January 2006 archive

(29 entries)

January 30, 2006

Beavers may or may not be invisible

My favorite news story of the day today, as heard on NPR's The World:


(Note: This is perhaps not the actual headline, but that's what it should have been.)

srah | 10:52 PM | TrackBack
Tags: discovered

January 29, 2006


I woke up this morning horizontal across the bed, having just dreamt that I was sitting on a folding chair in the middle of the Ohio State University bookstore, grousing at a freshman because she was complaining too loudly about not being able to find the books she needed for her class. Couldn't she see that I was trying to watch Arrested Development on a TV I'd brought from home? Some people.

srah | 7:37 PM | TrackBack
Tags: arrested development, bookstore, dream, ohio state university

4x4 foray

Be it hereby known that there is no order, chronological or preferential, to the things I have listed below. So let it be written, so let it be done. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Four jobs I’ve had:

  1. library shelver
  2. English teaching assistant
  3. study abroad counselor
  4. babysitter

Four movies I can watch over and over:

  1. Tampopo
  2. Pride & Prejudice starring Wet Colin Firth
  3. Airplane!
  4. Amélie

Four places I’ve lived:

  1. Cusset, France
  2. Ann Arbor, MI, USA
  3. Albion, MI, USA
  4. Grenoble, France

Four TV shows I love:

  1. Arrested Development
  2. Lost
  3. Beauty & the Geek
  4. House, M.D.

Four places I’ve vacationed:

  1. North Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
  2. Aurillac, France
  3. Aberdeen, Scotland
  4. Antwerp, Belgium

Four of my favorite dishes:

  1. raclette
  2. crème brulée
  3. cheesy potato casserole
  4. peas

Four sites I visit daily:

  1. Bloglines
  2. LiveJournal friends page
  3. my blog
  4. The University I Work At's central user webpage

Four places I would rather be right now:

  1. Magically transported to Meijer, since I don't feel like driving there
  2. In the arms of a certain someone (I know, barf!)
  3. France
  4. Turkey

Four bloggers I am tagging:

  1. I can't keep track of who's already done it anymore. Anyone who hasn't done it yet may consider this an invitation to participate.
  2. [ETA] Katie
  3. [ETA] Zach

srah | 6:19 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack
Tags: memes

Unconscious Mutterings

Ahoy, mateys. Keel haul or something. Whatever that means. There be free associations stored in the ship's hold, below deck.


srah | 6:11 PM | TrackBack
Tags: memes, unconscious mutterings

January 27, 2006

A mental image for the drive home from work

Heard on NPR this afternoon¹:

"The Senator raised concerns that if Alito were to sit on the Supreme Court, the bench would tilt dangerously to the right."

DUDE! There's no reason to bring the judge's weight into this!

¹ Perhaps not exact phrasing, but pretty close.

srah | 5:18 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
Tags: discovered

January 25, 2006

The paranoid ramblings of a druggie

I woke up this morning and felt as though someone had removed my eyeballs during the night, gouging them out and enlarging the sockets. They had then stuffed my sinuses and brain cavity with cotton, set it on fire and replaced the eyeballs, putting them in the wrong sockets and clumsily caulking them into place. I forced myself to get out of bed, but my one and only desire was to fall head-first on the carpet, crumple into a ball and moan about the evil that had been done to my head.

I tried to convince myself to get up off the floor and get ready for work, but I was not functioning enough to do so. I called into work and said I was Not Well and would be late. I wanted to take some medicine, but even the thought of washing down pills with something liquid made me nauseous. So I went back to bed, knowing that I couldn't breathe well enough to fall asleep but that I couldn't function well enough to do anything other than sit upright in the dark. Although I can't usually fall asleep sitting up and I expected my head-pains to keep me awake, I did fall asleep for another hour or so. When I woke up again, I was better enough that I could eat and drink and take Day-Quil Sinus. The Day-Quil kicked in at exactly 9:28am. I know this because all of a sudden instead of being lethargic and pained, I was aware of my surroundings and I needed to get up and move and do things. The sinus presure relief had been gradual, but I could feel the caffeine kicking in. I jumped up and took a shower, got dressed and drove to campus, where unfortunately the only parking space I could find is probably about equidistant between my apartment and work. I might as well have walked the whole way.

