March 2005 archive

(51 entries)

March 31, 2005

The underlying psychological principles of my toiletries

My shampoo is specially made for brunettes, with a henna extract that is supposed to make your hair brighter, with coppery highlights. It claims that 80% de vrouwen* who use it see a difference in their hair color within something like a week.

My under-eye concealer makes similar claims about the under-eye area being Visibly Firmer within X amount of time and that X number of users could see the difference.

What I wonder is, does it actually make any difference at all? Neither of the companies make any claims about the difference that their product makes - just about the perceived difference. No one wants to believe that their shampoo or makeup isn't living up to its claims - they want to believe that they do look brighter and younger and more awake.

I think I would be more convinced by something like "In tests, it was found that 80% of people saw a difference in the hair color of the product's users." Don't make it a subjective judgment - tell me that there really is a difference that has been verified by outsiders.

The point is, does anything about me look different to you in the past few weeks? I'm not sure I see it.

* The bottle gives me this information in French, German and Dutch and I like the word "vrouwen." VROUWEN! I do find it interesting, however, that this shampoo is so vehemently for women only. Do we have such shampoo-gender-boundaries in the US? I am not aware.

srah | 10:19 AM | TrackBack
Tags: makeup, shampoo

March 29, 2005

Johnnie Cochran, we hardly knew thee

This is cracking me up. My mother insists that it's tasteless and refused, through her giggling, to laugh.

srah | 11:32 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack
Tags: discovered

I am all about research, as long as it's not at my university

I recently received this e-mail:

Hi, Srah

My name is Dan Li, a second year graduate student at Marquette University. I want your help with a survey on the topic of blogs. I would like to gain a better understanding of why people blog and how their motivations affect their blogging behaviors.

Your participation is strictly voluntary. You may refuse to participate or discontinue participation at any time without penalty. You're welcome to contact me (<phone number removed>; danDOTliATmarquetteDOTedu) at any time if you have questions about the survey. You may also contact Marquette University's Office of Research Compliance at 414-288-1479 with your questions about research participants' rights. If you decide to fill out the survey, your feedback will give me invaluable information about the communication process.

No cookies will be used to collect your personal information in the survey. Any and all information I receive will be kept strictly confidential and will only be seen by authorized members of study personnel. Data gathered from the survey will be summarized in the aggregate, excluding all references to any individual responses.

The online survey will only take about 20 minutes of your time. Thank you for taking the time to help with this important project.

Click the link to access the survey:

Yours truly,

Dan Li
Graduate Student
College of Communication
Marquette University
Milwaukee, WI
<phone number removed>

(I modified the phone and email contact information since this is the internet rather than an email now.)

I enjoy participating in surveys because I've had to create enough of them myself and know the pressures of recruiting subjects. If you're a blogger and want to help him out, go ahead and take the survey!

srah | 11:46 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack

March 28, 2005

A way to spend a few hours

If, for some reason, you have three hours to fill this afternoon, I suggest: Songs in outline form

Things which I will do for love:
  • Anything
Things which I will not do for love:
  • That

[Via sp3ccylad]

srah | 7:21 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack
Tags: discovered

March 27, 2005

Unconscious Mutterings

Free associations, chumps!

srah | 12:11 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
Tags: memes, unconscious mutterings

March 25, 2005

Another meme

I was tagged! What's to be done?

1. You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451 - which book do you want to be?
This is a strange question. What difference does it make, if they're all going to be burned? I guess Dante's Inferno, just for the sake of irony and because I've never read it.

2. Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
Trillions. From books, Gilbert Blythe and Calvin O'Keefe come to mind.

3. The last book you bought is:
I bought some books as Christmas presents... but I never have time to read anymore. :( So it was probably my Psych textbook. Ugh.

4. The last book you read:
Like a real book that you read for fun? I think it was Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which I reread over Christmas break.

5. What are you currently reading?
*cries* Don't rub it in, meme!

6. Five books you would take to a deserted island:

  1. The Lord of the Rings trilogy bound into one volume, because it's cheating and that would give me a lot to read and by the time I got to the end I would have forgotten everything from the beginning so I could start over again.
  2. Can I bind a few other series into one volume? No? Well then if I have to pick one Anne of Green Gables book, I'll take Anne of the Island.
  3. One Fine Day In The Middle Of The Night, by Christopher Brookmyre
  4. Some kind of guide to surviving on a deserted island
  5. A book of crossword puzzles

7. Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?
Noor, because she sent me an email forward so she needs to pay. J because he's all about teh blogging these days. Nick Baker because I wish I was at his party instead of spewing snot everywhere. And anyone reading this who doesn't have a blog can answer it in the blahblahs.

[via Cybervassals]

srah | 9:47 PM | TrackBack
Tags: attraction, books, boys, calvin o'keefe, gilbert blythe, memes


I drank 25 ounces of water in an hour this morning and then blew it all right back out my nose. My body now exists for the sole purpose of generating snot. My evil sinus overlords have allowed me the use of my fingers and part of my brain in order to notify you all that THIS BODY IS NOW UNDER THEIR CONTROL and that once they have used up all of the resources here, they will jump out of their current host and scurry up your leg and glom onto your face like something out of some movie - maybe Alien, but I haven't seen it.

Oh my god. Naptime.

srah | 1:40 PM | TrackBack
Tags: health, water

March 24, 2005

Self-obsessed travel plans! W00t!

