November 2008 archive

(34 entries)

November 30, 2008

And, in the end, the love you take/ Is equal to the love you make

nablopomo2008color.jpgI have completed NaBloPoMo! Many thanks to srahfam and my friend Jason, whose time with me was sometimes interrupted by my sudden screams of "Oh god, I haven't blogged yet today! Get me to a computer!"

Yet-unguessed lyrics (I'll give you until midnight EST tomorrow night to get these, before I announce the winner and the songs you don't guess):

  1. But suddenly I feel the shining sun/ Before I knew it this dream was all gone
  2. Long ago in days of yore/ It all began with a god named Thor/ There were Vikings and boats/ And some plans for a furniture store
  3. How was I supposed to know/ That something wasn't right here?
  4. Now I'm a little bit older/ A little bit bolder/ Never so shy
  5. You don't know me/ You don't know me at all
  6. And, in the end, the love you take/ Is equal to the love you make

srah | 9:20 PM
Tags: nablopomo, nablopomo 2008

You don't know me/ You don't know me at all

nablopomo2008color.jpgMy family went to the Sheraton for brunch this morning, but apparently all of our regular waitpeople had enough seniority to take the Thanksgiving weekend off. Our waitress, rather than saying, "Earl Grey tea all around?" like usual, asked us if anyone wanted coffee. What what what?! What is the point of being ludicrous regulars if tales of our orders and our foibles are spread to most - but not all - of the staff?

"She must be new," we concluded.

"N00b!" I said to Alfie.

"Rookie of the Year," she responded.

Then more constructively we determined, "We'll break her in soon enough."

srah | 9:15 PM
Tags: brunch, nablopomo, nablopomo 2008, srahfam

November 29, 2008

Can I get a toot toot? Can I get a beep beep?

nablopomo2008color.jpgIn case you wondered what my reunion was like:

Cristal poppin' in the stretch Navigator [Champagne is available for $20 a bottle. Who knew Charley's had champagne? I did not partake.]
We got food everywhere, as if the party was catered [We lurked around the food table early in the evening and picked out pizza sticks and quesadillas with individual forks because there were no tongs. Did they ever get tongs? It occurs to me I never found out.]
We got fellas to my left, honeys on my right [Sure, if you want to call them that. Both genders were in attendance.]
We bring em both together we got junkin' all night [We got what? Excuse me? I have no idea.]
Then after the show reunion it's the (after party) [Wherein we leave early to go to Conor O'Neills]
And after the party it's the (hotel lobby) [Lindsay's house, to drink limoncello and make fun of some show about ghost-investigators¹]
And round about 4 1 you gotta (clear the lobby) [Get a ride home from your designated driver(s)]
Then take it to the room and freak somebody [Fall asleep for four and a half hours, then wake up and get on the Internet, which is the worst insomnia cure ever.]

¹ People who investigate ghosts, not ghosts who are also investigators. I can see where you'd get confused. That would probably actually be a better show.

srah | 6:08 AM
Tags: high school, nablopomo, nablopomo 2008

November 28, 2008

Now I'm a little bit older/ A little bit bolder/ Never so shy

nablopomo2008color.jpgI'm going to my ten-year high school reunion tonight. I'm keeping my expectations nice and low, since a) ten years might not be enough to make attending a reunion worthwhile and b) there's no budget, so the "hey there's a reunion" notifications seem to have been completely word-of-mouth. Therefore, not only are many people I'd like to see not attending, many of them probably don't even know there's a reunion.

Anyway, this should be interesting. I'm going with two of my best and oldest friends, who I've kept in close contact with over the years, so if need be, we'll just grab any other attendees that we like and make our own party somewhere else.

My sister has weighed in with her sentiments:

srah | 8:14 AM
Tags: high school, nablopomo, nablopomo 2008

November 27, 2008

Thank you for the music/ For giving it to me

nablopomo2008color.jpgGood luck finding something to read on the Internet today. We will have to depend on the rest of the world to create content while America is busy stuffing itself and its turkeys and eagles and seals, etc. So American readers, if you are reading this today, get the hell off the Internet and get back to your patriotic duty of gorging yourself. International readers, if you are reading this today, get the hell on the Internet and write me something to read tomorrow when I'm rolling around and moaning and clutching my swollen stomach.

srah | 12:41 PM
Tags: holidays, nablopomo, nablopomo 2008, thanksgiving

November 26, 2008

How was I supposed to know/ That something wasn't right here?

nablopomo2008color.jpgI anticipated this voyage home with baited breath. At each stop upon my journey north, I thought, "Michigan! O land of plenty! I return again to feast upon your bounty and to experience the rich culture of my native land!" I brought very little from That Place Below with me on my voyage, knowing that I would be provided for in Michigan.

And so it passed that I brought neither shampoo nor conditioner with me. And lo! There was shampoo in abundance, but there was no conditioner to be found, for a terrible creature that roams this land had used all the conditioner in the house. I suffered bravely and nobly and - for a time - in silence.

Then it came to pass that I did eat dinner with my family, and that this dinner did involve biscuits. It was subsequently determined that there was no jam to be had in the house. No jam! To be had! In the house!¹

If anything convinces you that the Michigan economy needs help, it should be this proof that Michigan families are subsisting without even the most essential items. Their hair is going unconditioned! Their biscuits unjammed! Life is barely worth living!

