February 2004 archive

(65 entries)

February 29, 2004

Proposed revision: Home of taxation and representation

The license plates in Washington, DC say Washington, D.C. across the top, and like many states, have a little motto or quotation along the bottom to represent the place it's from. Michigan, for example, has license plates that say "Great Lakes," less attractive ones that say "Great Lakes Splendor" and unspeakably ugly ones that say "World's Motor Capital."

Except that in the US capital, the motto appears to be "Taxation without representation."

I understand that this phrase has great importance in American history, in that it was one of the reasons we fought for indepedence and created this new nation of ours. And yet, I don't think that it's quite appropriate for a license plate slogan. It doesn't say "Against taxation without representation" or "Taxation without representation... sux0rs!"

If taxation without representation is DC's official motto or a dream that unites Washingtonians, I think we may have a problem on our hands. I'm funnagonna secede.

srah | 5:20 PM | TrackBack
Tags: travel

Leap Day! Huzzah!

This is the first time I have ever blogged on February 29. Huh. How about that?

I feel like this day should be celebrated in some way, but I can't think how. I suppose I ought to go watch Pirates of Penzance.

srah | 3:21 PM | TrackBack
Tags: gilbert and sullivan, holidays, leap day, the pirates of penzance

Random music meme

Step 1: Open your mp3 player.
Step 2: Put all of your music on random.
Step 3: List the first ten songs it plays, no matter how embarrassing.

srah's results:

  1. Renaud - Hexagone
  2. Barbra Streisand - Memory
  3. Everclear - Wonderful (radio edit)
  4. Herman's Hermits - Can't You Hear My Heart Beat?
  5. Hall and Oates - Sara Smile
  6. John Mayer - Comfortable
  7. Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney - The Girl Is Mine
  8. Elwood - Sundown
  9. The Youngbloods - I Think It's So Groovy Now
  10. Queen - You're My Best Friend

[via KFlood Dot Net]

srah | 2:55 PM | TrackBack
Tags: music

Unconscious Mutterings

It's a meme. It happens every week. You can do it too, if you would like. The Pea will not mind.

Here there be free associations.

srah | 9:37 AM | TrackBack
Tags: memes, unconscious mutterings

February 28, 2004

'I make it a rule always to park on beef jerky' [Day 8 of the DC trip]

Amanda and I woke up early today so that we could see the White House before we left. I had seen it from Constitution Avenue, but hadn't gotten up to the gates. So around 8am, we set off down the street a bit and got a look. We couldn't see many snipers and guards and SS men, so we decided that either they were hiding or they were betting that no anarchists and terrorists would be up and about at 8am on a Saturday.

On the gate, there was a button that said "Welcome to the White House". It didn't say what it did when you pressed it, so we speculated that it might electrocute you or it might be the president's doorbell. We decided not to take any chances, so we still don't know.

We got back to the hotel, packed up the rest of our stuff, and Cari, Matt, Amanda and I went to breakfast at a restaurant across from the Treasury building. A friend of Cari's from MIT met us there. I had scrambled eggs, hash browns, and a fried bagel chip. It was an interesting combination, but very tasty.

Breakfast took longer than expected, so we didn't hit the road until about 10:30. Cari drove the first part, until we got to Pennsylvania. We put on oldies music and sang along.

Listening to the Beach Boys, Cari and I wished that you could take vacations in time as well as space, so that we could go on a trip to 1950s or 60s California. Cari wanted to go on a date with the captain of the football team and drink milkshakes. You know that if you could go on vacations in time, there would always be one kid who had to spend his family vacation as a serf in medieval England.

We stopped in Breezewood, Pennsylvania to switch drivers and go to the bathroom. Cari triumphantly announced from inside her stall that she was finished with her shift. According to Amanda, she made this proclamation just as two 90-year-old ladies walked into the restroom and "shift" did not sound exactly like "shift."

Matt was assigned the Pennsylvania Turnpike part of the drive by virtue of being from that state and therefore to blame for all of the bad roads and tolls and everything else that is wrong with it. We played some more Mad Libs, sang along some more, and switched drivers once Pennsylvania was behind us.

I took over for the Ohio shift, which I had chosen for myself. I picked Ohio because I had been afraid of the multi-lane, high-speed driving in DC and Ohio has a low speed limit that you have to obey if you have Michigan license plates.

We had had a late lunch and snacked all through the drive and didn't want to eat at a Roy Rogers in Pennsylvania, so we finally stopped for lunch at an Ohio Panera at 5pm. Once we were back on the road, Cari pointed out that we had decided to study for our 503 midterm after we stopped for lunch, so we had better knuckle down before the sun went down. We went through sample questions and defined terms, then called it quits and put on the music again.

Once we got to Michigan it was Amanda's turn to drive, but I didn't mind continuing so we just stayed on the road. We finally got around to going through some of Matt's CDs and discovered the soundtrack from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, so we spent the last leg of the journey (including all that extra time when I missed an exit and had to turn around) loudly singing along with it.

I dropped myself off at home and everyone helped carry my stuff inside in exchange for the use of my bathroom. Srahmom, srahdad, Alfie, Señorita C and Grandma were all here when I got home, so the house was pretty packed. I was mostly exhausted from the long day and went to bed around 10:30.

srah | 11:42 PM | TrackBack
Tags: alternative spring break, alternative spring break 2004, school of information, washington d.c.

February 27, 2004

Je bois à trop fortes doses/ Je vois des éléphants roses [Day 7 of the DC trip]

I work work worked today to make sure I finished my project before the end of the program. I took a break around noon when my supervisor took me out to lunch, then came back to the office and managed to finish before he left at 4.

I spent some more time time foodling around on the Internet and taking pictures of the office for ASB, then went back to the hotel.

We sat around and watched various TLC shows to rest up at the end of the week, then got to thinking about dinner. Amanda and I decided we were going to have crêpes, but other people had various objections to this idea. We found a cheap crêpe place in Adams Morgan but it took everyone forever to get organized into a dinner party.

Finally we had 13 people. Ideally we would be splitting into French and Brazilian/Cajun factions, but all of the Brazilian/Cajun people wanted to check out the crêpe place too. Amanda and I wondered how we were going to fit 13 people into a restaurant without reservations on a Friday night, but we figured they would thin out eventually.

The party didn't end up thinning out until we had asked for a table for 13 and the other 7 didn't show up. Oh well. So Rebecca, Matt, Amanda, Cari, Billie and I had our crêpes and the rest hoofed off across the street. Billie and I split a "Haute-Savoie," which had Reblochon cheese, Swiss cheese, bacon and various other Alpine goodnesses. Once we got the dinner crêpes out of the way, it was time for the important part: dessert. I had a mocha crêpe - chocolate sauce and coffee ice cream. Mmmmmm.

One of our classmates had been staying with her sister in DC during the week and they had a party at the end. So after dinner we wandered around in circles and finally found the party. We were all pretty beat by that point, so we gossipped about SI for a while and then left around 10:30 or 11.

A few of our classmates had had problems with the Metro, because they were doing construction and sharing tracks, so it took forever to get anywhere. That, coupled with our sore feet and tired selves, enticed us to take a taxi home instead. We got to bed earlyish so that we would be ready for the next day's departure for Michigan.

srah | 11:47 PM | TrackBack
Tags: alternative spring break, alternative spring break 2004, amanda, crepes, school of information, washington d.c.