Upon the discovery of yet another blogging srah, I did some Googling and came up with a new fantasy destination.

Alright, here is my new Ultimate Travel Goal: A trip that encompasses both this place and this one.

srah | 8:31 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack
Tags: travel

As long as I'm trapped at Bubble Island for hours on end...

Lychee fusion tea
With lychee jellies. It tastes
like perfumed fruit juice.

Lychee fusion tea
has lychee jellies that look
like diseased maggots.

Lychee fusion tea
has lychee jellies that feel
like diseased maggots.

And yet, overall
I find lychee tea to be
quite enjoyable.

srah | 8:04 PM | TrackBack
Tags: bubble tea, food, haiku, poetry


I am doing this assignment where I have to spend 7 hours in one place, observing people's behavior and taking notes. I still have four hours to go, and I have to do it before tomorrow morning. Somehow I didn't expect it to be this hard to sit in one place for hours at a time. It is hard. Awfully hard. Especially because I have Isidore and all of my other stuff here and I can't leave it alone and I don't really want to pack it all up... So, um, if you're in the area, please come to Bubble Island and watch my stuff so that I CAN GO TO THE FREAKING BATHROOM!

Problem solved: I broke the wall between the nonparticipant observer and her surroundings and asked the people next to me to watch my stuff. Ho hum.

srah | 3:17 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
Tags: school of information

Hey, why don't we go?

I heard Keane's "Somewhere Only We Know" five times today, none of them of my own choosing. I like the song, but I have to point out that I did not skew the results in any way by playing it myself. I heard it five times in public.

I heard it in my head all the rest of the day.

srah | 12:06 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Tags: music

March 23, 2005

Mystery Sinus Theatre 2005

One of my most popular posts is the one from about a year ago, wondering about the smell after you sneeze. People are always commenting and emailing me to say that they've smelled it too and to ask if I found the source. Now, after having seen informative videos on how your sinuses work, I'm wondering if what I'm smelling is a buildup of trapped mucus in my sinuses. This still doesn't explain why I only smell it when I sneeze rather than the whole time I'm sick.

The mystery continues...

srah | 3:38 PM | TrackBack
Tags: health, sneezing


I only remember snippets from last night's dreams:

  • I was at the UN and it kept jumping back and forth through time so one minute it would be the present and the next, I was being teased by Dag Hammarskjold. Ah, Dag. We were the best of friends.
  • I was on Mackinac Island with some friends who had never been there and was determined to take them to the Grand Hotel even though they weren't really that interested in it. Mackinac Island was a lot bigger in my dream and I couldn't figure out how we were going to get there. I asked a fisherman if he could take us around the island in his boat, but I had to ask him in French and I couldn't remember how to say "Grand Hotel" in French (it's "Grand Hotel"). I think we decided we were going to have to take a helicopter.
  • A bunch of men had taken this herbal sexual stimulant (obviously influenced by last night's episode of House) and were humping every inanimate object in sight.

srah | 2:43 PM | TrackBack
Tags: dag hammarskjold, dream, mackinac island

March 22, 2005

Hire me, ye downtrodden NCAA losers!

Have increased my Number Of Jobs Applied For by 67% today. By 67%? Is that right? Aw, forget this fancy math. I applied to two, bringing the total to five.

I finally got around to applying for two jobs at schools that are still in the tournament, keeping my pathetic basketball hopes alive! Gonzaga, you have shamed me. But I ain't proud. Got any openings in your study abroad office?

srah | 10:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Tags: job search, sports

March 21, 2005

'I think you dropped an ice cube...'

I think it's probably my duty to provide my readers with vital information about how to deal with women. Because, you know, I have a lot of experience with that sort of thing, dealing with myself all the time as I do.

Luckily, I have a sadistic streak, so what I'll be passing on to you is everything I've learned from Defective Yeti and Brawnyman (watch all of the others, too!).

srah | 7:30 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Tags: boys

That's no cold... it's a space station

Or a death plague of some sort.

Kill me now.

Must sleep till Thursday.

srah | 4:12 PM | TrackBack
Tags: health

Poetry corner

Ode to my dinner tonight

Oh muttar paneer
You are made with peas and cheese
I have leftovers.

Ode to a conversation we had over dinner about Mongolian delicacies

I like peas and cheese.
I like the two together.
I like both of them.

I like butter, tea.
I like them separate, but
Not butter in tea!

Ode to yuckiness in a bottle

I've just taken some
Robitussin to fight off
A cold I'm getting.

It tastes rather crap.
Medicine men, please work hard
To make it tasty.

It has maken me
Jittery - and nauseous too
Not really sleepy.

I might as well have
Poured salt water into my
Sinus cavities

srah | 3:01 AM | TrackBack
Tags: food, haiku, health, medicine, poetry

March 20, 2005

Unconscious Mutterings

There are a lot of bits of blog posts being generated but nothing being finished and published. I am completely exhausted now, so this will have to make do. Associations! And they're free!

srah | 1:51 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Tags: memes, unconscious mutterings

March 17, 2005

I am the one who will bring balance to the Force

When I was in 5th grade, my best friend and I used to read the dictionary for fun. Well, it was partially for fun and partially in order to learn words that no one around us knew. The one triumph that has really stuck with me was being able to call a yucky boy in our class a "contumacious ignoramus."

