Wednesday, August 31, 2005

8 minutes!

In 8 minutes, it'll be Moving Day....ack! So much has already gone really well (selling my car in time, getting the right truck, managing to fit all of our stuff inside AND finish by dinnertime), but I'm still scared that there will be some kind of impediment to overcome tomorrow. I talked with all of my movers just tonight, and they are all still on board, so hopefully everyone shows up and we can just get things done, everyone can get paid, and then I can collapse amongst piles of Dan's and my junk, in a blissful state of complete & utter...done-ness.

Okay, okay, I know that there'll always be something that I still have to get done, but I just feel like these are such huge things - basically, ever since May, I've been in moving-to-Boston mode, and I finally feel like it's almost here. I just hope we make it all the way!

The question is: what will I occupy myself with, after I can finally feel like this is over & done with, and I'm settled once again? Let's hope I really can get into all of the neat things I've found that I want to get involved in up there in Boston!

Wish me luck. xoxo

Currently Reading:

TITLE: The Handmaid's Tale
AUTHOR: Margaret Atwood

TITLE: V for Vendetta
AUTHOR: Alan Moore & David Lloyd

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

il buono, il brutto, il cattivo

Well, I just finished watching The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly for the first time (I know, I know, I should've watched this ages ago, but at least I finally did get to see it!) and all I can say is: WOW. What a fucking fantastic movie. I think I need to see it another several times to get everything out of it, but still, wow.

I watched the newer, extended version of the film - now, I'm wondering what the original was like, because I don't feel like there is anything that could reasonably be left out of what I saw! I would be interested to know what was missing from the edited version, but I don't have any interest in watching it, really - I can't imagine it could be as good.

I never realized how great Clint Eastwood was as an actor, either - I have never really had any interest in him or his work, since the only times I've seen him were when he was rather aged & gray. But he really did a great job in this movie, although I've no idea why he is "the good", or at least any more good than the others, really. They are all just looking out for themselves. However, at the same time, I was really hating that I didn't dislike Tuco's character more than I I head from someone else, he does become somewhat endearing and "totally loveable" even while incredibly "sleazy" and simpering and two-faced (well, at least he attempts to be - everyone sees right through his act). What bothered me was that if he really is guilty of all of those crimes that were being read out against him at the beginning of the film, why do I really end up kind of rooting for him, at the end (and throughout the film, for that matter)? He's a complete bastard, and deserved to hang like he was supposed to - but instead he ends up with ... well, I won't ruin it for those who haven't seen it. It's just something I'm going to have to keep in mind next time I watch the movie - I want to know why his other, past crimes are so easy to forget. He's constantly presented as a jerk! And yet the viewer still wants him to end up on top, for some reason or other. It's a really interesting work of film, that Sergio Leone can manage that.

There is also so much complexity to those characters. It's incredible how much story you get about each one of them, in only a few hours. Somebody on IMDb pointed out that Blondie "[isn't] exactly good, but there are limits to his brutality." Very interesting point. Relative to the others, he certainly is "the good" - but the question is, to what extent? (Which is partly what the ending reveals.)

In any case, I'll stop raving about the movie - I'm going to go read some more message board posts about it, to see what others have to say about it - but I definitely recommend it to any of those who haven't seen it. (Although I'm sure most people in this world already have; I know I'm slow!) Glad I finally got around to it, though. Definitely worth it.

I especially love how the movie had not a single female character. I know, coming from a girl that might be rather odd to hear, but any romance or even sexual tension would have completely changed & perhaps ruined that movie. I am still in awe of Leone's work as a filmmaker. Bravo.

Currently Reading:

TITLE: The Handmaid's Tale
AUTHOR: Margaret Atwood

TITLE: V for Vendetta
AUTHOR: Alan Moore & David Lloyd

Monday, August 29, 2005

whew, i need a break

I've been on my feet all day, oy. Just got back from running errands with Jen, yay! I ended up spending more than I expected (I hate that that's almost always the case), but I did manage to buy the wedding present I need for Ian & Cathleen's wedding in September, as well as a huuuuge bin where we're going to store (read: toss) all of Danny's stuff when he gets messy. :) For now, it's very good for transporting all of the bedding to Boston, since it's big enough to store it, but it won't be too heavy to carry upstairs...lots of stairs...!