¹ Unless you count the stuff with Splenda. Which I don't.

srah | 8:08 PM
Tags: michigan, nablopomo, nablopomo 2008, srahfam

November 25, 2008

Baby, have you got enough gas?

nablopomo2008color.jpgI bet gas stations are kicking themselves now for investing so much money in extra fours.

(Maybe it will go down to $1.44 and justify some of the expense.)

srah | 11:23 PM
Tags: gas prices, nablopomo, nablopomo 2008

November 24, 2008

No chocolate covered candy hearts to give away

nablopomo2008color.jpgRecently my friends discussed the topic of Assortment Twins and Assortment Compatibility. For example, my friend Jen and I both like the cream soda and butterscotch Dum Dum pops best, so we're Assortment Twins, whereas my friend Jason only likes the fruit flavored Dum Dums, so we're almost Assortment Compatible, except we have to find someone to eat the nasty root beer ones. So Jen and I can compliment each other on each other's great taste, but Jason and I can actually share an assortment.

If anyone would like to test their Assortment Twinning/Compatibility with me, here are some of my favorites in various assortments:

  • Dum Dum pops: cream soda, butterscotch
  • gummi bears: pineapple
  • Starburst: pink, red
  • Skittles: red
  • mixed nuts: almonds
  • Jolly Ranchers: watermelon, apple, strawberry
  • Blow Pops: apple
  • Tootsie Roll pops: cherry

How's about it? Shall we share, or would you like to compliment me on my excellent taste?

srah | 10:45 PM
Tags: candy, nablopomo, nablopomo 2008

November 23, 2008

Long ago in days of yore/ It all began with a god named Thor/ There were Vikings and boats/ And some plans for a furniture store

nablopomo2008color.jpgI went to IKEA today to look for a particular object (I'd tell you what, but it's a Christmas present). It's the first time that I've ever done this, as I usually go to IKEA and end up browsing through the whole store, but this time we arrived an hour before closing and weren't sure whether to look in the "kitchen and dining" area or the "cooking and eating" area of the stores, which are on two different floors.

I went to the cooking/eating area first, but couldn't find the object anywhere. So I asked two IKEA employees where to find it, and they told me it would be upstairs. After asking them, it occurred to me that I had never even seen IKEA employees before I had need of one. I thought they only had employees at the cash registers and that in the rest of the store, you were on your own. Once I became aware of their presence, they seemed to be everywhere, but before that they managed to blend into the clean Svedish woodwork. I'm pretty sure they were Oompa-Loompas, in that they only came out of the walls when they were called for, and also they gave their answers in the form of a song that pointed out all of my personal flaws.

P.S. I am supposed to inform you that this enormous wall hanging is on sale for $5 at the West Chester, Ohio IKEA if you would like to buy it. You should buy them so that my neighbor doesn't go back and buy enough of them to cover all the walls in his apartment.

srah | 9:51 PM
Tags: ikea, nablopomo, nablopomo 2008, shopping

November 22, 2008

I stumble into town just like a sacred cow

nablopomo2008color.jpgThere is a Taco Bell commercial running on TV now that makes me less desirous of eating Taco Bell with every consecutive viewing. Basically the message that I get from this commercial is "Eating Taco Bell makes you stupid." I wish I could find the commercial on YouTube to embed it - if anyone can find it, let me know!

It involves three friends at some sort of ranch. One of the friends has climbed into a pen with a raging bull, and is calling for the other two to rescue him. Since neither of them wants to, they decide to have an nacho eat-off where the first person to find a chip with no taco-stuff on it has to go save the friend.

My first problem is this: In what realm of reality would it ever occur to anyone to make a bet based on who would be the first to have no taco-stuff on their nacho chip? For one thing, you can redistribute the taco-stuff so that EVERY chip has something on it. For another thing, just NO. Who would come up with this idea in the first place? WTF?

My second problem is this: What is the second guy into the pen going to do to rescue the first guy?

My third problem is this: Hey idiot in the bull's pen: Just get out. Climb out. The bull will not be able to follow you. Are you running around in circles in the hope that the bull will get tired or suffer from cardiac arrest?

srah | 9:54 PM
Tags: commercials, nablopomo, nablopomo 2008

November 21, 2008

Somewhere in space/ I hang suspended/ Until I know/ There's a chance that you care

nablopomo2008color.jpgStill waiting on that call from NASA, although we managed to lose last week when I was in Indiana and win against Minnesota while I was in my apartment building, so my theory about only winning when I'm outside Ohio is now kaput. Perhaps NASA has been following this and that's why they haven't called to offer to shoot me into space for tomorrow's game against Ohio State. Or maybe they're just too busy hunting for lost tools.

Alas! I seem to have no control over tomorrow's outcome, so I will just have to hope as hard as my little heart can hope. Clap if you believe in unrealistic victories, children!

srah | 11:08 PM
Tags: football, nablopomo, nablopomo 2008, ohio state university, sports, university of michigan

November 20, 2008

I'm afraid those things'll harm me/ 'Cause they sure don't act like Barney/ And they think that I'm their dinner, not their friend

nablopomo2008color.jpgThis is a story that I made up last night to prove to a friend that he was a terrible storyteller and that I could make up a story on the spot. I am sharing it with you so that I don't have to think of anything else to blog today. I only have so much creative energy, folks!

Once upon a time, there was a happy little Tyrannosaurus Rex. T-Rex would traipse gleefully through the forest, stomping on everything in his path¹. One day, just as he was about to trample some protomammal and destroy the potential for all mammalkind, a fairy appeared to him.