February 26, 2004

'Six girls, only two guys... where are all the guys?' [Day 6 of the DC trip]

Amanda and I made an after-work date today to go shopping at H&M. There's one just down the street from our hotel, but we hadn't managed to make it earlier in the week. I found a nice little corduroy skirt but alas, do not have any appropriate shoes, so I have to wait to wear it until I get home.

Seeing as we couldn't hit up the alumni for internships the other night, we instead hit them up for restaurant suggestions. So tonight we went to the Saigon Inn in Georgetown. I had never been to a Vietnamese restaurant, so I was very excited. Yen once made me some delicious Vietnamese chicken noodle soup, so I was looking forward to having that again and finding out what it was actually called in Vietnamese.

On the menu, it was called... Chicken Noodle Soup. Mystery solved. I guess.

Over dinner, conversation drifted around and landed for a long time on Friendster/Orkut and blogging and srah's blog in particular. So hello to any of my dinnermates who are visiting for the first time! I also brought up the topic of terrible ways to propose, which my friends have been shooting back and forth over email all week.

After we finished eating, we sat around the table and tried to figure out what to do next. We wanted to do some actual sightseeing, since most of what we'd seen in DC was bars and restaurants. Our waiter gave us advice, directions and a map and we decided to take cabs to the Lincoln Memorial.

The memorial was very nice and we took plenty of pictures to swap later and send to SI for the ASB 2004 website. There was a clear view of the Washington Monument from the memorial, so we also took plenty of pictures with the monument growing out of people's heads.

We set off in the direction of the Metro and happened upon the Korea and Vietnam War Memorials on the way. The Vietnam Memorial was not at all the way I expected it to be, from what I've seen in movies and on TV. I don't know how to describe it, but it was different. I hadn't realized that it sloped up and down, I guess.

Once we left the Vietnam Memorial, we realized that we were about as far from the closest Metro stop as we were from our hotel, so we decided to hoof it back home. We passed the Department of the Interior (what do they do, anyway?), the White House, and plenty of other interesting things we would have missed if we'd been underground.

I came home, talked to Mr B------ on the phone, and we all collapsed into dreamless and screamless sleep.

srah | 11:07 PM | TrackBack
Tags: alternative spring break, alternative spring break 2004, hm, school of information, washington d.c.

The Electronic Records Pussycat Swingers' Club

They should have swingers' clubs just for information professionals because really, so little in life is mutually exclusive.

srah | 11:51 AM | TrackBack
Tags: school of information

Bless me!

What is that weird smell after you sneeze? Is it stale air that's been stored in your sinus cavities? Is that the smell of snot? Is it just me?

srah | 11:40 AM | TrackBack
Tags: health, my favorite posts, sneezing

Resolved: That working is (and oughta be) a whole lot better than studying

When you are a student, you have to do research and write reports during the weekends and your free time and at night, after your classes and the jobs you have to work to survive and to pay for your tuition.

When you are in the Real World*, you have to do research and write reports during the day and that's all you have to do. And you get paid for it.

I suppose I am in school for a reason, and that's so that I can do my research and write my reports and eventually get paid more for it than I would without all that book-learnin'. I am looking forward to the Real World, I think.

–––––
* Not The Real World, but the other one that I don’t talk about as frequently.

srah | 10:10 AM | TrackBack
Tags: job search, school of information, work

Dream

Amanda and I woke up this morning because Cari was screaming in her sleep, followed by little whimpering moans. She can't remember what she was dreaming about, but she remembers she was still afraid when she woke up. I think there must be something in the water*, because I had the earthquake thing, Amanda dreamt we had to drive back down to DC from Ann Arbor and didn't leave until 4pm, and I had some more strange ones last night.

I was hanging out with one of the members of Monty Python's Flying Circus. I think we may have been filming a movie because John Cleese kept wandering by in the background. He was very old and pale and wrinkly and sickly. We went to some kind of school and each member of Monty Python had a booth, sort of like a science fair. Each was advertising a different Monty Python sketch. Michael Palin was deathly shy. This 13-year-old kid came up to one of the tables and was being a jerk and trying to be funny, so all of the Monty Python members ganged up on him and made him cry. I've had "Every Sperm is Sacred" in my head all morning, but I don't know if it was actually in the dream or if I just started thinking about it later through association.

There were a lot of dreams and strange things happening throughout the dreams, to the point where I would wake up – or at least be conscious that I was dreaming – and think 'I should remember this, because my dreams are crazy!' Now I've forgotten a lot of the details, but I remember something about a portable plastic shower that folded up and you could take places with you.

The last thing I remember was that it was Eboni's and Jenny Angel's birthday, so the whole DC-ASB crew went out to dinner to celebrate. It was also Britney Spears' birthday and she showed up at the restaurant and sat at a table in the back with her manager, because she had no other friends. I hated Britney, but I also felt bad because she was all alone on her birthday. So I suggested to the group that we invite her to join us. She was depressed and melancholy until we invited her, then she came and sat at our table and stole the spotlight from the other two birthday girls, whose party it had been, and commanded everyone's attention for the rest of the night. I hated her even more for that.

–––––
* Oh wait... it's LEAD!

srah | 10:09 AM | TrackBack
Tags: dream

February 25, 2004

'You should listen to Sarah, because she always knows what she's talking about.' [Day 5 of the DC trip]

I went back to the hotel after work only to find that I was the organizer for the group to travel to the SI Alumni Reception, based on the fact that I was the only one who had called Monique to ask for directions. Directions which I very cleverly wrote down, then left at work. Luckily a few other people had ideas of how to get there, and we were not too late after we subwayed it over there and walked the rest of the way.

The big question of the evening was, 'What kind of librarian do you want to be?' The School of Information was formerly the School of Library and Information Science and before that, the School of Library Science. So any alumni from earlier than about 1998 graduated with MLIS or MLS degrees and consider themselves librarians, rather than subdivisions of information professionals in the way that we do. They all stood up and told us that there were lots of job opportunities for librarians in the DC area and that they were hiring. Which was fascinating because lots of us aren't in the LIS specialization and those of us who are, are first-year students looking for internships, rather than second-years looking for permajobs. That was depressing and only made me more convinced that I should be doing a tailored HCI/LIS degree so that I can actually find a job after I graduate.

I drowned my sorrows by buying a Lindeman's Framboise, which was the most expensive beer ever. How is an imported beer more expensive in Washington, DC, at a place advertising the largest beer selection in the world, than at Ashley's in Ann Arbor? Ridiculous! My beer cost ten dollars more than Amanda's. But it was good and I knew how much it cost when I went in, so I'll stop complaining now.

A little looser after starting my beer, I was able to mingle and schmooze with the best of them. I had come to the Alumni Reception hoping to network and make connections and find HCI internship opportunities, but the overwhelming librariness of the attendees squelched that dream. So I just chatted for the sake of chatting, with no particular goals. This turned out to be a good thing, because I talked to a library science alum who is now working at the Patent Office, and he told me that it doesn't matter what you specialize in, because employers will be interested in the theoretical framework SI is providing to us and library science and computers are overlapping all the time now, anyway. So I guess I'm employable, if not internshippable. Talking to him made me feel a lot better, but I still have no idea what I'm doing this summer.

It was getting hot and we were getting tired and hungry, so we got a list of good local restaurants from a couple of other alums, Matt and I traded nametags, and we set off for Lauriol, a Mexican restaurant. I had a lovely, enormous salad, which I will be continuing to eat at lunchtime today, and we swapped stories of talking in our sleep, strange dreams, and the despair and desperation of the internship search.

