 15, 2003

Did you ever read about a frog who dreamed of bein' a king?

Ever since I decided again that I want to write a novel, I've been coming up with ideas that sound so brilliant and innovating, I have to write them down. The problem is that when I walk away from them and come back a few hours later, I realize that they are the stupidest ideas anyone on the face of the Earth has ever imagined.

Who the hell (besides Robin) wants to read a novel based on The Complete Works of Neil Diamond???

I think my dream will soon be abandoned again, only to resurface once more in a few years.

srah | 12:55 PM | TrackBack
Tags: neil diamond, robin, writing

How many times can I say 'plastic sheeting'?

The library is under construction, so I'm actually glad that I work at TPTIBLOT four afternoons a week and TPTIBLOT2 three mornings a week, which adds up to one morning off and one day spent here.

Mysterious things keep happening to the library; mysterious because no one tells me about them. Today when I came back from TPTIBLOT2 at lunchtime, the entrance to the back hallway was covered in plastic sheeting. Someone had managed to make an archivist-sized hole in the plastic sheeting, which to my way of thinking defeated the purpose of having plastic sheeting up. So to get to our lunches, all of the archivists had to climb through this hole in the big plastic wall.

Sometimes I think the construction people do things like this just to get a laugh out of archivists tumbling through plastic sheeting.

Update: They have covered up the hole with a flap of plastic sheeting duct-taped to the sheet at the top. They have created a cat-flap for archivists! I think they are just playing with us...

srah | 12:45 PM | TrackBack
Tags: art museum, bentley, construction, work


I am so boring as of late. Not only have I not done anything blog-worthy, I don't have enough imagination right now to twist reality in such a way that my life sounds interesting. Yesterday, I took down wallpaper.

srah | 8:03 AM | TrackBack

July 14, 2003

Unconscious Mutterings

So as not to spoil the free association for others... (warning: they are more insane than last time)

srah | 7:41 AM | TrackBack
Tags: memes, unconscious mutterings

July 11, 2003

Boring Friday afternoon post

Becky has another Musicals Quiz. Go and participate and help me out, and just be happy that she updated for once.

I just realized that it's Friday, 16 hours and 32 minutes into the day. Hooray! My weekend will be spent, I'm sure, burning mixed CDs for various causes and sharing the contents with you here, whether you like it or not.

srah | 4:32 PM | TrackBack
Tags: memes

Toutes les grandes personnes ont d'abord été des enfants

I am rediscovering my love for Le petit prince. Unlike a lot of people I know, I didn't read The Little Prince as a kid. I wasn't even aware of it until we read it in my tenth grade French class. I quite enjoyed it, but I hadn't given it much thought in a while.

Est-ce que mon dessin vous a fait peur?/ Pourquoi un chapeau ferait-il peur?

There's now a French spectacle musicale based on the musical. We bought my sister the soundtrack, only to discover that she had a negligent tenth grade French teacher (this is saying a lot, I guess, because my tenth grade French teacher didn't teach us much and used to smoke cigarettes out the window between classes) who didn't do the book at all, and that she has been prejudiced by the atrocious English-language musical based on the book ("The air! Way up there!") into hating everything Little-Prince-related. So I have nicked it until she comes to her senses.

Faites attention aux baobabs!/ Ils envahissent la planète

The music is quite different from and, in my opinion, much better than, the other French spectacles musicales that I've listened to. They are slower, subtler songs than Les rois du monde and the like. En plus, they have important allegorical messages and all that jazz.

Près d'elle/ Je sens un miracle qui s'apprête

Because of the CD, I've started rereading the book. My favorite bits are still those of the renard:

Tu n'est encore pour moi qu'un petit garçon tout semblable à cent mille petits garçons. Et je n'ai pas besoin de toi. Et tu n'as pas besoin de moi non plus. Je ne suis pour toi qu'un renard semblable à cent mille renards. Mais, si tu m'apprivoises, nous aurons besoin l'un de l'autre. Tu seras pour moi unique au monde. Je serai pour toi unique au monde...
Mais si tu m'apprivoises, ma vie sera comme ensoleillée. Je connaîtrai un bruit de pas qui sera différent de tous les autres. Les autres pas me font rentrer sous terre. Le tien m'appellera hors du terrier, comme une musique. Et puis regarde ! Tu vois, là-bas, les champs de blé ? Je ne mange pas de pain. Le blé pour moi est inutile. Les champs de blé ne me rappellent rien. Et ça, c'est triste ! Mais tu as des cheveux couleur d'or. Alors ce sera merveilleux quand tu m'auras apprivoisé ! Le blé, qui est doré, me fera souvenir de toi. Et j'aimerai le bruit du vent dans le blé.
Ainsi, le petit prince apprivoisa le renard. Et quand l'heure du départ fut proche :
« Ah ! dit le renard... je pleurerai.
- C'est ta faute, dit le petit prince, je ne te souhaitais point de mal, mais tu as voulu que je t'apprivoise...
- Bien sûr, dit le renard.
- Mais tu vas pleurer ! dit le petit prince.
- Bien sûr, dit le renard.
- Alors, tu n'y gagnes rien !
- J'y gagne, dit le renard, à cause de la couleur du blé. »
Voici mon secret. Il est très simple : on ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.
C'est le temps que tu as perdu pour ta rose qui fait ta rose si importante.

If you haven't yet read the book, I suggest that you do so. It's short, full of illustrations, and marketed as a livre pour les enfants, but it's also full of allegory about human existence and friendship that anyone can enjoy.

srah | 12:56 PM | TrackBack
Tags: books, french


My family went on a rare late-night excursion yesterday to see On Guard! as part of the Michigan Theatre French Film Series. It was a charming swashbuckling comedy, and quite enjoyable. Of course anything that can be described with the word "swashbuckling" and includes the word "hump-buckle" in the subtitles has to be good.

srah | 9:41 AM | TrackBack
Tags: movies


How often do you get to have fire drills anymore? Concrete dust from our construction project set off our über-sensitive fire alarms today, so all of the archivists had to file outside and huddle in front of the building. We imagined that from the street, we looked like an angry nerd-mob, storming the library. "We want to research! We want to research!" we cried, waving our torches.

Come to think of it, maybe those torches had something to do with the fire alarm.

srah | 9:21 AM | TrackBack
Tags: bentley, fire alarm, work

Muggle-born, Magic-educated

'My name was down for Eton, you know, I can't tell you how glad I am I came here instead. Of course, mother was slightly disappointed, but since I made her read Lockhart's books I think she's begun to see how useful it'll be to have a fully trained wizard in the family..."
-Justin Finch-Fletchley, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

My parents and I have had this conversation: If I had been accepted to Eton (which would have been surprising since I'm a girl) and Hogwarts (which would have been surprising because, as far as I'm aware, it doesn't actually exist), I would have been sent to Eton. What would drive a Muggle parent to send their child to Hogwarts?

How would Justin Finch-Fletchley's parents explain to their obviously upper-crust friends that while Justin had been accepted at Eton, he had instead been sent to a school in Scotland that no one had heard of, and that they couldn't tell their friends anything about?

Why would the Grangers send their obviously gifted daughter to Hogwarts? Why would they send her to a school they know nothing about, preparing her for a life they know nothing about? Would she have the opportunities in the Magic world that she could have in the Muggle one? How would they know that? What the heck is in the Hogwarts orientation packet that manages to convince Muggle parents to send their children off into this unknown world?

Mummy suggests that maybe the parents realize that there is something strange and magical about their children and that this is the place to best nurture those gifts. Eleven seems to me an early age to be determining that your child will live in another world for the rest of its life.

Is the world populated with Muggle-borns whose parents refused to send them to Hogwarts? My parents think that they probably would have done so.

srah: So if you had the choice between Hogwarts and Huron, you would pick Huron?
Dad: Yes. Huron.
srah: Actually, Harry starts at 11, so I guess it would be Hogwarts and Scarlett.
Dad: Ah. Hogwarts, then.

srah | 9:01 AM | TrackBack
Tags: ann arbor, books, harry potter, harry potter and the chamber of secrets, srahfam

The Friday Five

1. Do you remember your first best friend? Who was it?
I believe my first best friend was Nathan, who I like to call my ex-fiancé because we were going to get married (whether he liked it or not) when I was four.

Worth mentioning, however, is my second best friend, Jenny, in whose clutches I was, to varying extents, from kindergarten up to fifth grade. From kindergarten to third grade, I wasn't allowed to have any other friends besides Jenny. If she was absent, I had to play alone. She, on the other hand, could take off with whoever she wanted, whether I was there or not. It's so young to be trapped in an abusive relationship.

2. Are you still in touch with this person?
Neither. I have actually blogged a story about how not in touch with Nathan I am.