God, I'm a nerd.

Lately I've been noticing a particular character trait in myself and I couldn't find a good word to describe it. All of a sudden it came to me: I am contumacious. I am the devil's advocate. If you say black, I'll say white - not because I necessarily believe in white, but because I so enjoy balance and moderation and thinking about things from different sides. If you're depressed, I'll cheer you up. If you're happy, I'll bring you down. If you have low self-esteem, I'll build you up. If you think you're hot stuff, I'll smirk at you derisively. Soon, we will all be the same. And then won't we be happy?


I don't know - this is who I am. I like being the voice of Other Sides To Consider and the force for moderation but I know that we also need people with extreme views and ideas and passions or nothing would ever get done. Sometimes you even need moderation in moderation.

srah | 2:44 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack
Tags: srah

Thirsty like the wolf

I made a brief appearance last night at my first Meetup™ blog meetup, which happened to be in the same place as SOCHI's happy hour. There were quite a few familiar faces names blogs um... there were quite a few people there who have blogs that I've seen: Suds & Soliloquies (post about the meetup), Mark Maynard, 90% Crud, Vacuum, etc.

I'm not sure that I belong to the Ann Arbor School of weblogs. I'm not sure I belong to any school at all. Belonging to a school seems like such a commitment and like you have to share values and interests with people. I'm all about non-affiliation.

Ze srah, she is ze lone wolf. She will stop by your table in ze smoky bar of life and be humbled by your knowledge of techie bloggie stuff and Ann Arbor-area politics, but zen she will go and blog about her socks.

srah | 2:14 PM | TrackBack
Tags: ann arbor, bloggers, blogging, blogmeet

Uneducated guessing

Here is the extent of my knowledge/made-up facts about basketball: Tall people play it. James Naismith invented it. He was Canadian. Converse used to have contracts to shoe the NBA. Now they just shoe ninjas.

Here is the extent of my knowledge about the current state of college basketball: Division I college athletes are spoiled. Oh, and, um, I think Duke might be good. You always hear about them, don't you?

So, of course, it follows that I am not (if the NCAA asks) entering a NCAA basketball pool. Yes, that's it. Not entering. Go away, nice NCAA.

But I will share with you who I would pick if I were to be entering an NCAA basketball pool, which of course I am not. If you do not want to hear about college basketball or my expert justifications for the teams I picked (based on no information other than their names and current rankings), then read no further.

srah | 11:13 AM | TrackBack
Tags: basketball, ncaa, sports

Raise your glass of green (red?) pisco!

Just a reminder that next Wednesday is St Turibius of Mogroveio's Day! Everyone's Peruvian on St Turibius of Mogroveio's Day!

srah | 10:04 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack
Tags: holidays

March 16, 2005

I'm head of the class in user tests!

... or perhaps just Arvid. Ha!

Last year, I took several classes that required user testing. I never had time to help out my classmates and I felt bad about that. They needed users! So this year I've been trying to volunteer for every user test I'm eligible for. It's my duty to give back to the SI community in this way. I am helpful! My voice will be heard! And... I will get free stuff!

I did one user test for the new, improved SI website that is to come. I vented a lot about my own frustrations about SI and how they're reflected in the site... but maybe these are themes they'll hear a lot and maybe it will make a difference. We'll see.

The other test I did was on iTunes. I had fewer annoyances to vent, but the cool thing was that my Free Gift For Participating was an iTunes gift certificate.

Take that, Pepsi! I don't need you! I'll get my free mp3s and then I'll take that bright shiny new $20 bill I got for the other user test and I'll blow it all on coke!

I... mean... Coke.

srah | 4:43 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack
Tags: school of information


I dreamt last night that both of my college roommates hated me and were being passive-aggressive to me at Meijer. Next I had to catch a plane to leave France but we were at some kind of bad party with no one we knew, out in the middle of nowhere in the countryside. I had left my suitcases at the hotel (which was owned by my evil boss from this summer) and had to get back there before I could go to the airport.

I should email my roommates. I don't know what happened with the plans I made with Roommate - we just never got in touch with each other and nothing happened. Sigh... stupid interpretable dreams!

srah | 4:38 PM | TrackBack
Tags: dream

It's like sock hop, but it's not!

I love The Internet. I love that I can just shout things out into the void that people can read or not read and care about or not care about. And so, dear Internet, on that note I would like to share with you the fact that I bought the coolest pair of socks evar for ONE DOLLAR last week but they really have to be worn with a skirt and am hoping to have the opportunity to do so tomorrow, as the weather is supposed to be a) a few degrees above freezing and b) only partly cloudy. It's almost like freaking summer all up in this joint! Let us bask in the sun's warm glow!

(I really need spring to come already. Winter's grey, unending chill is making me crazy* AND severely limiting my wardrobe choices. I'm tiiiiiiiiired of trousers and sweaters!)

Oh Internet! Care or care not about the situation of my hosiery! It makes no difference to me! This is my space for inanities and drivel!

* Suuuure, blame winter!

srah | 1:05 AM | TrackBack
Tags: fashion, socks, weather

The cloying taste of failure

I would just like to rant here (because it's the only place I haven't ranted about it yet) that NO, I have not yet won the iTunes/Pepsi contest. Not that I'm bitter or anything.