"Stop your stomping, T-Rex!" she admonished. "It is time for you to find a new hobby!"

"But I so enjoy stomping!" cried the T-Rex.

"Nonetheless, you are stomping on poor defenseless creatures and it's time to put an end to it," continued the fairy, "Why don't you talk to some of your friends and ask them about their hobbies?"

So the T-Rex went to visit his friend the Triceratops.

"What do you do for fun?" asked the T-Rex.

"I like bowling!" answered the Triceratops. The T-Rex wanted to learn more about this hobby, so he asked his Triceratops friend to take him bowling. Unfortunately, when they got there, there were no bowling shoes in the T-Rex's size, and he stomped all over the lanes and crushed the bowling balls under his feet.

"I don't think bowling is the hobby for me," the T-Rex said forlornly. "I will never find a hobby!"

But he kept trying. The T-Rex visited his friend the Dromiceiomimus.

"I like volleyball!" said the Dromiceiomimus. She invited the T-Rex to play volleyball with her, but the T-Rex's arms were too small to reach the ball.

The T-Rex was sad, but he didn't give up. Next, he visited his friend the Pterodactyl.

"I like knitting!" said the Pterodactyl. The T-Rex thought this might be a useful hobby, because he could make Christmas presents for his friends. But when the Pterodactyl tried to teach him, the T-Rex found he didn't have the hand-eye coordination for knitting. He cried a big Tyrannosaurus tear.

"Cheer up," said his Brontosaurus friend, who happened to be passing at that time.

"What's your hobby?" asked the T-Rex, sniffing and dabbing daintily at his tears with a handkerchief.

"I like to make wine!" said the Brontosaurus. "Would you like to learn more about that?"

"I guess so," said the T-Rex.

"Well, first you have to press all the grapes by stomping on them," explained the Brontosaurus.

"I get to stomp?!" exclaimed the T-Rex, "I'm sold!" So the T-Rex joined his friend the Brontosaurus in his wine-making hobby and they stomped and stomped and stomped.

The End

(The moral of the story is that you have to play to your own strengths, and also you shouldn't stomp on protomammals and destroy all mammalkind.)

¹ Any resemblance to the T-Rex in Dinosaur Comics is on purpose purely coincidental, because I just assume that all Tyrannosauruses Rex (?) enjoy stomping.

srah | 5:29 PM
Tags: nablopomo, nablopomo 2008, writing

November 19, 2008

Her Hitler hairdo is/ Making me feel ill

nablopomo2008color.jpgA couple of days ago, Jamelah posted about her haircare routine and said that one way she keeps her gorgeous communist hair in gorgeous communist shape is to only wash it 2-3 times a week. This is a haircare tip I've heard around a lot, but had never put into action. So I tried not washing my hair on Monday, and I just looked like someone who had rolled out of bed before coming to work. I realize that it takes a while for your scalp to catch on that it doesn't have to produce so much oil, but I think I will wait and try this experiment in a season where I don't have to battle both the head-grease and the hat-hair.

That said, someone complimented me on Monday about how nice my hair looked, which I found a bit worrying. Is it just that I'm much more critical of my own hair than casual observers are, or does my hair look even worse when it's clean?

srah | 6:07 PM
Tags: hair, nablopomo, nablopomo 2008

November 18, 2008

I must remain in close concealment/ Until I can appear in decent clothing!

nablopomo2008color.jpgNote: If you are reading this in England (or anywhere else where "pants" means "underpants" as opposed to "trousers") you should either substitute "trousers" for "pants" when reading this OR read "pants" as "pants" and laugh uproariously.

A few months ago, my sedentary lifestyle and love for ice cream and french fries caused me to have to go pants-shopping, as all of the pants I had were straining at the waist. I bought several new pairs of pants and retired many others. Now, although I am no less fond of ice cream and french fries (and no less sedentary either) I am finding it difficult to keep these up, and my waist is somewhere between Pants Classic and Pants: The Next Generation, so I can either wear the former and feel a bit snug or I can wear the latter and risk them falling down. After several days of trying to wear Pants 2.0 - stepping on the hems when they sag too low and fearing complete depantsing - desperate measures had to be taken. So, I went to Meijer and bought a belt.

The annoying thing is, I only went up ONE SIZE! Why is there such a slapstickcomedyesque difference between two sizes of pants? Why are there no in-between sizes? And why do I own one pair of pants that has fit me all this time while all the other pants fluctuated? Are they MAGIC PANTS?

srah | 6:23 AM
Tags: health, nablopomo, nablopomo 2008, pants

November 17, 2008

Can't think of anything I need/ No cigarettes, no sleep, no light, no sound/ Nothing to eat, no books to read

nablopomo2008color.jpgI received an email from my dad this morning:

Subject: This is what you are getting for Christmas

Message body: We saw an ad for this on TV and thought it was much more useful than a GPS

When I clicked on the link, this is what I saw:

srah | 7:05 PM
Tags: christmas, holidays, nablopomo, nablopomo 2008

Oh, they say she died one winter/ When there came a killing frost

nablopomo2008color.jpgI always thought that Fraulein Maria was on crack, but snowflakes that stay on my eyelashes are pretty cool. The first snow of the season has arrived in Srahtown, and it's a very calm, floaty type of snow that blows softly on a gentle breeze, but falls mostly downwards. It's more like movie-snow than the sideways biting snows we'll probably have later this season. My usual snow-behavior consists of shuffling around, facing the ground, with all of my body wrapped up in coats and scarves and only my eyes sticking out. Today, though, I turned my bare face up to collect them, because soft fluffy snowflakes kept landing on my face and lingering for a few seconds before they melted.