3. Do you have a current close friend?
Robin and Cheryl are my best gal-pals here in Ann Arbor.

4. How did you become friends with this person?
Cheryl's family lives down the street from me, and our moms used to walk the dogs together when they were pregnant with us. Later, we were in the same elementary school, but in different classes. We were in the same gymnastics class at one point, so I sort of met her then, but we went our separate ways once we got back to school. In second grade, there was a school post office, so I wrote to her because she was the only person I knew outside my class. In third grade, we finally had the same teacher, so we became friends. Cheryl can probably tell these stories better than I can; that's why we call her Rain Man.

I bumped into Robin on the kindergarten playground once. Then we both got up and met each other. It took her a while to pry me away from Jenny, but we've been pretty good to go ever since.

5. Is there a friend from your past that you wish you were still in contact with? Why?
I guess I would like to see people like Grace (she's the one who first called me "srah"), but I haven't seen her in so long, I don't know if we would have enough in common to stay in contact. So... just the Vichy crowd then.

srah | 7:26 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
Tags: friday five, memes

July 10, 2003

Pay no attention to that girl behind the weblog

Upon further reflection, maybe I'm just hitting my normal post-France mal du pays a bit late and being overdramatic.

srah | 4:07 PM | TrackBack
Tags: assistantship, france

La manque

I feel a bit alone. There is no one I can share it with; there is no one who knows exactly how I'm feeling.

When I left Grenoble, I knew exactly where to find my host family, who were the only people I really knew in France. I knew that we would keep in touch, and I was sure that I would see them again and that they wouldn't forget me.

I have no such guarantees for Vichy, so my heart is broken - 200 times over. I want to cry when I hear about the final exam results. I'm so happy for and proud of them, and I miss them so much. When I get an email from one of my students, it makes me so happy I want to cry. There were so many students who made me miserable, but they're all forgotten, and what I feel now is an overwhelming sadness to knwo that I might never know whether Virginie is going to continue for her maîtrise, where Philippe is going to work, or how Jean-Marie's BTS is going. I didn't get to share in the celebrations when the results were announced, and I will slowly lose touch with the handful of students who have emailed me since school ended.

Teaching is definitely not the career path for me. It hurts too much.

srah | 3:15 PM | TrackBack
Tags: assistantship

Thrilling Wednesday night

Robin and I played Scrabble last night (I will refrain from metioning Rummikub because I was thoroughly trounced) and I won, with the two of us working together to find words like toile, zone and quo in each other's letters, and with a whopping winning score of 246.

After the game, Robin took a look at the box, which reported that a good Scrabble player should score at least 300 points.  Damned box.  What the hell do you know, anyway?  I'd like to see you do a crossword puzzle, Mr Smarty Smarty Board Game Box.

Now I remember why I play Scrabble on average once per year.

srah | 2:12 PM | TrackBack
Tags: stories

Note to self

Your blog looks like crap on a Mac.

Which is different from crap on a stick, of course, because a Mac is not a stick. I know this because it is hard to program a stick to do anything, whereas with a Mac, I have just not tried.

Does that mean I tried to program a stick? Why did I do that? Why am I still typing? Will a dog fetch a Mac?

srah | 10:25 AM | TrackBack

July 9, 2003


When I was in France, feeling disconnected from everyone back home and receiving alumni newsletters from Albion in the mail, I sent in an Albionote of my own:

Sarah M*****, '02, for the past year has worked as an English assistant in a technical/ professional high school in Cusset, France. She returned to the US in May and will begin graduate studies in the fall with a human-computer interaction specialization at the University of Michigan School of Information. Her Web site is: www.srah.net.

Now that I'm back in the US and don't care, it's finally been published and it embarrasses me. Why is it so much longer than everyone else's? Why did I think anyone would care about the tiniest details of my life? Why did I have to be a nerd and put my URL in there?

Why hasn't anyone actually bothered to visit?, is the question that bothers me most of all. If I'm going to be embarrassed, I might as well get increased traffic out of it.

srah | 6:01 PM | TrackBack

I love hPaaahriss

Becky called me to the TV because Audrey Tautou was on The View, hawking Dirty Pretty Things. I would be frightened out of my mind to go on a French talk show, surrounded by people whipping questions at me, but she did quite well. I suppose they prepared her before the show, with the questions that were going to be asked.

I love the way French people pronounce Paris when they are speaking English. The P isn't as explosive as ours - it's closer to our B. Then there's a soft ahhh instead of our ayyyyy, and a short ee instead of ih, followed by a slightly longer s, so it all comes out as hPaaahriss. Just lovely.

srah | 12:05 PM | TrackBack
Tags: france, french

Speaking of writing...