We wandered back home, getting lost a few times (as usual), then chatted with Matt the Night Owl until I had to kick him out so we could go to sleep.

srah | 11:00 PM | TrackBack
Tags: alternative spring break, alternative spring break 2004, school of information, washington d.c.

srah's shocking realizations of the week

1) I like group work.

Maybe I'm just saying that because I get a week away from my 622 group and I have not yet gone through next week's heinous pain that is Project Managing the Survey Report. But working with my supervisor and his assistant, I realize that I actually have some skills to contribute and can come up with some good ideas. It's not so much that I'm great at HCI compared to other HCI students, but I am more aware of HCI issues than are non-HCI people.

Having this work experience makes me feel like I might be able to contribute something to a Real Job someday in the Real World, whereas being at SI just makes me feel bad about myself. I almost feel like I'm going through the torture of grad school for a reason now.

2) You can do some damn cool things with a Mac.

I'm working in another Mac-based environment here at the CDT.

My favorite feature is the little square on the left of the right-hand side, which resizes your window to 'as big as it needs to be.' This is very useful for switching back and forth between a full-screen and half-screen view while copying down text from a web site.

I also like the fact that you can drag things around to save or install them. You can just drag graphics from your Internet Explorer window to a Microsoft Word window rather than copying and pasting or saving and inserting. And they go all cutely transparent while they're being dragged.

On the other hand, you can't drag information between text input fields and my little <b>, <i> and <URL> buttons don't show up in Movable Type. I'm not completely sold on Macs and I'm not going to rush out and buy one, but the more I learn about them, the more I appreciate them.

It's only Wednesday! How many more shocking revelations can I have? Perhaps the one later in the week will be along the lines of I have so much freaking homework due next week that I have not started.

srah | 5:02 PM | TrackBack
Tags: alternative spring break, alternative spring break 2004, school of information, technology, work

Yet another networking measure

Mr Enlow invited me and so I've joined Orkut, another Friendster-esque system with the added advantage of loading a page in less than twelve hours. Let me know if you want an invitation!

srah | 12:42 PM | TrackBack
Tags:

February 24, 2004

'Sporkie? That's what I'm naming my first-born child!' [Day 4 of the DC trip]

There was a trip to the NPR archives scheduled today, but with a limited number of spots and starting at 5:30pm. So anyone who worked until 6 or didn't make it on the list had to find other plans tonight. Cari went out to dinner with a friend from DC, so Amanda and I sort of lazed around the hotel room until we decided it was time to get something to eat. We ran into Christy and got a call from Matt, who brought along Eunice and Eboni, so we ended up a group of six.

After much deliberation, we decided to explore the Dupont Circle area in search of an Italian restaurant. We ended up at Bertucci's, which is apparently a chain known for brick oven pizze*.

When we sat down at our table, our server introduced himself as Peter and told us that we could call him "Pete or Peter or whatever." Eboni wanted to call him P. Diddy. We spent the rest of the evening referring to him as "Pete 'r Peter."

I wondered out loud to the group if, since New York City waiters are always struggling actors, Washington, DC waiters were always struggling politicians. We speculated about whether Pete 'r Peter was wearing a rubber band on his wrist because he was trying to stop smoking and would snap it when he had a craving, or whether he was trying to be 80s. We asked him what the rubber band was all about and he started telling us about his day job, in which he had to collect a lot of papers in some governmental capacity and always needed to have a rubber band on hand. So it looks like I was right.

I asked Pete 'r Peter what the difference between the Traditional and Neapolitan pizze was and he responded that the Neapolitan pizze would give you special powers. Good enough for me! I ordered one with mushrooms, fresh mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, rosemary and sage. We also ordered a bottle of Chardonnay to split between four of us.

Pete 'r Peter brought us baskets of yummy rolls and a bottle of Chianti. When we corrected him, he looked heartbroken. I think maybe he's on drugs. We were like 'It's okay... but we would like the Chardonnay...' So he brought us our wine and kept trying to make up for it throughout the evening, by bringing us a free salad (how do you split a salad six ways? A dessert would have been better) and free rolls and by offering us separate checks at the end of the meal.

Once we had some wine in us, we started singing songs from The Sound of Music and Annie, but we are all librarians or other librarianesque information professionals, so we did so quietly, so as not to disturb the other diners. After dinner, we headed back to the hotel.

Some of the others went out again after dropping off their leftovers, but Amanda and I stayed in and watched TV. We missed American Idol, but watched Scrubs and some really old Cosby Show reruns. Why did Denise do that with her hair? What was Sondra wearing? Did Bill say, "You kids today, with your hippin' and your hoppin' and your bippin' and your boppin' – you don’t know the jazz music! Or the Jell-O pudding pops!" Okay, maybe not in those exact words, but there was something along those lines.

After Cari came home, we all went to bed. I'm not sure what time it was and whether I was asleep or not or had ever been asleep, but I had the impression that while I was trying to fall asleep, someone knocked on the door. It brought me to semi-consciousness, which is when I realized that the bed was shaking. I was convinced it was an earthquake, but after a while it stopped and didn't start again.

There's nothing on the news about an earthquake! It must have been a dream! Either that or my half-asleep brain thought the bed was shaking when it wasn't. I still don't know what happened there. Do they have fault lines anywhere near DC?

–––––
* If spelling the plural of pizza with an "e" is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

srah | 10:50 PM | TrackBack
Tags: alternative spring break, alternative spring break 2004, school of information, washington d.c.

Y usted, Eugene? Why's your face turning green?

People keep warning me not to drink the water here, that it tastes terrible and is not fit for drinking. I'm from Ann Arbor, folks! I think I can deal with a little chlorine.

Of course, maybe they have some terrible parasites in addition to the chlorine. Washington, DC is not south of the border - unless you mean the Canadian one or the Mason-Dixon line - but I guess I'll stick to bottled water nonetheless.

srah | 5:04 PM | TrackBack
Tags: travel

'He's just visiting!'

I think I saw the White House from afar yesterday when I went for a walk. It was very disappointingly small and the view was pretty lame. I hope it was just some other white building with a fountain in front but I fear that it's not. It's so stupid, getting excited about something and being let down.

srah | 10:38 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack
Tags: travel

February 23, 2004

'So, Cari... buy any pants today?' [Day 3 of the DC trip]

We went out for dinner last night in Adams Morgan (an area of DC with a lot of restaurants and bars). Half of the group went to an Ethiopian restaurant and the other 11 of us had Indian. We didn't have reservations, but they were still able to seat us all together at one table.

Amanda and I ordered a samosa (sort of a fried pie/dumpling thing with potato, peas and spices inside) each as appetizers, but they ended up being two each. I lurrrrve samosas and these were filling enough that I couldn't eat much of my entrée, much to the chagrin of the waiter and to everyone waiting for me to finish. I had a vegetarian combo with things whose names I've forgotten. One had potatoes and chickpeas, the other had lentils and spinach and they were accompanied by mixed vegetables in another sauce.

My new role in the group is money collector, which I do with pleasure and with an anal-rententiveness of money order and direction that is equaled only in Cheryl. I love to put the money in order - I'm just no good at counting it once I'm done. So we compiled a huge stack of cash and moved on.