srah | 5:39 PM
Tags: nablopomo, nablopomo 2008, weather

November 16, 2008

Every time I thought I'd got it made/ It seemed the taste was not so sweet

nablopomo2008color.jpgI've just upgraded from Movable Type 3.3 to 4.21. It wasn't so bad, except that there was an Apache handling thingy¹ that's been set wrong on my server for months and which I've sort of just worked around, but I finally had to figure out today. And then there's the fact that my MT installation only seems to work properly when the www is included in the URL². If you notice anything that doesn't work, please let me know. I may be implementing some fun new stuff here soon!

Update 11/17/08 7:04AM: Comments should be working now! And my stylesheet (which was eaten when I was fiddling with things) has been restored to the latest version of it, so if you find things that look wonky there, let me know.

¹ No, I don't know what I'm talking about.

² If anyone can think why this would be (is it an .htaccess problem or something with my mt-config file?) please let me know.

srah | 7:40 PM
Tags: blog, nablopomo, nablopomo 2008

November 15, 2008

I like the girls with the boom/ I once got busy in a Burger King bathroom

nablopomo2008color.jpgI went to a football game today, and had to wait in line to use the bathroom at halftime. Unfortunately, the bathrooms were in Port-a-Potty form, but fortunately there were many of them so the lines weren't too long and moved pretty quickly. There was a couple in front of me in line who I didn't pay much attention to until they went into the Port-a-Potty together.

I thought, "Geez, that's weird. I mean, I've been in the situation before where a friend and I might go into a single-user bathroom together, so that we can move things along faster and the second person can be using it while the first person is still washing their hands. I get that. But that's somehow something I feel more comfortable doing with female friends than with a partner. And in this case, the line wasn't so long that it would really speed things up for you both to go in together. Besides, a Port-a-Potty is a really cramped space and it seems like two people would barely even fit in there together, so how would you even be able to maneuver around to take your turns and OH MY GOD, I JUST REALIZED..."

So yes, I am quite dense, but in my defense: ew.

Here is my question to you: Can you think of a place that would be more disgusting to have sex than a Port-a-Potty? The best I've come up with is slaughterhouse, but at least that would be cleaner.

srah | 9:17 PM
Tags: nablopomo, nablopomo 2008, sex

November 14, 2008

You can see I'm in no shape for driving/ Anyway I've got no place to go

nablopomo2008color.jpgIt's a good thing I went to China in September, or I would have nothing to blog about in November.

Once upon a time, I came back to Shanghai from the excursion to Nanjing I'd attended with one of the programs I visited. I arrived back in Shanghai around 4pm, then had to catch a taxi to get back to my hotel during rush hour (I probably should have just taken the subway, but - to my great shame - I never learned the subway system in the whole time I was there) . I stood there with my suitcases, waving my hand at the wrist, palm down, which is the typical Shanghainese taxi-waving gesture. After what was probably about 15-20 minutes (but seemed like hours), an empty cab actually came by for once, and actually stopped by me, instead of the fifteen other people standing in the street and waving. I guess looking different from the rest of the population can either work for you or against you, because when you stand out, you're more visible to taxi drivers, but you can also be passed by just because you look different.

The driver stopped and I leaned in and handed him the little hotel card that said, "I AM A STUPID FOREIGNER WHO DOESN'T SPEAK CHINESE, SO PLEASE TAKE ME BACK TO MY HOTEL." He gestured that he could take me, and I got into the front seat, which is something that I'd seen Chinese people do but I had never been quite comfortable with, with my Western taxi-back-seat-riding sensibilities. We drove for a while and got stuck in rush hour traffic, and at some point I happened to look at his dashboard dials and see that his fuel light was on and the needle was dipping dangerously close to E. Every time traffic stopped, I could see the driver getting more agitated, but I couldn't decide if he was really worried, or if I was just projecting. I knew that I would be worried, but maybe he knew his car better than I did, and knew how much further he could go.

I started to imagine what would happen if the car broke down, considering that our only means of communication was my "TAKE ME BACK TO MY HOTEL" card, gesturing and grunting, and my masterful command of counting from 1 to 5. Would he flag down another cab for me? Would he have to call another cab from his taxi company for me? Would he call a tow truck to bring more gas, then continue the drive? How would they get to us, if we we ran out of gas on a huge, wide four-lane road? Would he keep the meter running while we waited for gas? Would he just let me fend for myself? Would one of these other cabs who already had passengers take pity on me and take me along with them? And how would the driver communicate to me what his plans for the continuation of my journey were? Would I get any kind of discount on the cab fare, considering we didn't make it to my final destination? I wished I could communicate to him that it would be okay with me if he stopped for gas, as long as he turned off the meter, but that was way beyond our level of communication.

I then started imagining what was going through his head. What if I run out of gas? How will I communicate with this dumb foreigner who can't even speak Chinese? Does anyone in these other cars speak English? Will they translate for me? Why didn't I get gas? Why is she staying in a hotel out in the boonies of nowhere? She is ruining my life. I wonder if I could go to a gas station with her in the car. I wonder if I could keep the meter running while I did that...