You are supposed to have a 1 in 3 chance of winning a free song download and I have now suffered through three 20-oz. Pepsis with no results. People have tried to tell me that, in fact, I was no more likely to win on the third bottle than on the other two - that each bottle has a 33.3% chance of winning.

And to them I say: This sort of thinking is for the rational. And I ain't it.

I hate you, Pepsi-Cola!

srah | 12:44 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack
Tags: rants

March 15, 2005

Required reading... and viewing

I realized today that there are certain things that should be a prerequisite for anyone hoping to be "in" with srahfamily*. Srahfamily is, of course, the coolest family on earth and everyone wants to be "in" with them. But first you must understand the organizational culture by way of its cultural artifacts!**. This is an attempt to chronicle some of the things that are most often quoted or referred to around here (in some cases I have included a favorite quote because I just can't help myself!):




  • That one episode of Just Shoot Me with Elliot's supposedly-retarded younger brother, Donnie ("Chicken pot chicken pot chicken pot PIE!")
  • The Simpsons
  • Blackadder (especially Blackadder III, I think)
  • Jeeves & Wooster ("How do you feel when you marry your ideal? Every so goosey goosey goosey goooooseeeeey...")

I would welcome other suggestions from members of the family or those who think that they are "in!"

* Some of these may be more often quoted by srah than the rest of srahfamily. Sorry - I'm biased.
** Business School/Organizational Behavior, anyone?

srah | 5:28 PM | TrackBack
Tags: 1776, blackadder, books, dave barry, gilbert and sullivan, jeeves and wooster, just shoot me, monty python, movies, sideways stories from wayside school, srahfam, star wars, the pirates of penzance, the stupids, three by the sea

Reader Poll Monday Tuesday

I'm not a regular reader of Lasadh, but I liked the questions...

srah | 11:28 AM | Comments (7) | TrackBack
Tags: memes

March 14, 2005

On thought and language... I guess

In French, herbal tea is a tisane, whereas real tea is thé. I like that they have two different words for it, because herbal tea is for suckahs and when you're really desperate. It seems like by having two words, there would be less confusion and you could more easily express the idea that you want REAL TEA as opposed to herbal. Unfortunately, in my experience it doesn't make things any easier because a tisane is usually still considered a kind of thé.

I don't know what my point was... probably something about Sapir/Whorf and cultural understanding across languages. But my brain is not really up to that right now, so here's my new point: I like real tea.

srah | 5:03 PM | TrackBack
Tags: food, french, language

Thank you for milling around at Meijer

Meijer has this stupid mop-giveaway thing going on where every time I go to the store, they have a big Free Gift Giveaway Event as though it were something special for everyone who's in the store right then. I suspect they do it every hour. Anyway, I'm warning you. Don't even walk over to where the orange light is flashing because the Exciting Free Gift is mops. Unless you like that sort of thing.

The annoying thing is that they start announcing the giveaway two minutes before they're going to do it, then do it again 30 seconds later, then again 30 seconds later, then...

"This is the last and final call before we give away and distribute this fantastic free gift. Thank you for standing - and shopping - at Meijer."

This is an exact quote, emphasis theirs. The terrible thing is, on two different occasions, I have heard the announcement given by two different people. It's not just one ineloquent person in love with synonyms - this is written down on a script somewhere.

Thank you for standing at Meijer?

srah | 7:39 AM | Comments (11) | TrackBack

March 12, 2005

Unconscious Mutterings

Very musically themed this week. My head hurts a little. EAT FREE ASSOCIATIONS. Also, FREE ASSOCIATIONS ARE PEOPLE! Like Soylent Green. Does anyone actually read what I write in this space? Or Unconscious Mutterings posts at all? Let's see if this gets a reaction: You smell.

srah | 8:38 AM | Comments (10) | TrackBack
Tags: memes, unconscious mutterings

For the record

That was not a wine-tasting. That was a wine-drinking. Foods were tasty though, thanks.

srah | 8:20 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
Tags: alcohol

March 11, 2005

In case you wondered why I look so chipper this week...

I'd like to think that I'm immune to the stuff. It's closer to the truth to say I can't get enough. I think I might as well face it, I'm addicted to under-eye concealer.

srah | 6:22 PM | TrackBack
Tags: makeup

March 10, 2005

'You are on this council, but we do not grant you the title of Master.' 'What? Hells no, biatch!'

Srahfamily sat around the TV this evening and sacrificed our souls and our eyes through fifteen minutes of The O.C. in order to catch the Star Wars: Episode III (I've forgotten the title of this piece of garbage) trailer.

From what I can tell, this episode in the series is going to be a tale of disappointment. Obi-Wan's disappointment that Anakin is not The Chosen One Who Will Bring Balance To The Force. Anakin's disappointment that he's not made a Jedi Master. Samuel L. Jackson's disappointment that he's gonna die. And, of course, last but not least, your disappointment and mine. That this movie blows.

I started laughing after the first clip of dialogue. It's like Ian McDiarmid is doing an impression of The Emperor rather than playing him. I understand that Darth Vader looked so different because of the terrible burns he suffered, but WHAT CAUSES SOMEONE TO WRINKLE THAT QUICKLY? At some point in the movie, he's just about the same wrinkle-level as in Episode II and then all of a sudden he's a human shar-pei. Did someone do a Jedi Dehydration-Suck on him? Heh heh, I said Jedi Dehydration-Suck.

And speaking of sucking...