Robin and I decided yesterday, while driving aimlessly around the outskirts of Ann Arbor (we saw a goat on a picnic table!!!! Shut up - it did so deserve four exclamation points), that while not knowing how to spell or use correct grammar was all well and good in your personal life, it should end there.

You may misspell or use bad grammar in your own personal emails or grocery lists. I will even allow for spelling errors and typos in blogs. But once we are at the point where you are making a sign, writing in a newspaper, making an ad, writing up a menu, or any such public display, you really ought to be ashamed of yourself for making grievous mistakes.

Where are all the proofreaders these days? Why does no one know how to write anymore? Why do people pluralize things with apostrophe-Ss? How do they get away with it?

Maybe I should be a proofreader when I grow up, what with my ever-related degrees in French and Human-Computer Interaction.

srah | 11:55 AM | Comments (18) | TrackBack
Tags: rants

A just but controlling God

I would like to write a novel, but they say that once you get started, they sort of write themselves. I've been reading a lot of "How to Write" books recently that suggest that kind of thing, about building believable characters, and how they become real people. Once you get to know a character, it'll write itself. It comes to life, and takes off from there. Being a control-freak, I don't think I could handle that. I am in charge here, you are my character, and you will do what I tell you to do.

I would like to write a novel, but I can barely write a multiple-paragraph blog-post.

srah | 11:14 AM | TrackBack
Tags: books

srah's Real World hatred and/or addiction

I HATE THE REAL WORLD. But I think everyone needs an outlet for rage, and mine is screaming and flailing, and occasionally just opening my mouth with nothing coming out, in awe at the stupidity of these stupid stupid people.

CT is a dumbass and ridiculously difficult. You drop the straightening iron on the floor, you pick it up, whether you were using it or not. You don't get in an argument about whether someone is talking down to you. It's what you do.

Leah is a whiner. Adam is an instigator. Simon is absent. Christina and Leah are cheap hos, and their affection can be bought with flowers. I almost have less respect for them than for CT, who doesn't listen to anyone, do anything to help, and just goes out and gets drunk and whines.


srah | 9:43 AM | TrackBack
Tags: the real world: paris, tv

And now, another... Good Idea, Bad Idea

Good Idea: Scheduling the time you have to take off for Wednesday morning so you can sleep in.

Bad Idea: Scheduling the time you have to take off for the Wednesday morning when the roof is being replaced.

It sounds like Godzilla is playing with my house, and like eventually he's going to break through the roof and get me. It sounds like the roofers are just jumping up and down and occasionally falling through the roof, rather than doing any replacing. It sounds like they are scraping every shingle up by hand, whereas the loud drone of machinery would perhaps be more soothing just because it would be more regular.

Point is, it sounds like I'm not getting back to sleep.

srah | 8:35 AM | Comments (9) | TrackBack
Tags: stories

July 7, 2003

Dancing Queen

I like to dance. I like to dance a little too much, as I dance with a wild abandon that tends to alienate friends and family. I dance what's inside me, and if you've been reading this blog long enough to catch any of my dreams, I think you'll agree that what's inside of me is probably best left inside. These wild, passionate bursts of activity tend to include a lot of flailing and spinning and hopping.

What I don't like is watching other people dance. I like to see things like The Nutcracker, but I realize that's because I like the music. I like to imagine it's me, up there on stage, clomping from foot to foot to the Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy. If I have to watch dark, badly-taped video footage of people doing modern dance gyrations to scratchy, atonal violin music, I had better be getting paid for it.

And I am.

srah | 1:29 PM | TrackBack
Tags: srah

Unconscious Mutterings

I've never tried this one before... she gives you a list of words and you make free associations. Given the state of my dreams, this could be interesting.

  1. Fashion show:: sashay
  2. Boundaries:: frontiers
  3. Roadkill:: skunk
  4. Narcissistic:: Draco Malfoy
  5. Authority:: Percy Weasley
  6. Martini:: James Bond
  7. Personality:: quiz
  8. Comfortable:: armchair
  9. Symptom:: bronchitis
  10. Dating:: orange


srah | 12:05 AM | TrackBack
Tags: memes, unconscious mutterings

July 6, 2003

A casbah ant-girl? I'm it!