In the end, we made it to the hotel without any trouble, although the tension was building throughout the trip. I just hope that he had enough gas left to get to a station afterwards!

srah | 6:37 PM
Tags: china, gas, nablopomo, nablopomo 2008, taxis, travel

November 13, 2008

When I want to run away/ I drive off in my car

nablopomo2008color.jpgYou may remember, from last year's NaBloPoMo, my training for and participation in a 5k walk on Thanksgiving. My parents, sister and I all participated in Ann Arbor's Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot 5k Walk/Run on Thanksgiving morning, and it was a nice way to spend some time together and do an activity that we all enjoy, as well as the first time that any of us had walked in a 5k race before.

We started out at a leisurely pace, chatting with each other and with the bicyclist who marked the end of the race group, then continued at a leisurely pace (at one point we saw a group of runners go by in the opposite direction and it turned out they'd already been all the way around Michigan Stadium by the time we got to Hoover) and finished at an extra-leisurely pace once the pressure of the race had been eased, by which I mean they had started tearing down the barriers and had opened the course back up to cars.

That said, Srahfam had a lot of fun and quite enjoyed our little walk in the snow, all bundled up in sweaters and ponchos while the runners sweated in spandex. Finally everyone finished the race. We (Srahfam) managed to each come in last in our age/sex category - except Alfie, who beat someone who had obviously gotten lost or forgot she was participating or decided to do the race on her hands. Then they could finally announce the winners and everyone could go home after waiting - in some cases - over 40 minutes from the time that they finished and the time that Srahfam finally finished.

This year, the race is very emphatically advertised as a 5k run rather than a run/walk. I feel as though I've made a difference in this world!

srah | 10:39 PM
Tags: ann arbor, nablopomo, nablopomo 2008, running, walking

November 12, 2008

But suddenly I feel the shining sun/ Before I knew it this dream was all gone

nablopomo2008color.jpgI dreamt that high heels
Were banned on the campus of
Uni I Work At.

I had forgotten
Till I got dressed this morning;
thought, "I must wear flats."

srah | 10:19 PM
Tags: dream, haiku, nablopomo, nablopomo 2008, shoes

November 11, 2008

Just gimme gimme gimme gimme/ Fried chicken

nablopomo2008color.jpgI just got back from a conference in Lexington, Kentucky. If my culinary experience in Lexington is any indication¹, Kentucky is not known for fried chicken or bourbon or anything like that, but Indian food (which I ate twice in the 48 hours or so I was there) and pretzels (which I ate three times).

Next year's conference is in Cincinnati, and I have volunteered my advice/help to our local arrangements committee, including the suggestion that our mid-afternoon snack break should involve a make-your-own Cincinnati chili bar and/or Graeter's ice cream. YOU'RE WELCOME, fellow conference attendees. (I am also going to advocate for the 2009 conference theme to have something to do with pigs. Then we'll have sessions called things like "Trimming the Fat in Your Study Abroad Office", which I want to give, just in order to use the title.)

¹ No, it isn't.

srah | 6:15 PM
Tags: cincinnati, kentucky, nablopomo, nablopomo 2008, nafsa, nafsa vi 2008, nafsa vi 2009

November 10, 2008

So I try a little Freddie/ I've gone identity mad!

nablopomo2008color.jpgFor almost a year now, I've been planning to dress up as the girl from the Cake song Short Skirt/Long Jacket for Halloween, but when Halloween finally came around, everyone I know was out of town, so there were no Halloween parties to go to. I'm a bit disappointed, but at least I knew that far enough in advance that the only aspect of the costume I'd bought was nail polish for my "fingernails that shine like justice."

Next year for Halloween, I want to be either Freddie Mercury or Luna Lovegood. My sister has suggested that I combine the two costumes.


What are you going to be for Halloween next year? Do you think I'm insane for planning this far in advance?

srah | 1:49 PM
Tags: halloween, holidays, nablopomo, nablopomo 2008

November 9, 2008

The way you talk, and try to kiss me, and laugh/ In four or five paragraphs

nablopomo2008color.jpgI am going to a conference for the next three days or so. I have no idea what effect this will have on NaBloPoMo, because I'm not sure if I'll have Internet access at the hotel. In any case, I will WRITE something, whether or not I can PUBLISH it!

srah | 2:11 PM
Tags: blogging, nablopomo, nablopomo 2008

Picture post!

nablopomo2008color.jpgThe song is in the picture, not in the title this time!

Picture for picture post

srah | 10:23 AM
Tags: nablopomo, nablopomo 2008

November 8, 2008

Before the cream sits out too long/ You must whip it

nablopomo2008color.jpgEvery once in a while, a topic comes up that I am surprised I've never blogged about, because I have some long-held and violently strong emotion one way or another. Micah and I were having a conversation that went like this:

@srah: I just remembered that when Thanksgiving happens, I get pumpkin pie! Are we there yet are we there yet are we there yet are we there yet?
@jmblya: What's stopping you from buying a pie from the store now? Or making your own? You should never deny yourself pumpkin-based foods.
@srah: No, pumpkin pie is more about anticipation than actually obtaining it. And more about whipped cream than pumpkin pie.
@jmblya: I could see that. But why not just get a tub of Cool Whip & a spoon & chow down?
@srah: That's disgusting. I said whipped cream, not Filth of Satan.
@jmblya: Understood. Good thing I didn't cite Redi-Whip.
@srah: Reddi-Whip is whipped cream. It's made out of cream. Cool Whip is made out of used car oil and demons' souls.