You know how Darth Vader kind of breathes funny? I don't know if you've ever noticed, but he sort of breathes, you know, louder than normal people do. In the past, I've always thought of this as sort of a "HHHHHOOOOOOOO-PPPPPERRRRR" noise. And this trailer ended with a much shorter version of the breathing noise, so it just sounded sort of like "PPPPOOOOOOOOOOPPPP."

How appropriate.

srah | 9:45 PM | TrackBack
Tags: movies, readers' choice, star wars, star wars: revenge of the sith

srah blah blah: Killing Spaniards with sugar shock since 2005

A package of enough American goodies to make any European sick for a month is now winging its way off to Spain as I pray that nothing breaks, spills or melts on the trip. This package has the potential to be absolutely disgusting if something goes wrong in transit.

Now that my Great International Secret Blog Exchange package is sent, I am at liberty to open the one I received! I wouldn't allow myself to open it until I had sent mine off, in order to keep myself from procrastinating any more than was absolutely necessary to keep me from flunking out of school.

But now I am freeeeeee! So I opened my package tonight. The ultracool Yannick - who has not included a blog address (?) - knows just what I like and has sent me a cornucopia of French haircare products and things-spreadable-on-bread! Thank goodness there was nothing perishable in there...

Thanks, Yannick!

srah | 6:19 PM | TrackBack
Tags: great international secret blog exchange

You can't always get what you want

We have no Internet in my house. I don't know why. Now, all of a sudden, since I can't, I have this overwhelming desire to blog. ARRRRRGH!

srah | 4:07 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

'And then after the smoke is cleared/ and the rubble has been swept away/ me and KG will peek out our heads'

I spent half an hour sitting at a computer in the Undergrad Library this afternoon and trying to manage my piles of email. Committee-organized events may just kill me.

I was sidetracked from what was supposed to be a quick blogging session about being short and ended up staying in the library for about half an hour, meaning that I was out longer than I'd paid for parking and I had a parking ticket.

Parking tickets in Ann Arbor are $10 but they're $6 if you pay it within one business day. So I drove off to City Hall, parked in their lot, put money in the meter (getting a parking ticket in City Hall would be pretty convenient but I didn't really need more than one in a day) and went up to the door.

The door had a sign on it saying that for the time being, parking tickets should be paid across the street in the Ann Arbor Customer Services office. I crossed the street and entered the office. I made small talk with the cashier/desk attendant while I paid, saying that it was pretty strange that if I didn't pay in person, I would have to mail my payment off to White Plains, NY.

She replied, with a touch of bitterness in her voice, that it was pretty strange that I didn't have to pay parking tickets at City Hall anymore. "This is only the beginning." she added, ominously.

Actually, she didn't add it ominously, nor in such a fashion that it really deserved italics. But my brain likes to add these features to that phrase. It seems to me that whenever someone says, "This is only the beginning," it should be accompanied by a clap of thunder and a lightning strike, or perhaps some particularly sinister organ music. I liked to picture this particular event as being in the trailer for the Movie That Is My Life.

This is only the beginning. The beginning of a terrible existence in which people have to cross the street to pay their parking tickets. Are you yet chilled to YOUR VERY SOUL? You will be, my friend. You will be.

srah | 2:22 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
Tags: ann arbor, parking

Sometimes I forget that I'm short!

Sometimes in my school, near the mailboxes, people will have conversations where one person stands against one wall of the hallway and the other person stands against the other wall. This is a high-traffic area and so it is quite frequent that you have to walk between two people having a conversation.

I did that just now and realized that my head completely cleared the line of vision between the two people. I passed below their radar and did not interrupt their eye contact, much less their conversation.


srah | 1:27 PM
Tags: srah

Too popular for my own good

Wow, Rock, guess I don't know my own strength!

When I got home today, I had about 52 emails. Some were spam and most were mailing lists, but DAMN, that's a lot of mail.

*wades through*

srah | 12:15 AM | Comments (6) | TrackBack
Tags: technology

March 8, 2005

Post-phone interview, or I put on a suit for this?

I hate talking on the phone anyway, so why should I think a phone interview's going to be any better? Why can't I say anything good? Why do I have sentences that trail off at the end or end with "and things like that"? Why do I sound like such a feeb?


srah | 4:28 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack
Tags: job search

March 7, 2005

Klezmer et al...

Are you reading Manolo yet? I think it is necessary for all those who want to be the super fantastic, as well as those who like to make fun of the celebrities. I just keep thinking about his latest entry and giggling...

srah | 6:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Tags: discovered

Attention: Brain out of order until further notice

They installed a new sprinkler system here at work over Spring Break. Everything was covered in plastic but there was still a good amount of dust left over. So between the dust and the sound of the vacuum hoovering it up, I have a monster, killer headache and just sort of want to curl up and sleep.

I am also supposed to be getting a call at some point today regarding a job I applied for. I don't know if they're thinking phone interview or if they're thinking phone-call-to-set-up-interview but I'm hoping, for the sake of my future employability, that they are not expecting anything too mentally taxing.

srah | 11:01 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack
Tags: job search

March 6, 2005

You put a spell on me...

The O.C.? Gah!

I know this stupid movie is going to be crap and it's going to make me angry that it's so crap!

... but I'm still going to want to see the trailer. And I'm probably going to put up with watching The O.C. in order to do it.