I did get to sleep in a bit this morning, which was nice - I haven't done that in ages. It wasn't even that long, but it was nice to have the option of setting a bit more of a leisurely pace today. When I got up I took a shower and worked on packing boxes & toting things downstairs and out to the garage, which is my temporary storage site until it all goes into the truck on Wednesday! Then Dad and I stopped to visit Grandpa before we headed over to an elementary school to load his truck up with 27 (!) boxes of books, for my sister's ReBook program. On his way back home, Dad dropped me off at Mom's school (she is a first grade teacher, for all of you who didn't know that), and I spent the afternoon there, helping her set up her classroom as she prepares for the new school year to begin in September! It looks great - my mother is such a great teacher. I am constantly impressed by her. I wish I could do what she does. And she makes such a difference in her students' lives.

Well, after "work", Mom & I headed back home and we all ate dinner together, and then I headed out to pick up Jen so we could go to Target! So, whew, what a long day. But I'm so glad that I got to see Jenny before I have to go...I'm going to miss that girl SO MUCH. I hate how we never seem to be in the same place for long enough!! She was at school in NY, then I moved to NY, then she moved back to CT, then I moved back to CT, and now I am moving to Boston! Ah, well. Good thing I know our friendship is strong enough to survive all of this back & forth, heh.

Anyway, not much else to report on...this weekend was very good (I sold my car! yay!). Schemitzun was great, and Dad & Dan got awesome t-shirts. Saturday night, I went to Tanya & Jill's for Jill's birthday party, which was fun (I had such a great time chilling in T's room with Sarah/Monique/Tanya/Jon/Kim; those are the kinds of gatherings I love the most, and those people are all so fun & chill), but we all got booted when the cops showed up (for some mischief that Jill's friends got into while they were drunk; I'm not really sure, but I'm just glad the innocent guys that we were hanging out with didn't get in trouble!).

Sunday, I have no idea what in the world I did. Honestly. I am blanking out completely. Must've been fun, huh? :)

As for The Handmaid's Tale (I promised I'd post a bit on how I like it), I'm really enjoying it so far! Granted, I haven't had much time to get very far in it, but I love the concept and Atwood writes very well from the protagonist's voice. So far, so good - and, it's a pretty fast & engaging read, which is always good.

Well, I'm tired & I still have some more packin' up to do, so for now, good-night! xoxo

Currently Reading:

TITLE: The Handmaid's Tale
AUTHOR: Margaret Atwood

TITLE: V for Vendetta
AUTHOR: Alan Moore & David Lloyd

Friday, August 26, 2005

good things

So I just noticed this comment on one of my entries from way back in April! No idea why I didn't know about that earlier than now, but that's very cool. I'm going to send them my address now, and see if they'll still send me stuff. :)

Also, I just (well, earlier today) baked a batch of chocolate-chip-cookie bars, yum. And tonight Danny & I are gonna go get some (as he calls it) bangin' Spanish food, mmm. And tomorrow is our double date with my parents to Schemitzun! Haha.

I'll update more sometime soon. xoxo

vacation starts soon!

Whoo! I can't wait for vacation. Not that I'll really be doing anything besides packing, but this is literally the first vacation I've taken since I started working in August 2003. The other time I had off - and, don't get me wrong, I'm so grateful that my work was so understanding - was always for recovery from my two surgeries (periacetabular osteotomy, then screw-removal) these past 2 years. So I'm extremely glad that I finally have a chance to take some time off solely for myself, and I'm terribly impatient for it to start. :) (Although I know it'll be over far too soon, too, ugh.)

Mostly I will be spending the time packing up & preparing for the move, but at least I won't have to do that on TOP of work. And then I'll have a long weekend to settle into the new place (Thursday is moving day!), which will be nice before I have to fling myself back into work (things are kinda crazy while we prepare to release the software, these days!).