I hate it when I order something with whipped cream and it turns out to be covered in the epitome of nast instead, as though Cool Whip were some sort of adequate substitute for whipped cream. It's especially disappointing because whipped cream is one of the most wonderful foods in the world, and Cool Whip is less a food and more like pure fluffy evil that people use to ruin your food.

srah | 11:14 PM
Tags: cool whip, food, nablopomo, nablopomo 2008, whipped cream

November 7, 2008

So you think justice has a voice/ And we all have a choice

nablopomo2008color.jpgOh thank you, Collective, for giving me something to blog about. (Their answers: Heather! Anne!, Abigail!, Kat!, Jennie!)

  1. You can press a button that will make any one person explode. Who would you blow up?
    Hmmm. I'm much more relaxed about her now that we're out of that danger, but if I have to blow someone up, Sarah Palin.
  2. You can flip a switch that will wipe any band or musical artist out of existence. Who will it be?
    Kids today... the music all sounds like noise. Back in my day... hold on, let me adjust this ear trumpet...

    Where were we? Um, the B-52s.
  3. Who would you really like to just punch in the face?
    I can't tell you the real answer because it's a Real Person, so I guess it's a cross between Sarah Palin and that dude from the B-52s. Wait, are they the same person? I'd like to hear her say, "It wasn't a ROCK... it was a ROCK LOBSTER!" just to be sure.
  4. What is your favorite cheese?
    1. Petit Suisse (technically a cheese, although not normally eaten like other cheeses)
    2. Ossau-Iraty
    3. Paneer
    4. Cantal
    5. Bleu d'Auvergne
    6. Triple-crème brie
    7. Queso blanco
    8. Gouda
    9. spreadable goat cheese
    10. Cheddar
    11. Wensleydale
    12. Colby Jack
  5. You can only have one kind of sandwich. Every sandwich ingredient known to humankind is at your immediate disposal. What kind of sandwich will you eat?
    All this talk of cheese has made me crave cheese, so I'm going to go with grilled cheese - either with Cheddar and worcestershire sauce, or Wensleydale with mango chutney. I've never made grilled cheese with Wensleydale, so I don't know how it would melt, but it goes so lovely with chutney.
  6. You have the opportunity to sleep with the movie celebrity of your choice. We are talking no-strings-attached sex and it can only happen once. Who is the lucky celebrity of your choice?
    Ryan Reynolds. Lucky him!
  7. You have the opportunity to sleep with the music celebrity of your choice, who will it be?
    Do they have to be alive, or do I get to bring John Lennon back from the dead? Do they have to be willing and definitely heterosexual, or can I pick Mika? I need clarification.
  8. Now that you've slept with two people in a row, you seem to be having an excellent day because you just came across a hundred-dollar bill on the sidewalk. What do you buy?
    Black leather boots. I am contemplating buying some even without this windfall anyway, but it would be nice to have some free money to cover PART of the purchase.
  9. You just got a free plane ticket to anywhere. You have to depart right now. Where are you gonna go?
  10. An angel appears out of heaven and offers you a lifetime supply of the beverage of your choice. It is?
    Need you ask, question? Tea. And since this is magical, it would be pre-brewed and pre-doctored with milk and sugar whenever it arrived to me, so I wouldn't have to do it myself. Sometimes I enjoy the ritual, so I could CHOOSE to either make it myself or have it delivered by angels.
  11. Rufus appears out of nowhere with a time-traveling phone booth. You can go anywhere in the PAST. Where do you go?
    I would punch Rufus in the face and refuse to get in the phone booth. I hate time travel! If he forced me to travel in time, I would go to 1988 and try to get a part as an extra in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.
  12. You discover a beautiful island upon which you may build your own society. You make the rules. What is the first rule you put into place?
    Be excellent to each other. Also, San Dimas High School football RULES!!!!!!!.
  13. You have been given the opportunity to create the half-hour TV show of your own design. What is it?
    I don't know what the plot is, but it's a buddy comedy starring Berg from Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place and Donkey from Shrek. I've always dreamt of a movie/TV show that combined those two, because they were characters I loved and wanted to rescue from their less-good surroundings.
  14. What is your favorite curse word?
    ... frosted nuts?
  15. One night you wake up because you heard a noise. You turn on the light to find that you are surrounded by MUMMIES. The mummies aren't really doing anything, what do you do?
    Make them a cup of tea? My mummy would probably like that.
  16. Your house is on fire! What do you do?
    Get out, then run around like a chicken with my head cut off, panicking. Eventually remember to call the fire department, hopefully.
  17. The Angel of Death has descended upon you. Fortunately, the Angel of Death is pretty cool and in a good mood, and it offers you a half-hour to do whatever you want before you bite it. Whatcha gonna do in that half-hour?
    Nice cup of tea.
  18. You accidentally eat some radioactive vegetables. They were good, and whats even cooler is that they endow you with the super-power of your choice! What super-power is it?
  19. You can re-live any point of time in your life. The time-span can only be a half-hour, though. What half-hour of your past would you like to experience again?
    This could be interpreted as a half-hour you would go back and change (nothing, because I hate time travel) or a half-hour you could go back and watch as a non-participating observer (awesome). If I could go back and watch myself, I think I'd like to see myself in kindergarten. There isn't a particular half-hour of my life that I think I would like to revisit, so I think I'd use it to go back to a time that I don't remember very clearly.
  20. You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be?
    I would not be so horrible to a person I was horrible to.
  21. You got kicked out of the country for being a time-traveling heathen who sleeps with celebrities and has super-powers. But check this out you can move anywhere. Where are you going?
    Probably Ireland, England or France in that order.
  22. This question still counts, even for those of you who are under age, if you were banned from every bar in the world except one, which one would it be?
    Since I don't feel like being constrained by things like reality and, you know, the bar still existing, Leopold Brothers' in Ann Arbor. Runners-up: The Blind Lemon in Cincinnati, Conor O'Neill's in Ann Arbor.
  23. Hopefully you didn't mention this in the super-powers question... If you did, then we'll just expound on that. Check it out… Suddenly, you have gained the ability to fly! Whose house are you going to fly to first, and be like "Check it out I can FLY!?"
    My parents' house. Unless you think flying would impress Ryan Reynolds... then maybe him.
  24. The constant absorption of magical moon beams mixed with the radioactive vegetables you consumed earlier has given you the ability to resurrect the dead famous person of your choice. So which celebrity will you bring back to life?
    I guess I'd better bring John Lennon back, so that "musical celebrity" question isn't so gross.