Cari had kheer for dessert at the restaurant, an Indian rice pudding. When she ordered, I started thinking about kir, a French drink with white wine and crème de cassis. So when we stopped at a coffeehouse/bar called Tryst, I tried to order one, mostly just to see if I could. The bartender looked at my ID funny, bought my explanation and made me a kir, which he pronounced "kerr." I don't remember ever making a connection between kir and cough syrup, but this one was a bit like that. I don't know if the ingredients were wrong or the proportions were off or what. It was good on some sips and Sudafeddy on others.

I drank my kir and became convinced that I need to do a tailored Library and Information Science/Human-Computer Interaction degree instead of straight HCI. How else am I going to find a summer internship? I'm not qualified for anything.

After the bar, we were all exhausted and headed back to the hotel, trying to stay awake while we waited for our subway train. I made it back and collapsed into bed. Ah, the busy Spring Break lifestyle!

srah | 11:00 PM | TrackBack
Tags: alternative spring break, alternative spring break 2004, food, washington d.c.

Information professionalism at work? Or what?

I was actually useful today!

My supervisor, his assistant and another person here at my internship were having a discussion about certain documents on the website and they called me in. Filenames for most of their documents start with the date they were created. They wanted to significantly change the most popular page on the site and were arguing over whether they should create a new file with today's date and put in a redirection page, so that people would know that the page had been modified, or whether they should just write over the existing file.

They turned to me. I panicked. I scrambled through my head for some kind of rules I had learned at SI and suggested, nervously, that they replace the existing file with the newer version and make a note at the top of the page so that if visitors had been there before, they would know when the original page had been created and when the page had been changed*.

They thought this was a great idea!

It did not seem that difficult to me!

It seemed like the most logical thing to do in this situation. Is this because I have an SI education? Archives/library experience? Is it because that's what we do at the Overseas Opportunities Office?

I dunno. It made sense at the time. I am happy to contribute.

–––––
* No, mom and other archivists, they do not keep old versions of pages on the site, although they do back them up on disk somewhere.

srah | 5:06 PM | TrackBack
Tags: work

Unconscious Mutterings

Delayed but not forgotten...

srah | 3:04 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
Tags: memes, unconscious mutterings

February 22, 2004

Teh moon rulez #1 [Day 2 of the DC trip]

We got up in the morning, showered and dressed and went off in search of a mythical Waffle Shop of which we had heard tell. It was kind of sketchy but cheap and kind of cool. There seemed to be a lot of locals in addition to the people the hotel had directed there.

No one really had any firm plans or things they needed to see, so we set off wandering towards the Mall in a group with Rebecca, Teri, Amanda, Cari, Matt, Tom and Eboni.

A group of SI students wandering along Pennsylvania Avenue is automatically going to be drawn into one building, and drawn we were. After having our pictures taken in front, we headed into the National Archives for some home-grown SI nerdiness. While other people thought deeply about the information in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, we thought about conservation techniques and the value of having the original document. I wonder how often that tour guide is asked about the temperature and gas pressure gauges in the cases. He probably thought we were insane.

We continued our amble up to the Capitol, but as it was Sunday, we didn't bother to go all the way up the steps. We took pictures of the outside and then wandered into the Botanical Gardens next door.

Someone at the Botanical Gardens is seriously obsessed with orchids, because there were orchids, orchids, orchids everywhere. I guess orchids are okay, but I was particularly interested in the papaya and coconut trees, tea plants and herbs. I suppose my heart is in my stomach and my interests lie in What My Food Was Before It Was Food. Young Matthew was impressed by the colors and variety among all the plants and pointed out how amazing it was that they all managed to evolve uniquely and beautifully and yet had no idea what they look like. An orchid doesn't know if it's purple or yellow or if it's square or orchid-shaped. I don't know why this struck me, but I had never thought about plants' lack of self-awareness.

It was getting late and we wanted to see more, so we moved along and started back in the direction of the hotel. We stopped in the Air & Space Museum and looked at the WWII exhibit, a human-powered glider, a model of an aircraft carrier that took 1200 hours to make and a collection of aircraft personnel uniforms. I also checked out the WWI exhibit while everyone else was resting. In the entryway of the museum, there was a sample of a moon rock that you could touch. I hoped that in touching it I would have some kind of mind meld with moon people, but it pretty much just felt like touching a rock. Sigh...

At that point, we were pretty pooped (not pooping) so we headed back to the hotel for a rest before dinner. Around 4, we met up with more of our group and went off in the direction of the Kennedy Center. The plan was to eat at a pizzeria under the Watergate Hotel before popping over to the free concert at the Kennedy Center at 6.

The problem was, the pizzeria was closed and there was nowhere else in sight to eat. Those who had been in my group during the day quickly realized that we had forgotten to eat lunch. So we wandered. And wandered. And wandered. When we finally found something, it was closed. We continued wandering and wandering until we started seeing that the people coming towards us were carrying food, food wrappers, crumbs and other signs that sustenance was to be found in that direction. Eventually we found our way to the George Washington University student center's food court, where we slaked our hunger with Burger King, Taco Bell, Subway and Chinese food.

Thanks to the fast food we'd found, we were still able to make it to the Kennedy Center in time. It is a really impressive building with enormously tall ceilings. They have a free concert series going on this week, so we got to see the Holmes Brothers, which was quite enjoyable.

After the concert, we were all exhausted and our feet hurt, so we stumbled onto the shuttle, the metro, and into the hotel. We collapsed for a while, then all gathered together to watch the series finale of Sex and the City before going to bed.

srah | 8:31 PM | TrackBack
Tags: alternative spring break, alternative spring break 2004, school of information, washington d.c.

February 21, 2004

'Please don't set my lipgloss on fire!' [Day 1 of the DC trip]

Amanda, Matt, Cari and I left Ann Arbor at 9:01, just on time. I was surprised that I was the lightest packer of all. I'd been afraid that I would take up a lot of space with my suitcase and additional bags for food and things, but I had the smallest suitcase in the group.

As I was the second person in the car, I sat in the front passenger seat for the first shift. By the time we switched drivers, I had already created a nest for myself with all of my belongings, so I ended up staying in the front seat for the whole trip.

I brought along a book of Mad Libs which was wildly popular. Mad Libs tends to start out tame and get dirty, but ours went from tame to dirty to nerdy as the last and funniest were all filled with SI-related nouns (structuration theory, user interface), adjectives (user-friendly, authentic), verbs (appraising, berry-picking) and parts of the body (visual perception system, ARM). I'm sure that I will soon be sharing the best phrases with anyone nerdy enough to care.

My stately impressions from the trip: Ohio is slow but has some really nice rest areas (we stopped at one with a Panera Bread and a Starbucks). Pennsylvania is full of expensive tolls and has crappy roads and crappy rest areas. If you can avoid going to Pennsylvania, you should. Unfortunately, it is huge and inconveniently located, so it's hard to avoid. Maryland lasts longer than it should, but we didn't stop there, so I can't make any judgments about the state itself.

My shift was the last one, into DC. I don't know how that happened, but it finally came time for me to step up and do my part for the car* effort. I was terrified. I called Robin for advice, then took to the road. Everyone was required to be awake and alert for my part of the drive, as I needed all of the navigation assistance I could get. I had to drive on heavy-traffic four-lane roads, then on city streets. Once we got into DC, you would think that the street numbering system would be easy. Except that on Constitution Avenue, not all of the numbered streets go through. So we thought that it was only even streets when there was no 15th, until 12th snuck up on us. I had to make up for missing 12th by turning onto 11th but managed to miss that too. When I finally compensated for my errors, I missed Pennsylvania Avenue and ended up having to go around in circles. But we finally made it to the hotel, checked in and were able to relax.