Anyway, here I am, slightly high on caffeinated cold medicine, to the point where I fluctuate every few minutes between havingtodoeverythingsofastrightnowrightnowrightnowaremyhandsshaking to a feeling of I'm flooooooating. I am so graceful! No one has ever prepared a cup of tea as gracefully as I am doing!.

Am I acting normal? Am I acting normal? Can anyone tell that I'm high? I'm cold. No wait, everything is perfect. This is the best ever. Am I acting normal?

srah | 12:44 PM | TrackBack
Tags: day-quil, health, medicine

January 24, 2006

Warm, touching warm

Can you feel it? The sun is shining just a little brighter today.

There can be only one reason for it... it's NEIL DIAMOND'S BIRTHDAY!

srah | 6:12 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack
Tags: music

January 23, 2006

Srah makes some errors, AFI-wise

I have discovered some inconsistencies in my AFI Top 100 list. I had some question as to whether I'd seen Tootsie all the way through before starting this endeavor and that seems to have thrown my count off. Either way, I've seen it all the way through now. I also wasn't sure if I'd seen Dances With Wolves all the way through or if I'd only seen part of it, but let me put it this way: I am not watching Dances With Wolves again. So now that I've gone through the list again and ended up with a different number than I started with, the list will have to be adjusted. There's going to be an odd leap from 61 to 64. Pardon my confusion.

#64: Stagecoach - A pretty good look at the way people interact in high-pressure situations as opposed to in everyday life. It was kind of sad.

#65: Platoon - After watching Munich, I needed to watch something lighthearted. Like... Platoon. One interesting fact that I learned from IMDb is that the role of Sgt. Barnes was offered to Kevin Costner. Just think! Instead of a washed-up, wrinkly old has-been, he could have been a washed-up, wrinkly old has-been who was in Platoon! (Note: I am not watching Dances With Wolves again). I kind of wish I'd started counting instances of the word "fuck" from the beginning. Entire conversations seem to be made up entirely of this word. Also, Young Johnny Depp is hot. The movie was surprisingly good. I've been pleasantly surprised by AFI war movies so far!

#66: The Apartment - This is another one of those movies that I always meant to see but never thought of when I was at the video store. Hooray for the AFI! It was very good and Shirley Maclaine was adorable. I only wish I had saved it a little longer, so that it would be an incentive to get through Easy Rider and Midnight Cowboy and The Grapes of Wrath (ye gods)...

See also: #48-54, #55-58, #59-61

srah | 7:59 PM | TrackBack
Tags: afi, movies

Unconscious Mutterings

WHEREAS there is no content in my blog;

WHEREAS the Unconscious Mutterings have been posted but have been sitting around festering in my Inbox;

WHEREAS Unconscious Mutterings take up room on the page;

RESOLVED that here are some free associations.

srah | 5:05 PM | TrackBack
Tags: memes, unconscious mutterings

Nino Quincampoix Grows A Beard

I went to a meetup.com Movie Fans group this weekend in Cincinnati. We saw Brokeback Mountain, which was very good and silent and moving. After that, I did a little shopping around and figured as long as I'd already driven that far, I might as well get another movie out of it. So I went to see Munich.

I'm afraid that any deep thoughts I was having about Brokeback Mountain have now been stricken from my mind, because Munich overpowered my evening's moviegoing experience. I spent about 2 and a half hours in a constant state of nervous tension. I was afraid for the Israelis, I was afraid for the Palestinians, I was afraid for the innocent bystanders, I was afraid for the world in general. Then I left the theater and realized I had parked in a parking garage so I was afraid for myself. Once I got into the car and started driving I allowed myself to relax, and that's when I started crying, which I did for most of the hour-long drive home.

Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan and Munich have all had the same effect on me: I left the movie feeling glad that I'd seen it, but knowing that I never ever want to see it again. Considering the amount of money my family usually contributes to the DVD-purchasing economy of the United States, I'm surprised that studios keep supporting Steven Spielberg's movies.

srah | 5:02 PM | TrackBack
Tags: brokeback mountain, movies, munich, reviews, steven spielberg

What comes next?