Anyway, not much to report on right now. Last night Danny & I went to see The 40-Year-Old Virgin, which was hilarious. I absolutely adore Steve Carell, he is one of the best comedic actors ever (in my opinion; I'm sure many would disagree, but I find him nonstop funny). I have been especially in love with the guy (don't worry Dan, not like THAT) since Anchorman, and of course also loved him in The Daily Show, and even enjoyed his brief stint in the short-lived The Office. Anyway, the movie was great - yes, definitely full of adolescent sex humor, which normally I don't appreciate, but it was very endearing. And - bonus! - both Brian Fantanta and Champ Kind from Anchorman are in the movie (Brian much more than Champ, though)! Good times.

All right, well, I should probably get back to work for now. xoxo

Currently Reading:

TITLE: The Handmaid's Tale
AUTHOR: Margaret Atwood

TITLE: V for Vendetta
AUTHOR: Alan Moore & David Lloyd

Wednesday, August 24, 2005


Wow - I am really, really glad to be done with that book - The Wisdom of Crowds. Partly because it was really overdue, but mostly because it wasn't all that great of a book, I found myself dying to get through the second half(ish) of the book - once I get to the halfway point in a book, I can't feel okay about putting it down until I'm done, no matter how much I dislike it! And I just was not feeling it. I found myself all too often drifting to other topics (sometimes as mundane as "what time is it?" and often more pressing issues like "ugh how many more pages do I have left in this book??") while I was reading - my mind kept wandering off so much that I would have to reread entire paragraphs or sections that I had just "read" but hadn't paid any attention to. I don't think I've experienced something like that (at least not to that extent of disinterest/boredom with a book) since, well, since I was forced to read for school, mostly the textbooks. Well, at least this book definitely reminded me that I finally want to get back to reading a bit of fiction again; I feel like it's been ages! This really has been the Summer of Learning for me, in that I think I've actually read more non-fiction than novels in the past several months. And while (don't get me wrong!) I greatly appreciate everything I've soaked up, right now I really could use a good story.

At first I intended to pick up Gibson's latest (although not very recent; I received it as a present quite a while ago) release Pattern Recognition, but I think I want to wait on that one. So while standing in my room, scanning my shelves, my eyes fell upon ... The Handmaid's Tale! Which I have never read, and thanks to Sarah, I am now holding a copy of! (Thanks, S!) We are planning on doing a book-discussion-group type thing (which I've also committed separately to with Caitlin, YAY for lots of reading! hehe), and this is our first book. I had promised to get to reading it right after I got through all of my overdue library books, so now I finally can! Yay.

I'm sure I'll let y'all know how it goes. xoxo

Currently Reading:

TITLE: The Handmaid's Tale
AUTHOR: Margaret Atwood

Monday, August 22, 2005

i heart James W Loewen

This book - Lies My Teacher Told Me - is fantastic. It's too bad I am going to only get through part of it before I have to return it this week (it's already well overdue), but I fully intend to check it out of the library again once we're settled into Boston.

For now, though, I wanted to share with you a particularly poignant point he makes in his book, in a rather amusing way: first, he quotes, verbatim, a high school history textbook entitled The American Way, as it describes Native American religion:

These Native Americans [in the Southeast] believed that nature was filled with spirits. Each form of life, such as plants and animals, had a spirit. Earth and air held spirits too. People were never alone. They shared their lives with the spirits of nature.

Loewen then goes on to point out how this is such a flat and rather "make-believe" description of what is a rich and deep and meaningful religion to the Native Americans. People say "aww, that's cute" and "what a quaint and impractical idea" when they read something like that. So, with a little humor, Mr. Loewen continues: "Let us try a similarly succinct summary of the beliefs of many Christians today" and presents us with:

These Americans believed that one great male god ruled the world. Sometimes they divided him into three parts, which they called father, son, and holy ghost. They ate crackers and wine or grape juice, believing that they were eating the son's body and drinking his blood. If they believed strongly enough, they would live on forever after they died.

Loewen isn't trying to make Christianity sound absurd (although he certainly succeeds!) as much as he is simply trying to point out how flat and simple-minded that religion sounds, too, worded the same way the first description was. He points out that many a Christian alive today would immediately jump to argue that their religion means so much more to them than that, and has so many more facets...and yet we dealt and still today deal the Native Americans these same, biased cards and expect them not to feel offended, pushed aside, dehumanized??