Our hotel is just fine, if a little strange. Cari, Amanda and I are sharing a room with three double beds and two twin beds. The room next door has six beds for four people. This place is enormous and is always either too hot or too cold.

Our carload went out to dinner with Rebecca, Teri and Julie at Clyde's in Georgetown. Rebecca, Cari and I all had crab cake sandwiches in order to take advantage of fresh local seafood. They were very tasty. After dinner we went to a bar called Old Glory and played "I've never" with each other and with our waiter, Thane.

Everyone with the new Michigan driver's license had no trouble all evening but Amanda and I, with the old version, got hassled everywhere we went all evening. With the old-style Michigan license, one could get the license at 16, then renew it by mail at 21. When you renewed by mail, they sent you a sticker to put over the old expiration date saying "SEE BACK" and a sticker on the back showing the new expiration date. It never occurred to me how sketchy and suspect this looks because no one in Michigan ever questions it. At Clyde's, the waiter actually took Amanda's license with him back into the staff area to check it out further.

After one Long Island Iced Tea, I was rather tipsy (as usual), but I managed to bumble into a cab and home again. We all collapsed into bed, exhausted.

srah | 6:00 PM | TrackBack
Tags: alternative spring break, alternative spring break 2004, mad libs, school of information, washington d.c.

Good riddance!

Well, I'm off to Our Nation's Capital.

Well, unless you're not an American. In which case, what are you doing reading this, you heathenly infidel?

So, I'm off to My Nation's Capital. Eight hours in a car with her and him and her housemate, followed by a week of working glee! Please offer me a summer internship, O Place of Employment!

I imagine there will be blogging and lots of it, as my time in DC will undoubtedly be frought with adventure and I will hopefully have Internet access at work.

To celebrate my absence, you may participate in this terribly-designed survey that I made for my group project while hopped up on illness and cough medicine.

Buhboi for now.

srah | 7:54 AM | TrackBack
Tags: travel

February 20, 2004

Denial of (health) service

My Programming instructor has spent the last several weeks detailing his ongoing relationship with pneumonia. First he was flirting with it, then winking across the room, then holding hands, then he and pneumonia deep tongue-kissing. He told us all of these tales, then coughed across the table at us during lab.

I got sick this week and while I'm sure it's only a cold, it occurred to me that Hans could be contagious. Once this seed of an idea was planted in my head, the hypochondria took off and flourished, until I decided, at about 4:15 this afternoon, that I did indeed have pneumonia and I needed to see a healthcare professional immediately.

I called the University Health Services from work.

"I was wondering if it would be possible to fit me in this afternoon?" I asked.

"Well, we close at 4:30 today, so I don't think you would make it."

She rambled on about how I could come in tomorrow around 9, but we're leaving for DC at 9, so that wouldn't work for me. I was going to give up and just pray I didn't have anything other than a cold when she offered to connect me to a nurse, who could give me a basic diagnosis through the phone.

"Sure, why not?"

She put me on hold. I waited. Someone picked up and asked me why I was calling. I started to tell her my symptoms and she said, "Oh, I'm not the nurse." She put me back on hold. Someone else who wasn't the nurse picked up. She put me back on hold. Finally, the nurse answered. She asked me what my symptoms were and I told her that I was phlegmy and had some shortness of breath.

"I can't really diagnose anything over the phone," she explained. "You should probably come down here."

!!!!!!!!!! UHS is also short for UnHelpful Suck!

So I quickly explained to my boss that I had to get over there, shut down my computer and ran across campus. I hit Fletcher Street just as the bell tower was tolling 4:30 and ran two buildings down to UHS... only to find that it was closed. I begged the official door-answerer to no avail. DENIED!

So hopefully it's all in my mind and I won't be hospitalized in DC unless it's for the subway collapsing on my head.

srah | 5:55 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
Tags: university of michigan

February 18, 2004

Angled bob? Whazzat?

I got my hair cut today. Again. I took Robin along to translate from English to Haircuttese and still didn't get exactly what I wanted.

What I want is something that requires absolutely no effort and makes people go "Hey, that's a really cute haircut!" What I've got is... okay, I guess. I think I would have gone shorter if I'd been in control, but they told me this was short enough.

Who knows... maybe this one will turn out impressive (or at least noticeable) and easy to manage. I've only seen it in fresh-from-the-haircut-and-blowdried mode, so maybe it will work in fresh-from-the-shower-and-airdried mode and I'm just being an insane complainer. That's usually the case.

srah | 12:58 AM | TrackBack
Tags: haircut

I don't even make me laugh

I don't think this is funny, but it popped into my head and won't go away.

What kind of color codes do French chefs use on their web pages?

srah | 12:52 AM | TrackBack
Tags:

February 17, 2004

More sick-day haiku

Katie and Sarah
Are once again caught up in
The Haiku Cycle.

7 AM: Barf*.
Rest of the day: Starve instead.
Neither is much fun.

Tea, broth and crackers
Don't provide much sustenance
For poor, sickly srahs.

I watched A New Hope.
Grainy film, Han shot Greedo.
The Special Eds suck.

Attack of the Clones
srah wants the clones to attack
Hayden Christensen.

Oh Princess Leia
Hair all bunnified. You could
Kick your mother's ass.

–––––
* Could be replaced with "bjork," thanks to jday...

srah | 3:16 PM | TrackBack
Tags: haiku, poetry, sick, star wars, star wars: a new hope, star wars: attack of the clones

CNN has gone insane

I always thought that CNN was a source for serious news coverage and things like that. Here are the two CNN links I've come across most often lately:

It's splitsville for Barbie and Ken - Why is this written completely straight, as though they were real people?

"[The vice president of marketing at Mattel] hinted Wednesday that the separation may be partially due to Ken's reluctance to getting married. All those bridal Barbie dolls in toy chests around the globe are really just examples of Barbie's wishful thinking, she explained."

What planet is Mattel living on? My Barbies and Kens always got married. And Ken married not only Barbie, but also Perfume Pretty Midge and Kelly from Beverly Hills 90210. I think Mattel and CNN are both smoking something.

Polaroid warns buyers not to 'Shake It' - "C'mon, lay it, c'mon, lay it, c'mon lay it on a fla-a-at surface..."

srah | 12:08 PM | TrackBack
Tags: discovered

Yet another CD swap

Burn It! - The Winter Edition:

"I was thinking of making this theme all about melancholy music (winter being a time when lots of people get the blues). tj suggested making it a SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) mix which fits both the melancholy music and the season. So, for this theme, music that you listen to when sad or music that makes you blue should be what you're shooting for. It could be the lyrics or just the way that the song sounds."

Get on over there and sign up if you're interested in participating!

srah | 11:42 AM | TrackBack
Tags: cd swap

Any Washingtonians out there?

I spent Fat Tuesday 2000 in Louisiana. 2001 was in Grenoble. 2003 was in Vichy. I didn't expect them in France, but I was disappointed to find that paczki seem to be a Michigan tradition that has not spread around the US.

This year, I will be in Washington, DC. Does anyone know where one can find paczki in Washington?! Do I need to go and scratch at the gates of the Polish embassy?

My parents are willing to buy and freeze one for me to eat when I get back, but it's not the same. I really don't want to have to call all of these bakeries and ask...