Anagrams of my name (first and last... with the middle name in there, it was even longer):

A SCANT MIRTH (very scant)
CHARM AN TITS (certainly not!)
RANCH MA TITS (please, ranch ya own)
CAN HARM TITS (but only if I have to)
CANT ARM THIS (a famous song by M.C. Hammer)
AM ANT CHRIST (note: my middle initial is not I)

[via krisalis]

srah | 2:09 AM | TrackBack
Tags: discovered

July 5, 2003

Al fin de la semana de los idiomas

Thanks to everyone who participated in Language Week, including:

Ain't It Cruel?, annicapannika blog, Beatniksalad, Blethers.com, Jezblog, Ministry of Propaganda, monochromatic girl, So Joyful!, and What You Can Get Away With.

Hope I haven't forgotten anyone - let me know if I have! Perhaps we'll have to try it again next year. I'll let you know then.

srah | 11:58 AM | TrackBack
Tags: language, language week, memes

Language Week: Friday

(Except posted on Saturday, because we were having Severe Thunderstorm Warnings and a National Holiday on Friday.)

Bon, ben, voilà, je suis trop paresseuse pour écrire en espagnol, même si j'ai inventé cette semaine pour pratiquer cette langue-là. C'est trop difficile sans dictionnaire, et je n'ai pas très envie de chercher chaque mot sur Babelfish.

Je suis très heureuse d'avoir réçu un mél d'Agnès, qui m'a dit que les résultats des examens finaux au lycée ont été affichés et qu'elle me les a envoyés. En travaillant en France, ça m'a choqué que là-bas, les résultats des examens sont affichés, sont annoncés en classe, et sont publiés dans les journaux. Ici, les notes sont privées, à être partagées par les élèves s'ils veulent.

Bon, comme c'est publié dans les journaux, je peux vous dire que presque tous mes chers THOT ont eu leur bac, mais qu'on attend toujours les résultats des S2OL.

srah | 11:27 AM | TrackBack
Tags: assistantship, french, in french, language, language week, memes

July 3, 2003

Language Week: Thursday

Hoy llevo calcetines con monos. No manos, monos. Calcetines con manos no existen. He tenido calcetines con dedos de pie, y no me gustan. No son muy cómodos. No me gusta la sensación de tener algo entre mis dedos de pie.

Bloguo [gracias Jez!] cosas muy importante en español. Bueno... no es mejor en inglés.

srah | 6:22 PM | TrackBack
Tags: in spanish, language, language week, memes

July 2, 2003

Language Week: Wednesday

No tengo muchas cosas que decir en español, y no tengo más vocabulario en chino, entonces hoy voy a escribir en el idioma francés, lo que conozco bien porque lo he estudiado desde la media de mi vida.

J'aime bien la chanson Mon fils, ma bataille de Daniel Balavoine. C'est une chanson qui parle d'un père divorcé qui risque de perdre son fils, comme dans le film Kramer vs. Kramer. Mais ce qui me gène, c'est le refrain, qui raconte « Je vais tout casser/ si vous touchez/ aux fruits de mes entrailles/ fallait pas qu'elle s'en aille ».

En anglais, déjà, la phrase « fruit of my loins » me dégoute pas mal, mais le français, « fruits de mes entrailles », me semble même pire.

Mais dans tout cela, ce qui me fait le plus peur, c'est qu'Amandine Poulain a le même probleme avec cette expression... et que je n'ai pas très envie de finir comme la mère d'Amélie.

srah | 7:12 PM | TrackBack
Tags: french, in french, in spanish, language, language week, memes, music

You'll be swell, you'll be great

Listening to a sports radio show on the way home from work last week, I decided that I wanted to be a professional basketball player in Belgium. Getting paid to live in Belgium sounds pretty good to me.

Far from supporting my dream, my parents started pointing out various flaws in my plan, such as the fact that I am a 5'1" girl with no talent or interest in basketball and with a contempt for most athletes. I was horrified and disappointed that my family didn't support my decision automatically and tell me to shoot for my dreams because if I want it enough, I can do anything. No, there they were, letting a little thing like reality get in the way. Due to this lack of parental support, my dream was abandoned early on.

Listening to the sports radio show on the way to work yesterday, I told my parents that I now want to play baseball for the Detroit Tigers, who are currently breaking sucking records left and right. My parents said that I probably couldn't make them any worse than they already are.

It's great to have that kind of parental support.

srah | 6:37 PM | TrackBack
Tags: basketball, sports, srahfam

srah's Real World update (yet again)

All of the people on The Real World are just as stupid as they were last week, and I still hate everyone except Simon. The good thing about this week's episode, though, is that they actually did something. Sort of.