800 588 2300...

(This is a test!)

srah | 12:25 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

January 20, 2006

We're having a crime wave... a tropical crime wave

I haven't blogged much lately - this is about 33% due to the fact that I went away last weekend and didn't have access to my email for both of it and 33% due to the fact that I just got My First Internet but I also got TV and haven't hooked up the wireless router yet. As I must now spend all of my time glued to American Idol and Beauty and the Geek, that doesn't leave much time for being glued to the computer in the office.

The other 34% is that I keep meaning to blog something but I can't get it out. Sometimes a post gets stuck in the srah blogworks and clogs up the whole system. I've been watching this develop for more than a week now and I don't really know what to say about it. I keep starting to write posts and then scrapping what I wrote and starting over.

Early in the morning of Monday, January 9th (the first day back to school for students at The University I Work At), a student was tied up, robbed and raped in her off-campus residence. This scared me a lot and made me double- and triple-check that my doors were locked whenever I was at home. Because it was me, I also did plenty of looking under the bed and in closets when I came home, even though the doors were still locked. It apparently didn't scare everyone, as a TV news report that night showed a houseful of seven female students announcing that the rape wasn't going to make them start locking their doors or even getting keys made so that they could lock their doors.

Believe it or not, announcing to the entire area served by Cincinnati's television station that no one in the Town I Live In locks their doors does not seem to have been the brightest idea. Whether or not it was related to that news story, a male student awoke two days after the rape to find a man with a gun in his room. Two days after that a TUIWA student was abducted. Then this past Sunday night, a student reported an intruder trying to force his way into her apartment.

To give you an idea of the situation here, the university's police keep records of Crime Alerts, which they send out to the campus when a serious crime has been committed. For this academic year (staring July 1, 2005), Crime Alert #1 happened on August 22nd. Crime Alerts #2-5 all happened within less than a week of each other, between January 9-15. That's a lot of crime in a short time, especially for a university that had seen one mugging in the previous six months.

I don't really have reason to be scared. I have reason to be on my guard, of course, but one should always be on one's guard. But for the most part, I haven't been putting myself into the situations that the victims in these crimes have done. The rape and burglary both took place in houses with unlocked doors and the rumors about town are that the abducted student was so drunk that he accepted the offer of a ride home from strangers... which turned into a ride to Indiana and a beating. I lock my doors and I don't get drunk, but I still get nervous about break-ins... or about what I would do if the doorbell rang.

There was a knock in the door earlier this week. Usually the only person who comes to my door is the UPS man, and I usually know that he's coming because I missed him earlier in the day. So when I heard the knock, my adrenaline started flowing and I opened the door a crack. It turned out to be my next-door neighbor, who had been locked out of her apartment, but I grabbed my cell phone before answering the door, just to be safe.

I don't know. There's no point to this post except to catch you up on what's going on in my life and my constant state of... nervousness, if not fear. Oh, and to fill up a bunch of this empty page.

srah | 11:42 AM | TrackBack
Tags: crime, fear, srahtown

January 17, 2006

As I bit into the burger, it had a crisp juiciness about it that was very pleasurable...

My parents and I went to Miller's Bar on the way back from the auto show yesterday. The burgers were moist and juicy and the onion rings were addictive. I want moooooooooooooore.

srah | 12:51 PM | TrackBack
Tags: food, michigan

Unconscious Mutterings

Here are the free associations. You may do them too. They are hidden for non-contamination, like.

srah | 12:38 PM | TrackBack
Tags: memes, unconscious mutterings

January 11, 2006

Who's in charge here, anyway?!

Somehow, apete seems to have gotten it into his head that it's okay for him to be six years older than me instead of five, so he's gone ahead and done it today. Won't anyone keep this fellow in line?!

Happy birthday, lovely boy!

srah | 12:09 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack
Tags: holidays

January 10, 2006

Hypochondriac, diagnose thyself!

It's all right, folks. I have survived my brush with death. All is well now.