srah | 12:19 AM
Tags: memes, nablopomo, nablopomo 2008

November 6, 2008

We huddle close, and hang on to a dream

nablopomo2008color.jpgI dreamt last night that I was going somewhere with President-Elect Obama¹ and a big entourage of people in an old jalopy. Something happened (it isn't clear now and I don't remember if it was in the dream) that resulted in Obama hitting his head and being knocked unconscious. He was lying on the floor of the back seat of the jalopy and everyone was trying to wake him up with smelling salts, shaking him, slapping his face, and nothing was working. I said, "Well, this works in the movies," and leaned in to kiss him and when I got close, his eyes popped open and he screamed and jumped up and ran away.

¹ !

srah | 12:02 PM
Tags: barack obama, dream, nablopomo, nablopomo 2008

November 5, 2008

And if I dig a hole to China/ I'll catch the first junk to Soho

nablopomo2008color.jpgIt occurs to me that a) I have nothing to write for NaBloPoMo today and b) I have not yet finished writing up all the little notes that I took in China of things to blog about. Now keep in mind that I got back from China over a month ago, so I may be a little fuzzy on what my notes meant...

  • shoes - Um, apparently I wanted to tell you something about shoes, but I have forgotten what. Chinese people wear 'em, if you're curious!
  • "what watch?" - After several days of communicating in broken English, I got the following exchange from Casablanca stuck in my head:
    Mr. Leuchtag: Frau Leuchtag and I are speaking nothing but English now.
    Mrs. Leuchtag: So we should feel at home when we get to America.
    Carl: Very nice idea, mm-hmm.
    Mr. Leuchtag: [toasting] To America!
    Mrs. Leuchtag: To America!
    Carl: To America!
    Mr. Leuchtag: Liebchen, uh, sweetness heart, what watch?
    Mrs. Leuchtag: Ten watch.
    Mr. Leuchtag: Such much?
    Carl: Hm. You will get along beautiful in America, mm-hmm.
  • shopping theory - While shopping in a Shanghai mall, I realized that there were many stores that I recognized from the US or France, but many others that I didn't. I checked out some of these stores, but walked past others, and I was trying to figure out why certain ones appealed to me more than others. I realized that subconsciously I was guessing whether a store was in my price range based on the number of items I could see for sale. If you look at the Gap family, for example, there is a greater quantity of clothing on the shopping floor in an Old Navy than in a Banana Republic, and Old Navy is much less expensive. I went into shopping in China with the same expectations and it seemed to work!
  • every child in China @ museum - I went to the Shanghai Museum, and it seemed that - due to the upcoming Golden Week holiday - every elementary school in the area had decided to have a field trip to the museum. Chinese schoolchildren are every bit as noisy and bored in museums as American children.
  • Crocs - I only saw three pairs the whole time I was in China, all on the feet of white people. I did see a Crocs store in one mall, though!

There are more tales to tell, but I will save them for another night when I can't think of any NaBloPoMo content!

srah | 11:43 PM
Tags: china, nablopomo, nablopomo 2008, travel

November 4, 2008

I will comfort you/ I'll take your part

nablopomo2008color.jpgIf I had thought of this earlier (and if I were sure there wasn't anything potentially illegal about it), I would have liked to volunteer (or organize an army of volunteers) to be a line-proxy for the elderly and infirm (or heck, maybe just anyone!) in high-population areas, so that they could take breaks to go to the bathroom, or eat or sit down. It's been sad to read about people for whom even the early-voting lines were too long, especially since turnout was unexpectedly high (at least compared to past years) and so people weren't prepared enough to vote absentee.

This may also be me feeling a little guilty because I got in and out of my polling place in less than 25 minutes this morning. (For once, living in a cornfield in the middle of nowhere pays off!)

srah | 5:00 PM
Tags: election 2008, nablopomo, nablopomo 2008, srahtown

I say vote yes! Vote yes! Vote for independency!


(This counts as a post, right? Especially now that i just wrote some text? How about if I throw in some free stuff you can get for voting?)

srah | 6:04 AM
Tags: election 2008, nablopomo, nablopomo 2008

November 3, 2008

And I hope this message stays in your mind/ 'Cause you almost lost a girl who is right on time

nablopomo2008color.jpgThis morning, when I was on my way to work, my car's clock (which is set 10 minutes ahead in order to try to trick me into getting places on time, except it doesn't work because I just mentally subtract 10 minutes automatically now) said 9:07, because I had not yet reset it after Daylight Saving Time ended this weekend. The sun was bright and shining, and when I got to work, there were no parking spaces left. I started to panic that I had, in changing my alarm clock, changed it in the wrong direction, but no, it turns out I wasn't two hours off - I was on time, but just parking-spot cursed.