Sigh. George Lucas, you jerk!

srah | 7:06 PM | TrackBack
Tags: movies, star wars, star wars: revenge of the sith

Unconscious Mutterings

Two weeksful, you lucky ducklings, you. That's twenty free associations for the price of ten!

srah | 5:47 PM | Comments (7) | TrackBack
Tags: memes, unconscious mutterings

March 5, 2005

'Guess who sighs his lullabies/ Through nights that never end?'

We planned to leave at 9am, so I set my alarm for 7. I would have plenty of time to get myself ready and to repack all of my bags before retrieving the car from the parking garage.

Then I woke up at 6:15. By 6:30, I was wide awake with my eyes wide open, willing myself to go back to sleep. Alas, it was not to be, so I got up and puttered around in my suitcase until I could allow myself to go and shower.

Due to being wide awake, the morning's preparations went very quickly and by 8:10 I was sitting around with nothing to do. I got a cup of tea, then Mr B****** and I set off to get the car.

We got everyone down the stairs and packed into the car and had a few brief false starts, but then we hit the road. There was nothing spectacular about driving out of New York City on a Saturday morning. There wasn't much traffic so I didn't have to go crazy. We drove right through the Lincoln Tunnel without any of the stop-and-go we'd had the previous Saturday night and on to New Jersey.

We needed to get gas at some point, but we were afraid of getting gas in New Jersey, because they only have full-service stations and that made us uncomfortable. Do you tip? How much? Better to avoid it altogether.

Instead we continued across the Pennsylvania border and stopped at one of the first exits there. I was washing my hands in the women's restroom when this big old bearded guy came in, went into one of the stalls and started peeing with the door open! Women's bathroom! Door! Open! Get out, creepy man! I ran away.

When I came out of the bathroom, I discovered that the Taco Bell had broken a pipe and was covered in about a foot of water! No tacos for me! Instead I went to Subway and was served by a guy on his second day of work there. He was slow but well-meaning.

We hit the road again. Once I was in the driver's seat, I had no desire to relinquish control of the car or the radio, so I ended up driving from about 9am to 4pm, across several gas, bathroom and meal breaks. It was cool because I finally gave up the driver's seat in Ohio, so I got a chance to drive in every state. We ran into Noor and her car at one of our stops, which was even stranger when we realized they were coming from the Washington, DC ASB trip rather than the New York one.

We stopped at a rest area in Ohio and I went to the Starbucks to get tea. They were playing a Frank Sinatra CD and I couldn't help but sing and dance along to "Summer Wind." I think it was my favorite part of the journey home!

At one point, we were passed by another UM car and spotted Nnnick in the passenger seat. We called them and discovered that apparently it was a race and we were losing. Damn cheating archivists!

Once we got back to Ann Arbor, I started driving again and dropped off the last of the voyagers and left the car at transportation services. I got a ride home and showed off my photos.

srah | 11:59 PM | TrackBack
Tags: alternative spring break, alternative spring break 2005, driving, new york city

March 4, 2005

'Home, where my thought's escaping/ Home, where my music's playing'

We had another jam-packed day at work today. I got some work in until about lunchtime, then I expected to have some more time to look into Access queries and doing a writeup about them. Alas, it was not to be. My report had to leave off at "How to add a new field," which I hope will be valuable. My project never had a really clear definition, which was frustrating at times but rather liberating because I didn't have a set goal. So I just worked and got done what I got done. This is great for a second-year student, I think. We're just looking for some fun and something to do, whereas first-years have to be ambitious and on the lookout for internships. Poor dears.

I had lunch in the cafeteria with Ayca, Jing and Rasika. A colleague of Rasika's from the department downstairs happened to sit with us. He is a French college student doing a seven-month internship. I impressed him with my knowledge of French geography then couldn't think of anything else to say. Yeah, that's all I got. That is the extent of my conversation skills.

After lunch I mailed postcards, went back to work briefly, didn't get much else done and then we went on our tour of *Unidentified International Organization* with the other girls. Lots of photos were taken and I learned a lot about the organization that I wished I'd known earlier in the week.

We got back just in time for me to print out a copy of my writeup for my supervisor before going to the little reception the library held for their SI-interns. It was cool to chat with some of my fellow interns and with the library staff, who I had only talked to on a professional level previously.

I met one of the library's higher-ups, who is French, and impressed her with my knowledge of French geography. Actually, she impressed me right back by actually knowing the village where I worked this summer - it seems that her niece attended one of the summer music programs in the abbey. Hmmm, as long as she doesn't play the harp...

I had been planning all week to meet up with an old work colleague who's now living in New York. We finally got these plans set for drinks after work on Friday. Throughout our email correspondence, she'd given me her phone number and I thought I had put it into my phone the first time she did so.

Unfortunately, I found myself standing outside the bar on Friday afternoon without her phone number and with no way to get back into *Unidentified International Organization* to retrieve it from my email. I called everyone I could think of who might be near a computer and who could log into my email for me... unfortunately they were unavailable or un-near computers. Thankfully, when I took a second wander through the bar, I spotted her and all was well. I had just made plans to eat dinner with Mr B****** so I only stayed for one drink and a little chatting and then let Chelsea get back to her night out with her friends.