Interesting note: In my Googlings research, I have discovered that the singular of paczki is "paczek" (pohn-check).

srah | 10:37 AM | TrackBack
Tags: food

February 16, 2004

Ode to the flu (or whatever this is)

Poor little Sarah
Have a cup of tea. Wet heaves
instead of dry ones.

Before: curl up with
a good movie. In grad school:
curl up with text books.

It seems I do have
stomach muscles. I know 'cause
I feel them spasming.

srah | 8:24 AM | TrackBack
Tags: haiku, health, poetry

February 15, 2004

Unconscious Mutterings

Something wicked this way comes...

srah | 9:41 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack
Tags: memes, unconscious mutterings

February 14, 2004

Blog It Forward V: The Wrath of Srahn

Okay, I'm a little late.

"Your task today will be to pick someone (or sometwo or somethree) off of your blogroll and let us know why you feel that they are linkworthy."

All month I've been planning who I was going to blog forward and now I've forgotten. Yippee! There was some kind of theme in my mind, but I'll just have to pick a few unrelated ones this month.

Ain't It Cruel - Justin's Movable-Type-published blog is a beauty to behol-- What's that? Still at LiveJournal? Oh. Well, it's still okay. Justin is always full of lovely links and introduces me to wonderful music like the greatest band of all time. Plus, he's dreeeeeeeeamy.

the text obscured - I've always felt like Ismat is one of the cool kids in The High School that is The Blogging World, so I was quite flattered when she emailed me out of the blue earlier this year! She's back in Ann Arbor now after a tumultuous life change, and I wish her the best of luck getting back into the swing of things...

Geese Aplenty - Greg is another of those Cool Kids and is adored by the female blogging community and some of the males as well. Sometimes I am convinced that he's actually a group blog, because I don't quite see how one person could be so consistently funny. Is also dreeeeeeeeamy.

srah | 5:15 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack
Tags: memes

February 12, 2004

'Sometimes I think I'd be better off dead. No, wait, not me, you.'

"I think a good product would be "Baby Duck Hat". It's a fake baby duck, which you strap on top of your head. Then you go swimming underwater until you find a mommy duck and her babies, and you join them. Then, all of a sudden, you stand up out of the water and roar like Godzilla. Man, those ducks really take off! Also, Baby Duck Hat is good for parties."
- Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handey

I wore socks with ducks on them yesterday and every time I looked at or thought about my feet, that popped into my head.

Now, having said "popped," I thought,

"If you're ever shipwrecked on a tropical island and you don't know how to speak the natives' language, just say "Poppy-oomy." I bet it means something."

Man.

It would be nice if this post had some kind of conclusion, but I really just wanted to post about the Baby Duck Hat.

The End.

srah | 5:12 PM | TrackBack
Tags: quote

Gondor needs no pants... but I do!

I went pants* shopping last night and one of the pairs I bought was on clearance for $7.77. I wouldn't normally buy red pants, but they were only $7.77. $7.77, I tell you! What a deal!

I know you don't freaking care, but neither have the other 75 friends, classmates, co-workers and strangers I have informed today. Everyone must know!

* Or "trousers" if you come from one of the keraaazy parts of the world where "pants" means underpants.

srah | 5:03 PM | TrackBack
Tags:

He types pretty well for having no thumbs

Dear srahFamily,

You so crazy!

I know that you just spend the whole day sleeping at your respective "jobs" and "schools". Well, that's what I do all day. Is there really anything else to do? If there is, I certainly can't think of it. But then, I do have a brain the size of a sultana*.

So since you get so much sleep during the day, there's no need for you to be horizontal all night! Therefore, I suggest a plan of Paying Attention to Howie. And by "suggest," I mean "insist on."

I don't know if you noticed, but I put my plan into action last night. I let you get about three hours of sleep in, because - hey - I know the value of a nap, even if you do sleep all day. At about 2am, I decided that was quite enough sleep for you, and that your time would be better spent staying awake and playing with me.

Wasn't it funny how I woke you all up individually at different times throughout the night by scratching at your bedroom doors to be let in, then pawing at you desperately until you concluded that you had better let me out or I was going to do something horrible on the carpet?

Here's the joke - I wasn't! Ha ha ha ha ha!

You trudged sleepily to the back door and opened it, but I wanted to stay inside where it was warm. You thought I was waking you up to let me out, but I was waking you up to play with me! Silly family! Sometimes you just don't understand.

You grumbled and yelled and swore at me under your breath, but I think deep down, you saw the humour in my little game and really had some fun playing along.

Until tomorrow night,

The Demon Dog

–––––
* The raisiny thing, not the sultan's wife.

srah | 1:45 PM | TrackBack
Tags: howie, open letters

February 11, 2004

Much like a Night at the Opera, actually

Ask me how my bus ride to school went this morning.

srah | 11:01 PM | TrackBack
Tags:

February 10, 2004

Everybody's working for the weekend

Or at least tomorrow. I just need to get through about five hours on campus, then I can come home and nap from about 3pm to Thursday morning.

What is wrong with this semester? Why do I feel so tired all of the time?

srah | 10:24 PM | TrackBack
Tags: school of information

February 9, 2004

'We'll be rocking 'til the sun goes down'

The Darkness will be at St Andrews Hall on March 28th! Who wants to come with us?! Hurry up and let us know so we can buy tickets before they sell out!

srah | 9:25 PM | TrackBack
Tags: music

Ah, William Hung. You are a household name.

... in our household anyway.

(During a discussion of the Democratic candidates)
me: The thing about Wes Clark is, he has no political experience.
Dad: Yeah, and he has no professional training of singing.

srah | 8:41 PM | TrackBack
Tags: american idol, american idol 3, politics, tv, wesley clark, william hung

'And when you got to check where the user's head is at/ Best pick up a copy of Beyer and Holtzblatt'

Remember back when I whinged that there were no songs for the HCI professional? Well, I can't complain about that anymore...

Uh, yeah. I want to cry, and I don't know if they're tears of sorrow or joy. I have listened to it three times in the 15 minutes since I downloaded it, though...

[via little.yellow.different]

srah | 7:10 PM | TrackBack
Tags: school of information

American Booty

This is America.

I believe that as citizens, green card holders, student visa holders, illegal aliens and tourists of this great country, we are endowed with certain inalienable* rights, not the least of which is the Right To Wear Underwear That Fits, Particularly If You Are Wearing Tight, Ass-Hugging Pants.

And yet so many of my fellow Americans** do not exercise this right and instead inflict upon their countrymen the sight of half of their butt bulging out the bottom of too-tight, too-small underwear.

Why do you never hear the candidates discussing the issues that really matter to me? I'm going to have to run myself. I'm forming my own party - one that cares about my issues.

Vote srah for the Bulgy-Ass Rectification for the Future party***!

–––––
* Or "unalienable," if you are John Adams. And if you are John Adams, please leave a comment, because I am quite impressed that you are reading my blog. Say hi to my namesake for me!
** By which I mean "that one girl in front of the Social Work Building today".
*** What's that spell?

srah | 2:44 PM | TrackBack
Tags: fashion, united states

srah's athletic exertion for the week

Having read a few books with characters who are athletes, I know that when you push yourself in athletic pursuits, chemicals called endorphins are released into your blood. You will push yourself beyond pain in order to release these chemicals, which drug your brain and make it happy. Athletes build up immunities to endorphins, though, which explains the athletic drive. Like with any addiction, the more you get, the more endorphins you need to get that buzz the next time.