There are so many times I wish we could go back in time and change everything. (Even if maybe that meant I wouldn't be who I am, anymore.) But since we can't, we have really got to start working to making things better for everyone. And the first steps would that would be really nice would be tolerance, acceptance, respect.

I'll keep dreaming...

Heinz's 57

I wrote this like a week ago & thought I had posted it, but I never did - so, here:

And okay, I promise this is the LAST tidbit from One-Night Stands with American History:

In 1896, Henry John Heinz was riding on an elevated railway in New York City when he saw an advertisement for twenty-one varieties of shoes. The sign gave him an idea. He would advertise his own company's products with a number - any number, so long as it was catchy. Finally he decided upon fifty-seven, which he believed people would remember. The number itself was meaningless, of course. Even in 1896 the Heinz company sold more than fifty-seven varieties.

(photo borrowed from this site)

[The Heinz website says that the numbers "5" and "7" were actually significant to Heinz and his wife, but goes into no further detail. The point remains that the number was entirely arbitrary with relation to their products.]

I'm returning that book to the library now, just in case I have the urge to share even more! xoxo

Currently Reading:

TITLE: The Wisdom of Crowds
AUTHOR: James Surowiecki

TITLE: Lies My Teacher Told Me
AUTHOR: James W. Loewen

Sunday, August 21, 2005

my friend, the robot

One more thing, though - Blogger seems to think that my friend Kristen is a robot, so I have in fact removed the requirement that you have to do a verification before you can post...for the time being. I spoke with my mechanical friend, and she agreed that we'll give it a trial run, and if I do end up getting a ton more comment-spam, then we'll rethink it. :) But for now - comment away! With no worries!! Heehee.

p.s. Kristen is in fact blind, and word verification doesn't exactly seem to allow for that. We sighted people can be so short-sighted (pun intended) at times. We only want to see (and again) what is right in front of us. Haha ok I'll stop. This is getting bad, huh? :)

p.p.s. Sorry, Kristen, that I didn't get around to this sooner, like I had promised!

Okay, for real this time: good-night!

here i am, finally!

Okay, I feel like I have a zillion things to catch up on. Let's see...Friday night I went out for dinner with Mom & Dad, then we ran some errands and stopped to visit Grandpa, who really is looking well these days (I hadn't seen him in quite a while, which was odd after having visited him so often while my parents were in Africa!). Later on, I met up with Tanya, Sarah, and Jenn at Murphy & Scarletti's, which I had kind of been afraid of doing - that is basically my high school's graduate hangout. Thankfully, though, I didn't run into anyone I knew - AND I had a great time with the girls! Oh man I know I've said it before but I adore Tanya and I LOVE her friends. So much fun.

And, thankfully, we managed to avoid the creepy skeezy guy and get out of there unscathed! Whew! :)

Saturday morning started off early, as I had to walk over to the post office to take care of some things. Mom accompanied me on the walk, and it was really nice to have that time (and exercise!). I overnighted the payoff to my car company so I could get ahold of my title (thank goodness my father could temporarily cover the difference until I sell my car, but I still am confounded about what they expected me to do had I not had the boon of being able to make the payoff) and a thank-you card, and then cleared everything up re: mail forwarding, whew. (When we move, I will have lived in 4 places in the last 2 years, so I wanted to make sure all the important mail would follow me where it was supposed to!) Then we stopped at the local pharmacy so I could buy a wedding card (more on that later) and some conditioner. I really have to shop there more often; I hate that I usually auto-pilot to CVS, but there are times when it just seems so much more convenient. But the down-home feel of the smaller pharmacy where I went most of my life, coupled with the fact that I really want to support our local ventures, makes me want to make much more of an effort to shop there. They have everything I would get at CVS, and nicer people! Heh well okay maybe not nicer but I dunno, it had a pleasant atmosphere. I think I'll still get any prescritpions I need from CVS since that's so universal & I can get my stuff wherever I am, but otherwise when I am back visiting my parents' and I need to hit up a drugstore, from now on I plan to make it the local one.