I was concerned, this afternoon, that I was suffering from some kind of Wrist Flu. I felt just fine, but my wrists (my right one in particular) was extremely sweaty. It was so sweaty that I kept leaving puddles on the mousepad and the keyboard wrist-rest. I had to roll up my sleeve because the wrist of my sweater was sopping wet. As my boss had already left for the day after warning us not to come near him for fear of catching his lightheadedqueasiness, my hypochondria was in full force. Did you know that WebMD doesn't consider sweating a serious skin symptom? Bah! I'm some kind of wrist-sweating mutant! I did a bit more Googling and decided that I was hypoglycemic. So I went and bought myself a Pepsi. I came back to my desk and the sweating continued. I even resorted to asking a co-worker to feel my forehead, but she said it felt normal. What the heck? I felt just fine, except for this weird sweating symptom!

After deciding that it was a foreshadowing of The Flu That Was To Come I decided I had to get back to work and finish the day. Back I went to typing and sweating and mopping the sweat off the desk. I wiped some off the edge of the mousepad, then lifted it to get underneath, where I discovered that the mousepad had just been floating on a huge POOL of sweat! Oh my god, how horrifying! How could I have exuded such a huge amount of liquid from my wrists?

Then I noticed the condensation covering the paper cup sitting next to the mousepad. It turns out that the liquid had been going from the cup to the mousepad to me, and not from me to the mousepad. I'm not dying after all! At least not from the Wrist Flu!

srah | 4:31 PM | TrackBack
Tags: health, hypochondria

January 9, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings

In go the words provided by pea, they are jumbled up in the tumble dryer of my mind, and they are spat out with metaphorical lint attached, in the form of free associations.

Yea verily. That is indeed how it works.

srah | 12:40 PM | TrackBack
Tags: memes, unconscious mutterings

The Ralphabet

While watching The Thorn Birds last night, I realized that you don't meet a lot of Ralphs these days. I don't know if I've ever known a Ralph. I think that this may be because while there are lots of kids out there these days named Fox and Dana and Chandler and Monica, there aren't many Ralphs in fiction to inspire parents¹. I will now make a list of all of the fictional Ralphs I can think of:

  • Fr. Ralph de Bricassart
  • Ralph Wiggum
  • Ralph from Lord of the Flies
  • Ralphie from A Christmas Story
  • Ralph Malph

And this is where the reader interaction comes in, my dears! Please, add your own Ralphs in the comments! We'll make this the biggest darn list of fictional Ralphs on all the Intarnets! This is what the Internet was made for, folks!

¹ It may have something to do with the fact that it's slang for "to vomit", but we'll ignore that.

srah | 12:34 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

January 8, 2006

*mush mush mush mush SMAAAAAAAAAAAASH eat face*

Those of you who have ever watched a movie with me may find this hard to believe, but when I watch a movie by myself, I don't talk. I have a tendency, when watching TV with others, to either make comments to my fellow watchers or to interact with the characters onscreen. When I'm at home alone, I hardly ever hear the sound of my own voice and somehow talking to the characters starts to feel crazy when I can no longer claim I'm just trying to entertain someone else in the room.

So if I said "ew" out loud when Meggie Cleary kissed Father Ralph de Fricassee Bricassart, you know it was horrifying.

srah | 4:25 PM | TrackBack
Tags: movies, the thorn birds

Yet another update from the AFI files...

I guess it's been kind of a slow period for my mission to watch all of the AFI's 100 Greatest American Movies, seeing as I went home for more than a week and didn't take any of the DVDs with me. Luckily, apete got one of them for Christmas, so I did actually manage to make some progress. Now I'm back on top of things... and I'm watching The Thorn Birds, which is not in the Top 100 and is about 700,000 hours long. Oh well. But here are the ones I have watched recently:

#59: Mutiny on the Bounty - WHERE IS CLARK GABLE'S MOUSTACHE? I think some stuff happened in this movie, but mostly I was distracted by Clark Gable's lack of moustache. The movie was pretty good, except it wouldn't end. I kept thinking 'Okay, so they took over the ship from the Bad Captain! That's the climax and the movie will end soon.' 'Okay, so they went back to Tahiti. That's the climax.' 'Okay, so Captain Bligh found the people who were left behind. That's the end.' And it kept going and going. I think that my problem was that I thought Moustacheless Clark Gable was the main character and apparently it was Mr Skinny Pigtails, so we had to wait for him to have his whole character arc and all that junk. Who the heck was he, anyway? Not a bad movie, but it probably would have helped if I'd read the book. Thanks a lot, Education!