It was, however, a rather strong Rum and Coke, so I believe I grinned a lot as I walked the twelve blocks to the famous H&M that had attracted all sorts of SI types. I met Mr B****** and MaTT and Rachel there and chattered at them tipsily and then we all went to dinner at Big Nick's. I had the Madrid Burger, made with tapenade mixed into the burger and olives, feta and sundried tomatoes on top.

I'd made plans to have White Russians with Nnnick again so I called him up when we were finished with dinner. He was already with a big group of people, so we set out as a horde to go find somewhere to spend our last evening in New York City.

There was a mysterious building not far from our accomodations that seemed to have green flames coming out of it and no name on the front. This probably should have been our first clue that it was not the kind of place we wanted to be. On the inside, it was très très chic and rather snooty, as well as having really loud music. Some of our party sat down, only to be told that (despite an empty beer bottle and martini glass on a neighboring table) the bar did not serve beer or martinis but only liquor by the bottle. The $100 bottle.

We ran away and found a bar and grill that was much more our style and price range and actually had room to seat us all. Nnnick and I got our White Russians, our waitress had friends who are archivists, we could hear each other talk and they played music that we recognized - it was a much more comfortable environment, I think.

We got to bed at a pretty respectable hour, which was pretty disappointing because I'd been expecting to drive on extremely limited sleep again!

srah | 11:59 PM | TrackBack
Tags: alternative spring break, alternative spring break 2005, new york city, united nations

How do you catch a special rabbit?

I'm wearing my Converse today, just for a change. I wouldn't say that any of my shoes are particularly noisy, but my Converse are completely silent. I feel like I'm pitter-patting rather than walking and I have a new appreciation for the use of the word "sneaker" to refer to this kind of shoe.

I bet Converse has special contracts to shoe* ninjas.

* Clarification: This is the verb "to shoe" rather than a reference to shoe-ninjas. Although I think I might want to be a shoe-ninja when I grow up.

srah | 11:33 AM | TrackBack
Tags: converse, shoes

March 3, 2005

'Down by the riverside/ it's bound to be a better ride/ than what you've got planned'

No it wasn't! Not at all!

I got off work today and window-shopped a little on the way to the subway but my main goal was Chinatown, home of cheap purses and sunglasses and scarves and things. And food.

I got on the subway at my usual place and was supposed to be going in the usual direction... but I wasn't. I guess I wasn't paying attention, because I took a long, slow trip to Queens and had to manoeuvre my way around aboveground to find a train in the other direction. I changed lines at Times Square and inadvertently got on an express rather than local train, so I overshot Canal Street by two stops and had to change lines to backtrack. All in all, it was a frustrating experience and added to the feelings of annoyance and exhaustion that I was already afflicted with to create an atmosphere where I almost burst into tears in the middle of the subway and ran home to bed.

But I was already in Chinatown and dinner was nearby, so I pushed on. Unfortunately, in my lonely state I found it hard to shop for purses so that dream was abandoned. Olga called me and it turns out I was just across the street from the rest of the group. We met up and walked to a Vietnamese restaurant and got a table for 8. I mean 10. I mean, you'd better make that 12. I think it's going to have to be at least 14. Everyone was calling their friends and getting more confirmations as we requested a table. I'm not sure how many people we ended up having, but it was a long table with staggered ordering times. I had chicken noodle soup, which is my favorite standby in an unfamiliar Vietnamese restaurant.

After dinner, I figured I could either push myself harder and go out drinking and possibly karaoke-ing or I could go home. After my near-sobbing spell earlier, I figured the latter was safest, so I went back with Mr B****** and Jonathan. All of the little hole-in-the-wall purse shops were closed by then, so there shall be no cheap goods for Sarahs, alas. We got back and Mr B****** and I watched TV in our pyjamas. We were in pyjamas, not the TV. Then... bed! Ah, sweet sleep.

srah | 11:59 PM | TrackBack
Tags: alternative spring break, alternative spring break 2005, chinatown, new york city

March 2, 2005

'I'm not the kind of man/ Who tends to socialize'

Jing, Ayca and I got killer seats in the cafeteria today. They were right by the back window, so we had a great riverside view. After work, I walked down (or up? It goes east-west!) 42nd street and did some window-shopping, then Jing and I happened to pass by the New York Public Library. We had about an hour to kill before the SI Alumni Reception, so we went into the building. We ran into Leslie, who's doing her ASB project there, so she was able to give us a tour and show us what one needs to see when one visits the NYPL.

After taking pictures all over the inside and outside of the library, the three of us went to the reception, where there were about five alumni total. Very disappointing. So instead of mingling and networking, everyone just ate millions of appetizers (yum, sesame chicken) and got drunk. Nnnick introduced me to the wonder that is the White Russian, which made me want to cuddle with everyone. Hooray, another source of milk/calcium in my diet!

Everyone who's cool then proceeded to a bar called the Forbidden City on the Lower East Side. Although I had been cut off at two White Russians (and numerous sips of Nnnick's) at the last bar, I decided enough time and walking and things had passed that I could have another. I ordered a Lychee Mimosa, which was sort of like a kir royale (champagne and crème de cassis) with a lychee in the bottom of the glass. It sounded maaaarrrrvelous and it was. I lurrrrved it but eventually it was gone and it was late and it was time to go home.