In any case, we walked back home once the errands were done, and then I realized how late it was getting and how much I had left to do before heading to Dan's mom's wedding! So I rushed to get dressed, write the card, wrap the presents (2 nice bottles of wine, for the curious), throw my things together, and remove the "for sale" signs from the windows of my car so I could drive. But, I made it out the door only a few minutes later than I intended to leave, and it turns out I didn't have to rush anyway - the wedding was scheduled for almost an hour later than I had been told! But, no worries - I got to hang out with Dan's mom, sister, grandparents, and cousins pre-ceremony, which was very fun - they're all so nice. :) (Dan was elsewhere with the groom knocking back a few, since the bride & groom were supposed to be kept separate, of course.) The ceremony was beautiful, although it did start to rain, but nothing was ruined - it was still very pleasant and beautiful and moving. I am so happy to watch Dan's mom & new husband - they are so wonderful together. I love how they smile at each other.

And then, the reception! Dan and I were seated at different tables, as he had to be with the bridal party at the head table, but we met up to hit the bar, and the drinking began! Haha - I especially wanted to get a few drinks in before my self-imposed cut-off time, so I could drive home afterwards. The food (especially the cake!) was fantastic and everyone was just so happy and fun. I did a little dancing whenever I got dragged onto the dance floor, and many pictures were taken (hopefully I'll have a few to post at some point). And I got to see Danny all dressed up in a tie! How adorable & handsome he is. <3

The reception lasted all afternoon, and I enjoyed getting to spend that much time with Dan - we haven't gotten to see much of each other this past month, since we've been living at our respective parents' houses, and I haven't been going down to work in the office since I'm trying not to put miles on my car before I sell it. So it was really nice to get to see his face again. And we're getting so excited to move in together & get to spend 24/7 with each other again! Yay.

I couldn't stay for the after-reception-party at Dan's house, though, because my sister was visiting at my parents' house, since our family was long-overdue in celebrating her birthday! So I drove back to Farmington to meet up with everyone, and we spent the night eating ice cream cake, making s'mores, crayon-making (one of Bethany's best friends, Claudia, has a wonderful daughter, Veronica, who was also visiting), and playing games. (Veronica & I rocked Cranium!) It was great to see Bethany again, and I didn't have to feel bad when she left because in less than a month I'll be living down the street from her!

I also got a phone call last night from one of my favorite people: Caitlin! Yay! It was WONDERFUL to get to catch up, and just to get to talk again. I am so glad we'll have plenty of excuses to hang out when we are both moved into our own places in Boston - the film club & the book club, at LEAST. I've missed that girl so much.

Well, I have to get going for now because I have some more stuff to get done before bed tonight...I know I haven't yet updated about Sunday, but I will do that tomorrow. I just feel like this entry is DEFINITELY long enough for the time being!

More tomorrow. xoxo

you might not know

I was born exactly 2 months premaure way back in 1981. When I was 10 years old, my mother wrote a story about her experience for a writing class she was taking towards her masters degree, at the time. Recently Dan showed me a website called Share Your Story, which is part of the March of Dimes foundation, and is a place for mothers of premature babies - support, help, and mostly just knowing that there are others out there going through the same thing. I told my mother about the site, and that I really wanted to share her story with other mothers who could use the hope that her experiences might offer them. In short, here is the the link to what I submitted, plus 3 bonus photos (sorry for the bad quality) of me as a baby at the bottom:

My Mother's Story

I have much more to type later on, but for now I am exhausted and I have a lot of things I have to go deal with. But I promise I'll do my damndest to write again today! xoxo

Currently Reading:

TITLE: The Wisdom of Crowds
AUTHOR: James Surowiecki

TITLE: Lies My Teacher Told Me
AUTHOR: James W. Loewen

Friday, August 19, 2005

a real catch-18

Ugh I am in such a catch-22 right now (which really should have been a catch-18) with my car. Basically, I have been on the phone all morning, speaking with the Honda Finance Company and the DMV, learning that in order to get ahold of the title to my car, I have to pay off the loan...but in order to pay off the loan, I have to sell my car, which includes hanging over the title! I don't understand - there must be people other than me who sell their cars before they've paid off the loans. If I could pay off the loan, don't you think I would have done that already?? And the DMV tells me that the Bill of Sale isn't a legally binding document, and that having the title to the car is the only way they can transfer registration. So WHAT the hell is one to do? -- Anyone have any good ideas for me?