#60: The Godfather - What charming and engaging characters! I don't know how The Magic Of Movies can make me so sympathetic to gangsters and scary scary murderers, but it does. This is why I have a crush on Norman Bates. Wait, no, I have a crush on Norman Bates because there is Something Seriously Wrong With My Brain. Anyway, I liked it. I look forward to seeing Part II, which I also have to see for the list.

#61: Birth of a Nation - ¶ You were right; this movie is long.
¶ Also, I think Flora is a zombie.
¶ Also, I found the use of paragraph symbols in the title cards distracting.
¶ The Little Colonel and the Statesman's Daughter appeared to be pledging their love for one another by trying to smoke a bird. Heck if I know...
¶ Well, I'm sold! It's racism for me, forever more! No, really, I'm torn. I mean, I like the movie because it maintains my attention and tells the story so well (especially for being a silent film) but it's a terrible story that's being told. I don't know what to think...

(see also: #48-54, #55-58)

srah | 4:22 PM | TrackBack
Tags: afi, movies, norman bates

Doo-wah ditty

I was a bit afraid that after all that hassle of trying to figure out what the mystery song was, I would hear it again and be disappointed and hate it. Fortunately, I don't and I've been listening to it over and over again. My favorite line:

"We'll collect the moments one by one
I guess that's how the future's done..."
- Feist, "Mushaboom"

srah | 10:28 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
Tags: music

Small Town America?

Once upon a time, several months ago, I heard two girls speaking French in Kroger and turned around and looked at them. Frenchies in the Town I Live In (TILI)! Only one of them really made an impression, and I think it's because she looks familiar but I can't put my finger on who she resembles. I saw the same girl walking down the street later that day. I've seen her maybe once or twice around town in the past couple of months, but things have picked up again. I noticed her Friday night when she walked past the coffee house window (then later got annoyed because my brain had tuned into her Frenchietalk again) and then I saw her at the Old Navy two towns away from TILI last night.

I've never approached her, as I really have no reason to. I'm no more compelled to go up to her and say "You speak French? I speak French too!" than I am to do so to any of the thousands of Anglophones in the TILI. So instead I run into her all over a two-county (so far) area and giggle to myself.

(What's interesting is that, since my office also contains the International Students and Scholars Office, you would think I would run into her there, but I never have. If I did, I might have to scold her, because if she's an international student, she isn't doing a very good job of integrating herself on campus - I don't think I've ever heard her speaking English. Actually, the scarier thought is that she's always around and that I only notice her when she's speaking French!)

srah | 10:05 AM | TrackBack
Tags: french, srahtown, stalking

January 6, 2006


In my dream last night there were snakes everywhere. There was a copperhead, a black one with blue and green stripes and a short, fat orangey red one among others, and they were all squirming around on the floor. In order to get past them I did some kind of acrobatic feat where I swung around on the door then did a handstand while balancing myself on the doorknob.

srah | 9:00 PM | TrackBack
Tags: dream

In which my neighbor makes an honest woman of me

Remember all that delicious Internet I was stealing? Well now, two and a half months later, it's all come to an end. It was working fine at the beginning of the week, but since about Wednesday,

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! I can't hear myself think because half of my brain is trying to eavesdrop on the two girls speaking French across the room!