Running late for being early this morning, I combined frantic flailing running (think Phoebe on Friends) with brisk walking and breath-catching and terrible hacking and lung-coughing-up all the way from the bus stop to work*. Maybe there's some kind of plateau you have to reach in these athletic pursuits, because I don't feel any endorphins. I've got plenty of pain, but nothing is pushing me to keep going. I don't feel any desire to hack up any more lungs or to ever run anywhere again, thankyouverymuch.

* All the way from the bus stop to work: Across the Diag.

srah | 9:21 AM | TrackBack
Tags: sports

February 8, 2004

Dream

I think I dreamt last night that there was a new reality show with two members of ABBA teaching in a high school and causing all kinds of hijinks with very heavy, faked Swedish accents.

I hope I dreamt that.

srah | 10:50 AM | TrackBack
Tags: dream

Unconscious Mutterings

Free extensions? In the association. Or something.

srah | 2:09 AM | TrackBack
Tags: memes, unconscious mutterings

February 7, 2004

We really like cheese we like zeppelins

In case you're wondering where the idea for those freaky singing monkey-things in the Quizno's ads come from, it's from We Like The Moon. I'm surprised how many people haven't seen this!

srah | 3:30 PM | TrackBack
Tags: discovered

Yet another Alternative Spring Break: being tackled by Secret Servicemen

SI has a program called Alternative Spring Break, where SI students go to New York and Washington, DC during the week-long break and do projects for real live organizations to use SI-learned skills and gain new skills and experience.

I'd been hearing about this trip all year and had kind of thought about it, but hadn't given it much serious consideration until Young Matthew emailed me and asked me if I was going. I finally checked out the website, realized I had two days before applications were due, got my rear in gear, applied, and was accepted this week.

So later this month I'll be off to Our Nation's Capital to update the website of the Center for Democracy and Technology and do a bit of sight-seeing on the side. Our hotel is apparently right nearby the White House, so I will be close enough to spit on the president.

But I won't, because my mommy says I oughtn't.

srah | 3:23 PM | TrackBack
Tags: alternative spring break, alternative spring break 2004, washington d.c.

There is such a thing as a free lunch

Complaining aside, I guess I do have to take some initiative on getting professors to remember my name and/or face. Hence, Take Your Professor To Lunch Day.

On the 10th of every month, U-M has a secret (or perhaps just badly-advertised) program where you can have a free lunch in one of the campus restaurants for up to four people, including a professor, instructor, or GSI. (I can't find a website about it, but if you're on the U-M campus, you can go to room 1310 in the Michigan Union to get a voucher. It will be happening again March 10 and April 9 if you miss this one.)

So Mr B------ and Young Matthew and I decided to be proactive* and woo professors with free lunch.

This has turned out better than we imagined, because the professor we invited got very excited and when we had to inform him that the voucher could only be used at university restaurants, it prompted him to invite us out for lunch at a non-campus restaurant for another time.

–––––
* I freaking HATE that word

srah | 3:10 PM | TrackBack
Tags: university of michigan

Liberal Arts at Work on Ruining My Life?

tbone and I also agreed that a liberal arts education has also ruined our chances at happiness.

At the point where 50% of college-bound seniors in my graduating class were headed for the University of Michigan, I went to Albion College. At Albion, all of my professors had or were working toward PhDs but they actually taught me themselves. They invited me to their houses for dinner, they took me on class trips, they knew me well enough to write recommendations for me, and they still know me when I come back to campus. As an undergrad at U-M, I may have had lectures by a professor, but all of my interactions would be with GSIs (graduate student instructors) while the professors went off and did research and taught graduate students.

That wasn't what I wanted, and I knew that I could go to a small, private liberal arts school for undergrad and go on to graduate school. I would get a more individualized education and I could follow it up with a degree from a big-name school. And once I was at the graduate level, I would actually be taught by professors.

Now I'm actually at this big-name school, doing graduate study, and it isn't at all what I expected. It may be because the School of Information doesn't have an undergraduate component, but I don't see how being a master's student is any better than being an undergrad. We are still in the situation of being lectured by a reknowned professor while our discussion sections are led by GSIs.

I can't say this is all bad, because although the worst instructor I've had at SI is a doctoral student, the best teacher I've had is also one. Another of my favorites is an adjunct lecturer with a master's from SI and no doctoral study.

The problem is that when you need recommendations for an internship, a GSI isn't going to cut it. An adjunct lecturer isn't going to cut it. I didn't take classes from well-known professors in my field until this semester and at this point I don't know how to approach them.

SI is small, for U-M, but it's somehow not small enough for me.

srah | 2:53 PM | TrackBack
Tags: school of information, university of michigan

She bangs! Out some excuses!

tbone and I have come to the following agreement:

American Idol is ruining our lives. We were both unhappy this week. We have decided that this is because we wasted most of our evenings by watching American Idol. Then after wasting our evenings in pointless entertainment, we had to either feel guilty about not doing homework during that time or feel tired when we stayed up after AI, doing said homework.

Wouldn't you think that would make me resolve to stop watching the show, because it's interfering with my schoolwork and my happiness? No such luck. It's bonding time with friends and family! Can't give that up!

If you are also dangerously addicted to the show, here are a few links that might interest you...

Sigh... must balance time better so that I won't be miserable all semester...

srah | 2:04 PM | TrackBack
Tags: american idol, american idol 3, tv

United Nations at the mall

My parents are taking representatives of Argentina, Ecuador, the Congo and Bosnia to the mall this afternoon, as our exchange student, Señorita C, appears to have made friends from all of these countries during her first week and a half of school. After the big mall trip, she's off to a dance this evening.

It's funny having a teenager in the house again. The phone is constantly ringing. My sister and I haven't lived at home at the same time for six years, so the last time that happened, I was the teenager and didn't notice my own teenagerdom.

Señorita C has been in this country for about 23 days. I have been here for 23 years and I don't have the kind of active social life and social system she has!

srah | 1:34 PM | TrackBack
Tags: carla

I am tempted to vote for the CWDHFNFLN...

Voting stresses me out. At the insistence of a friend, I applied to vote in the Michigan Democratic Caucus. So I've spent the past week (well, mostly this morning) trying to figure out who I'm going to vote for.

The letter I received along with my ballot asks for contributions to the Michigan Democratic Party and informs me that by requesting this ballot, I have "taken the first step to defeat George W. Bush!" While I'm all about getting that wang out of office, I wish there were a way to rephrase that so that it wouldn't be so negative. Why can't we be "supporting American ideals" or something like that?

There is less stress because I don't feel like my vote is going to make as big of a difference overall (this is just a Democratic caucus rather than the Big Election), but there's more stress because there are so many candidates to choose from and no one really stands out in my mind. Most of the candidates are interested in giving more rights to homosexuals and in repealing or limiting the Patriot Act. So where do I go from there?

I suppose it would help if I had any opinion on anything related to the economy. I don't know anything about economics or what the current government's economic action has been or what has been done in the past and how that's affected the country. Four weeks into the semesterful of SI 502, I am quite sick of hearing anything about economics, either micro- or macro-.

I have until 4pm today to make my decision. Tick tick tick tick.

srah | 12:44 PM | TrackBack
Tags: election 2004, politics, voting

Love and sympathy from The Fam

Me: My Becky is home!
(they embrace)
Alfie: Did you blog?
Me: Nooooo.
(Alfie pushes me away)
Alfie: No hugging until you blog!
Me: I need hugs to blog!
(srahmom tries to hug me, Alfie pushes her away)
srahdad: I'll hug you.
(hugs me and spins me around. And around. And around.)
me: Ahhhhh! I'm being squished! And my toes are being stepped on! And now I'm dizzy!
(they stop spinning)
Alfie: Well, at least if you throw up in the middle of the kitchen, you'll have something to blog about.

srah | 11:52 AM | TrackBack
Tags: conversation, readers' choice, srahfam

February 5, 2004

ΣΔΤ more than you can imagine!