They had their first deadline this week for their ultra-important guidebook-writing job. Their assignments were due at 6pm. Two tried to get extensions, two emailed them at six, and the rest just sent them in late. This isn't college! You don't get extensions! This is real life!

Okay, no, this is The Real World, which is fake real life, but still. Did you see me scraping up English lessons at the last minute? Well, okay, you did. But we don't call that procrastination. We call it improvisation.

srah | 6:29 PM | TrackBack
Tags: the real world: paris, tv

You have hibernation sickness. Your eyesight will return to you in time

I think the cold air here at TPTIBLOT makes my body processes slow down and that's what makes me tired here. Or maybe my eyeballs are freezing and my brain wants to cover them up with my eyelids to protect them. Either way, I - Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

srah | 2:27 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Tags: work

July 1, 2003

On extended weekends (Lament of the hourly temp)

You are paid the same
If you work Friday or not?
Not so for Sarah.

Thirty-five hours
Must be worked, even when the
Week has thirty-two.

srah | 3:15 PM | TrackBack
Tags: poetry, work

Drie scheuren in het fudament der Gereformeerde waarheid

I read a Dutch card-catalogue card out loud to my mother, who told me I sounded like I was speaking French. I realized my mistake and changed my Rs from the voiced uvular fricative to flapped ones (language nerd! language nerd!), and felt like I was speaking Spanish.

I read Spanish with a French accent, Dutch with a Spanish one, and French with a strange one that no one can identify, but definitely sounds foreign. I strive to be a mutant in all languages.

srah | 11:35 AM | TrackBack
Tags: accents, dutch, french, language, spanish


I dreamt last night that I was at Valéry Larbaud again, just for a visit. My visit coincided with the 1AHOTs' class, so I sat in. They were all surprised and embarrassed to see me there, and one told me that a student in another class hadn't signed my cahier de souvenirs and wanted to.

The most impressive thing about the dream is that I only spoke English. Some people get excited when they speak a foreign language in their dreams; I get excited when I don't.

srah | 11:22 AM | TrackBack
Tags: dream

Language Week: Tuesday

Ni-men hao! Ni-men hao ma? Wo hen hao, xiexie. Wo shi zai tushuguan. Wo shi meiguo xuesheng. Wo xue faguoren. Wo bu he pijiu. Wo yo meimei.

As you can probably tell, my Mandarin Chinese has suffered great losses since I took a semester of it, in the fall of 1999. I, myself, have suffered the great loss of my Chinese textbook (where are all of my language books disappearing to? There is some kind of vortex in my room, sucking them in), so I can't even check to see if what little I remembered is correct.

srah | 11:03 AM | TrackBack
Tags: in chinese, language, language week, memes

The Tuesday This-or-That?

1. Lemonade or Ice Cold Beer?
Beer is heinous. Beer tastes like sweat.

2. Swimming pool or beach?
Beach, I guess. You can go for walks, fully clothed. They usually make you wear a swimsuit at the swimming pool.

3. Long weekends here & there, or a 2-week vacation?
If I have no money, long weekends. If I have money, a two-week vacation in some far-off foreign land.

4. Destination: Acapulco or Hawaii?
Acapulco, but I'd sneak out of the resorts, off into Real Mexico.

5. Destination: Mountains or Beach?
Mountains. I miss mountains, and no one expects you to wear a swimsuit. I think I have issues.

6. Hotel/motel/B&B or camping?
Ha! Ha ha ha ha ha! If you had been chez Katie recently, you would know the answer to that. Fiends! Bugs, heat, and dirt begone! I'll go to a B&B and eat scones!

7. Carefully planned vacation, or play it by ear?
There are things to be said for both. I guess I'd go for carefully planned, but with flexibility.

8. Sneakers or sandals?
Sneakers, because my feet fall out of sandals and I get fixated on the hair on my toes and start feeling like a hobbit. When it gets hot, though, I guess I'd rather sweat in sandals. This is an entirely disgusting and embarrassing answer. Let's just pretend I don't have feet at all.

9. Air-conditioning or fans?
Air-conditioning is usually excessive, but fans blow around too much. I'll go with a/c set on 'low' and me at the other end of the house.

10. Concerts in the park or baseball games?
How about going to the dentist or baseball games? Concerts in the park.

srah | 9:13 AM | TrackBack
Tags: memes, tuesday this-or-that

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