Anyway, since about Wednesday I haven't been able to connect. I think my Internetful neighbor has moved away. How I'll miss him! So this weekend I'm off to the Cable Modem Store to buy a cable modem (I tried eBay but it's just too stressful and someone always outbids me at the last minute) and on Monday I'll set up an appointment to get it hooked up... and maybe I'll get the $10 network TV package that the cable company offers. It rankles me a bit to pay $10 for network TV, but it's so good compared to the $60 or whatever it is for the smallest cable package. And apparently antennae are useless in this area. Anyway, it's about time I got TV, because Beauty & the Geek is starting next week! Hooray! My $10 per month will be put to good use! </pretending to be sarcastic to hide the embarassment that I actually am going to watch the show>

I think the Frenchies are talking about someone named Sarah. Could you possibly be more distracting? Why did my brain have to start picking them up? I couldn't even hear them for the first ten minutes they were here and now that I've noticed them I can't stop listening! I'm not eavesdropping on any of the English in the room! I'm not even listening with enough of my brain to actually process anything they're saying, so it's just a waterfall of French sounds falling past my ear. ARGH!

After work and happy hour I packed up Isidore and we went to the public library. But it closes at 6pm on Friday nights. WHAT? There isn't huge demand for the library on Friday nights? Social lives? What's that? So I went to campus to use the free Intarnets there. I went to the main library and it... was closed. Classes don't start until Monday and apparently they weren't anticipating a whole lot of demand the weekend before the semester starts. WHAT? I didn't really like the idea of sitting in my car and doing it or going into my office in the middle of the night to use the wireless network. Luckily, I have found a pleasant little coffee shop and - aside from the distracting conversation across the room - it has been a pleasant place to catch up on the hundreds of messages and eBay "You have been outbid" notifications that have been building up this week.

srah | 8:32 PM | TrackBack
Tags: french, internet, moving, srahtown

I drool over dresses made of lace (or polyester?)

Things that I have read are "in" this season (mostly via Manolo but a few others that I picked up somewhere): pencil skirts, neutral colors like cream and beige, stockings, purple, underwear that covers your bum, 40's era dresses. All things that your humble blogger is already wearing or would have liked to have been wearing but couldn't find them in the damned stores. Now let's see if this runway gossip actually fans out into Midwestern stores in my price range selling these things in my size. There are a lot of variables there. I am frightened.

Unfortunately, flats and wedges are also in. Bah! Fashion be damned! I shall wear lovely ankle-strapped heels all year round! Or perhaps I shall buy saddle shoes and bobby socks (sox?) to go with my 1940's dresses.

Anyway, a hearty w00t goes out to Fashion for bringing back the first half of the 20th century. Now if you could make the 1920's flapper look "in" again, all of us flat-chested shapeless girls would appreciate it, thankyouverymuch.

srah | 12:23 PM | TrackBack
Tags: fashion

January 3, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings

It's a big fat holiday-sized serving of Unconscious Mutterings, because I forgot to do them when I was home.

srah | 5:02 PM | TrackBack
Tags: memes, unconscious mutterings

January 2, 2006

I am too stupid for today

Whose idea was it to have a federal holiday today, anyway? I had to stand there - alternately pushing on the Post Office door like a Far Side Kid and standing around looking puzzled - for about five minutes before I realized what was going on.

srah | 10:32 PM | TrackBack

This place is weird, #315 in a series

When I went home for lunch today, there were two people riding horses down the sidewalk on my street. I had to wait for them to pass so that I could turn into my parking lot. By the time I parked the car and could have gotten my camera out, they were out of view. Alas!

srah | 10:23 PM | TrackBack
Tags: horses, srahtown

Do You Know What I Hear?

There's this song that I kept hearing on the radio and in the malls over the break. I like it and I want to know who sings it and perhaps purchase this song. Unfortunately, I don't have much to go on because I keep picking out snippets of the lyrics and trying to remember them so I can Google the song when I get home. Then I forget.

It may or may not have something to do with ice skating or snow angels or something. It's sung by a female. There's something a little old-fashioned about it. I can't remember the tune but I would recognize it if I heard it. I keep thinking of that song about the brand new pair of roller skates, but I'm not sure if that's because the songs sound similar or because they may or may not both involve skating. Any suggestions? Have you heard something on the radio recently about ice skating? Or not about ice skating? If you give me some leads, I can listen to the excerpts in the iTunes Music Store and tell you if you're right. Please don't make me go to Ask MetaFilter!

I hope it isn't a Christmas song because then I'll have to wait a year to figure it out.

srah | 4:58 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack
Tags: music

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