Nnnick accompanied me back and we decided to try walking and taking the subway rather than a cab. It was an interesting feat of navigation but we weren't really in a rush once we got underground and warm, so after several line-changes, we made it back. I went to bed and got up... about four and a half hours later. Ah, spring break! When do we get a chance to catch up on our sleep again?

srah | 11:59 PM | TrackBack
Tags: alcohol, alternative spring break, alternative spring break 2005, new york city, school of information, university of michigan

Triumphs(?) of librarianship

A woman approaches me at the table in the library where I am working.

"I want to get on page."

"Excuse me?"

"You work here?"

"I... I... do. I guess."

"I want to get on page. You help me?" She gestures to the area where she's working.

"I... you should probably ask over there instead." I gesture to the reference desk.

"You work here? You help me. Come here, I want to get on page." A panicked look, I'm sure, crosses my face. I kinda work here, but I don't know anything about the collection! She looks like she's going to grab my arm and start pulling, though, so I follow her over to her computer anyway. No one from the reference desk looks in our direction and catches my frantic gaze so I am at the mercy of the patron. She points to a word on the screen. "I want to get on page."

"Oh, HOMEPAGE," I try not to say, pretending that I understood her all along.

She's been clicking on the "Homepage" link of the library's site and can't figure out how to get to *Unidentified International Organization*'s homepage. So I type in the URL and everyone is fine and dandy. I'm a reference librarian!

srah | 11:26 AM | TrackBack
Tags: alternative spring break, alternative spring break 2005, librarydom, new york city, united nations

March 1, 2005

'Many Shuvs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you!'

When I see horse-drawn carriages in New York, something in me makes me want to run up to the horses and tell them that the end of their enslavement draws near. There is no Sarah - only Zuul.

(Yes, I am doing that thing again where everything I see in New York City reminds me of some movie.)

When I came to work this morning, there was a gaggle of Franciscan friars waiting to go through security at the same time I was. Only one of them had on monk-style robes - the rest were in jeans and sweatshirts - but I could tell they were together because they all had beards and bags that said something about the "Franciscans of the Bronx" or whatever they were. I wondered if the beards were mandatory for Franciscan monks or if it's just a fashion trend that's currently sweeping through the monastery. I prefer the latter.

I made plans to have dinner this evening with my friend Harini, who was coming in from New Jersey to see me. She had a class and couldn't be in the city until after 7pm, so I used the free time to go walking and shopping.

I really like the way Manhattan is designed. With the exception of oddball streets like Lexington and Central Park West and things, most of the streets have numbers. So as long as you can remember which way the numbers go and which way you're facing, you're pretty good to go. This is nice because the subway never seems to go where I want to go, so footing it turns out to be more practical if I'm not in a hurry. You miss a lot when you ride in a hole in the ground, anyway.

I walked about four avenue-blocks and nine street-blocks over to H&M and was rewarded with a delightful shopping experience, wherein everything that I tried on fit me. This was a shockingly pleasant experience for someone who so often leaves fitting rooms despairing at her lack of chest and inability to fill shirts. It was also strange to realize that, because everything fit, I wasn't going to be able to use that factor to make my purchasing decisions! I can still hear that ¾-length button down shirt crying out to me from 51st and 5th. I'm sorry, baby. I had to go.

I left the store and went on to Divine Bar, a wine and tapas place where Harini and I were to meet. I was running early and she was running late so I wandered around the area a little.

I was standing in front of the Ed Sullivan Theater, where they film the David Letterman Show, and I thought 'Hey, that's lit up pretty bright. I could take a picture of it since I haven't been taking a lot of pictures of stuff.' I turned around to do so and saw that there were three guys taking pictures of each other in front of the sign. I asked them if they wanted a picture together. They were wary at first and jokingly asked if I was going to run away with their camera but I said I just wanted them to take a picture of me in return. While setting up the picture, they told me that they were musicians and they'd played on the show that night. I froze and stared at them for a minute, petrified that I was supposed to recognize them and their Huge Musician Egos would be bruised by the fact that I had no idea who they were.

They admitted that they weren't famous - they were playing backup for the singer who was on (I had never heard of her either). I took their picture, then when it was my turn to be photographed, the guitarist joked, "Do you want me to be in the picture with you?"

"Sure!" So now I have a picture of me with some guy who was on Letterman once. It's totally cooler than a picture of me alone and I have been telling everyone whose ears I could bend that I had my picture taken with Someone Who Isn't Famous At All.

I met Harini at the Starbucks on the corner (that's the Starbucks on the corner of Broadway and 54th, not Broadway and 51st... there's one there too, though) and we got a table. We ordered tapas, little appetizery foods. The idea is Spanish and the food wasn't. Harini had bruschetta and I had ostrich on toast because hell, it's a New York tapas bar, why not have ostrich? We also ordered "wine flights," which are samples of wines on a common theme. Mine was something about fruit and nuts and Harini's theme was French reds and whites. One of mine was a delicious creamy honeydewy Argentinian white. Another was supposed to have a spicy citrus zest but tasted like household cleanser.

We were later met by another friend from high school who lives in the area, and a friend he brought along. Jup ordered calamari, so since I wasn't ordering/paying for it, I tasted it for the first time. Ew, rubbery. I wasn't missing much. We stuck around for several hours, then I hoofed the quick jaunt home, text-messaging people all the way about my exciting celebrity encounter.

srah | 11:59 PM | TrackBack
Tags: alternative spring break, alternative spring break 2005, harini, hm, new york city, wine

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