Apparently there is a Sigma Delta Tau sorority on campus! I thought it was just some kind of crude sexual joke when I saw the girl with ΣΔΤ plastered across her ass!

srah | 11:48 PM | Comments (13) | TrackBack
Tags: university of michigan

A political observation

Kerry... Dean... Clark... Edward(s)...

I think Dennis Kucinich and Al Sharpton should run together on the Candidates Who Don't Have First Names For Last Names ticket.

srah | 9:18 PM | TrackBack
Tags: election 2004, voting

I don't feel like titling this entry

I've mostly spent this week getting annoyed and upset at things. Not the kind of lighthearted annoyance I can make into something silly and funny, or the kind of insane ranting that I can do when I'm better-rested. I'm tired and I'm tired of lots of things and I've been letting things get to me and I'm not happy about a lot of things.

I think I need a vacation. Or a hug. Or a weekend.

srah | 9:01 PM | TrackBack
Tags:

February 3, 2004

If you believe in forever, then this is going to be in my head till then

When I woke up this morning, I had the following phrase in my head. I groaned and turned back over, but it was still there when I woke up again and has been popping into my head all day long.

If you believe in forever, then life is just a one-night stand. If there's a computer nerd heaven, then you know they've got a hell of a LAN.

It's a curse, folks.

srah | 11:30 PM | TrackBack
Tags: music

Memes are not real content, srah!

I just like this because my answers are ridiculous:

EXOTIC FOREIGNER ALIAS = Favorite Spice + Last Foreign Vacation Spot
  • Herbes de Provence Antwerpen

SOCIALITE ALIAS = Silliest Childhood Nickname + Town Where You First Partied
  • Sammy Abigail Albion (partied?)

"FLY GIRL" ALIAS (a la J. Lo) = First Initial + First 2 or 3 Letters of Your Last Name
  • S-Mc (The SMIC is the French minimum wage. Sounds about right.)

ROCK STAR ALIAS = Any Liquid on the Bar + Last Name of Bad-Ass Celeb
  • Crème de Menthe Rock

DIVA ALIAS = Something Sweet Within Sight + Any Liquid in Kitchen
  • Carambar Palmolive

GIRL DETECTIVE ALIAS = Favorite Baby Animal + Where You Last Went To School
  • Monkey Westhall

BARFLY ALIAS = Last Snack Food You Ate + Your Favorite Drink
  • Chocolatecoveredalmond Tea

SOAP OPERA ALIAS = Middle Name + Street Where You First Lived
  • Abigail LaSalle

PORN STAR ALIAS = First Pet's Name + Street You Grew Up On
  • Taddy LaSalle

[via The Broken Lyre]

srah | 11:43 AM | TrackBack
Tags: memes

'And we could curse in fluent kangaroo'

Note: I have just read over the following entry and it occurs to me that it is 1am and I have been programming for a good seven hours. And you can tell. Pay no attention to that girl behind the keyboard. Is brain damage contagious?

Damn you, Phil! I don't care what you say. I am having Spring right here and right now. All of the snow and ice and wintry behavior that you were predicting can just stay in Pennsylvania with you. Who cares about Pennsylvania, anyway?

Good, now that I've offended my entire reading audience, moving on.

I don't see how one groundhog can accurately* predict the weather for the whole country, so I think we should have our own regional season-announcing vermin. And what animal would we choose in Michigan? The answer is obvious, because there's nothing like reaching into a burrow and pulling out a snarling, biting, rabid wolverine. Who cares about winter? Get me some medical attention!

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* Ha ha! Because, you see, the predictions? They're not real! It's a freaking rodent that they yank out of a box! Then they claim he whispers things in their ears about whether he saw his shadow or not, when really he's muttering about what he's going to do to their mothers! Groundhogs are really irritable on winter mornings and are, anyway, almost always quite unpleasant to talk to. Believe me. I know these things.

srah | 12:55 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack
Tags: weather

February 2, 2004

Humour! Get your humour! Step right up!

I would like to meet a short, titian-haired person who was once in the Marines, just so I could call them a little red Corps vet.

Ha ha ha! I have been thinking that one up for days.

srah | 10:36 PM | TrackBack
Tags: music

February 1, 2004

All my girls (and guys) at the party, look at his/her body

I question the logic of theming this year's Super Bowl halftime show "The Hits of Three Years Ago, As Performed By Has-Beens." As far as I know*, the only one in the mess who has a song currently playing on the radio is Kid Rock, and rather than sing that one, he sang his Big Hits of 1998 or whatever they were.

The worst offender in this category was Michael "Janet" Jackson, who hasn't had a hit in years, but was for some reason the headlining performer. He has got to be the richest person in the world. He owns all of the Beatles' music and has two separate musical identities bringing in revenue. That way, even when his "Michael" persona takes a hit from child molestation charges, he can just slap on a wig and some makeup and for some reason, "Janet" will be invited to sing at the Grammies.

He sang one of his big hits from about 1991. Is it old enough to be considered a "classic" and that's why they unearthed it after all these years? I don't think so. Then Justin Timberlake came on to inform his idol/beloved that he was going to have him naked by the end of the song. Justin helped by ripping part of Michael's top off, and CBS quickly had to go to commercial before the seam of Michael's Lee Press-On Boob® was visible and his "secret" was out on national TV.

* Although I will admit that I am nowhere near as "cool" or "hip" or "up on what all the kids are listening today" as my mother. Today's music is nothing but noise to me. Turn it down, you damn kids! Come on over here so I can tell you about, uh, Soundgarden. Now there was a band who could-- HEY! Get back here!

srah | 11:57 PM | TrackBack
Tags: football, sports, super bowl

February is the cruelest month

I'd like to give a big shout-out to the folks at SI Computing for making it through the month of January without a significant webmail outage! You go, people!

Directly to Hell!

Because it's out again!

srah | 11:49 PM | TrackBack
Tags: school of information

Collaborationist

When I'm working in a group, I expect my responsibilities to be Foibles, Hijinks and Baked Goods because if I were my groupmates, I wouldn't trust me with anything important. What do I know about anything, anyway?

So when one of my suggestions or ideas is met with a "Hey, we should do that" or a "Good point!" or someone lets me take charge of a situation rather than gently prying my fingers from the reins, I am constantly surprised and want to inform them of the errors of their ways.

Other than the fact that I seem to always end up in the Crazy Group that is willing to listen to things that I say, I think I actually like group work. My terrible driving need to be liked actually keeps me on task and forces me to have good work habits.

srah | 5:50 PM | TrackBack
Tags: school of information

Go FedEx go!

I imagine that I will spend the evening watching the Super Bowl, then running into the office to work on Programming homework between the commercials. Apparently this year they have some football game or something on as filler.

*shrug*

Where do they get these ideas?

srah | 5:45 PM | TrackBack
Tags: commercials, football, sports, super bowl

Unconscious Mutterings

My free associations have been removed to the extension and Sanitized For Your Protection.

srah | 1:11 AM | TrackBack
Tags: memes, unconscious mutterings

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