I'm not totally crazy about this end-of-daylight-saving-time thing, because it meant that when I finally left the office at 6:30 (not because I was working late, but because I decided to create our election night party tallies at work instead of at home), it was pitch dark out. And it's only going to get worse from here, getting darker and darker so that the mornings catch up with the evenings and eventually I'm spending all of the daylight hours indoors at work, entering and leaving in the dead of night like an Oompa-Loompa¹.

You don't notice this as much when you're a student and living on a different schedule, and until three years ago, the only time I'd worked a full 9 to 5 (or 8 to 5 as the case may be) job was in the summers during college, when daylight stretched for hours and hours after the workday ended.

I guess for now I will enjoy the morning sunshine and try to make the most of it as winter gradually begins its cruel descent and pushes me slowly into seasonal-affective madness (SAM).

¹ This is a terrible analogy because - night or day - the Oompa Loompas never went in or out of the factory. I think I'm going for the idea that no one will see me enter or leave because it's so dark. Please help me come up with a better comparison.

srah | 9:35 PM
Tags: daylight saving time, health, nablopomo, seasonal affective disorder

November 2, 2008

In my shoes/ Walking sleep/ In my youth I pray to keep

nablopomo2008color.jpgI haven't subscribed to any magazines in several years, and I still feel like I've read more "fix your problem area" or "how to flatter your flawed figure" articles than I ever need to read.

But you know what I would like to read more about? Why the heck do my shoes always wear out at the back of the heel before they wear out anywhere else? Is it because I'm wearing shoes that are too big, or too small, or shoes that don't flatter my foot-shape? Are my feet too wide or too narrow, or too wide in the front and narrow in the back, or what? What should I be doing to compensate? I'm well aware how my body-shape compares to that of other women, but I don't really know anything about other people's foot-shape. All kinds of factors can affect the way shoes fit you, and I wish that I could just look at shoes and say, "I'm not even going to try those on, because I know that the toe box is not high enough for my extra-tall toes" or something like that.

I can't believe I'm encouraging fashion magazines to give us something else to feel inferior about, but it would help me if I could label what fits and doesn't and why.

srah | 9:12 PM
Tags: nablopomo, nablopomo 2008, shoes

November 1, 2008

Sing a lonely song/ Of a deep blue dream/ Seven horses seem/ To be on the mark

nablopomo2008color.jpgStarting out NaNoWriMo with a meme! This bodes well for the rest of the month. *rolls eyes* Oh well, it's about time I got around to doing a meme I was tagged for several weeks ago!

Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog - some random, some weird. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blog. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog. If you don’t have 7 blog friends, or if someone else already took dibs, then tag some unsuspecting strangers.
  1. My ears are slightly different heights, which would have been no problem if I were born with 20/20 vision. Unfortunately I wasn't, which means that any glasses I buy must be flexible enough to be bent to compensate for my ears. For some reason I never seem to have problems finding $9 sunglasses that do this - just the expensive prescription eyeglasses.
  2. Speaking of myopia, my prescription is -4.75 in the left eye and -6.00 in the right. I've always remembered that my Left eye's prescription is Lower. I'd better hope that my eyes don't do any more growing and change that rule, or I'll be walking around with the wrong contacts in the wrong eyes.
  3. You know those canisters that Pillsbury biscuits come in, and which make a POP! when you open them? Those scare me every time, even when I am the one opening them and should be prepared for the noise. Last time I made biscuits, I actually yelped out loud when it happened.
  4. My bedroom is decorated in purple because one of the first scenes in Bridget Jones 2: The Edge of Reason was in Bridget's bedroom, and her bed had purple sheets. So my room was pretty much decorated based on what color of sheets Colin Firth looks best wrapped in. So far, unfortunately, this has not succeeded in attracting Colin Firth to my bedroom, which must have been the plan that my subconscious was making when I thought, "Colin Firth looks good in purple sheets. I guess that's the color for me."
  5. When I fantasize about job hunting again, my top priorities are:
    1. A university I would want to work for/job I would like
    2. Must be in the Eastern Time Zone (I might be willing to bend this rule for a very good job on Central time, but who starts prime time television at 7pm? Honestly! Come on!)
    3. Has a Gilbert and Sullivan society
  6. My hair is very fine and demands to stay straight, to the point where hairstylists have to use tons and tons of hairspray if they want my hair to curl and stay curled for more than an hour or so. Most hairstyling magazines and websites cover "straight hair" or "fine hair" but not "straight, fine hair". This explains, in part, why when I added a friend on Facebook who I haven't seen in eight years, she said, "You look EXACTLY the same!" Yeah, my hair style hasn't changed at all in about ten years.
  7. I once dreamt that I opened a closet door in my apartment and found a dog there, which I had bought months before and forgotten about. He had survived somehow and was perfectly happy, but very eager for attention. My current apartment doesn't allow pets, but even if it did, I would be worried about having one because I'm afraid the dream reflects my own irresponsibility.

srah | 10:45 PM
Tags: colin firth, hair, memes, nablopomo, nablopomo 2008, pets

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