I'm so frustrated I didn't learn of this until I had already placed ads all over. Now I get to inform people of my predicament every time they call. Ugh.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


Sorry that I have to now make everyone who wants to leave a comment actually "verify that they are human" before they can, but thanks to this guy creating some weird kind of funky comment-spam, I now have to. Gah.

Otherwise, not much to report on right now. Tonight I helped my dad start to set up his website, but I won't post a link to it until he's ready to make it public, since right now it's kind of ashambles. But it'll look great when it is done, I think! It's mostly pictures from the trips he & mom have taken over the past several years, and Dad is a fantastic photographer.

And I'm really loving Lies My Teacher Told Me, it's inspired me to do 100 different things to change the way people view history. I know that once I actually get around to getting through the rest of A People's History, I'll probably feel the same way about that...but for now, I'm sticking to the smaller book, heh. Too much to get done.

All right...more tomorrow I bet. xoxo

Currently Reading:

TITLE: The Wisdom of Crowds
AUTHOR: James Surowiecki

TITLE: Lies My Teacher Told Me
AUTHOR: James W. Loewen

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

good-bye, my dear Bluebelle...

Well, this is it - I'm now officially Selling My Car! incredibly excited as I am to move to our awesome place in Boston, I am also really kinda sad to have to say goodbye to my car, even though it's only been 15 months... I'm definitely going to miss it, and the whole driving-standard thing (because I hear that you can only rent automatic cars these days, ugh, gross). It really was the perfect car for me.

But, on the other hand, I'll be glad to not be contributing to pollution, nor "throwing money away" on $3 (!) gas, insurance, payments, etc. Plus I'll be getting more exercise! So all of these things are benefits to selling. But I sure will miss the convenience...the whole point, though, was that I wanted to live in an urban area so I wouldn't have to rely on driving to get me around. I'm not blaming people who live in suburban areas because they drive; believe me, I know that the country was pretty much forced into developing highways over train systems! But for myself, I just really want to try to get away from needing a car.

Yeah, I know it'll be a pain in the ass when I come back to my parents' house and want to visit friends, but I'll have to deal. Hopefully I can sometimes borrow my mom's car, and hopefully my friends love me enough to maybe drive every once in a while (although I hate asking that!). :) We'll see. For now, I just have to get the car sold in the first place! I hope I can make a bit of money off of it, that would be nice...

Yesterday Dad & I spent over 2 hours washing, waxing, Armoralling, Windexing, shampooing, and vacuuming the car - it looks gorgeous! I was exhausted afterwards, but it was worth it. Now it's parked out front, and hopefully between that & the postings I've put online & in the local paper, I'll get some offers! (pleasepleaseplease)

Well, I think I'll leave you with some photos (taken this morning) of my car, so I'll always remember it, hehe. xoxo love you my little car!

Currently Reading:

TITLE: The Wisdom of Crowds
AUTHOR: James Surowiecki

TITLE: Lies My Teacher Told Me
AUTHOR: James W. Loewen

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

will the real Santa please stand up?

Santa Claus Did Not Always Have a Beard: In the seventeenth century Dutch settlers brought the myth of Santa Claus to America. But the Santa Claus they brought did not look anything like the jolly figure pictured today. Their Santa was tall, slender, and very dignified. Around the beginning of the nineteenth century Santa took on the appearance of a jolly figure. In 1809, Washington Irving imagined Santa as a bulky man who had smoked a pipe and wore a Dutch broad-brimmed hat and baggy breeches. Later in the century artists pictured Santa as a fat man, with brown hair and a big smile. Finally, in 1863, Thomas Nast drew a picture of Santa as a jolly old man with a white beard and wide girth - the first picture of Santa as he looks today.

(Yes, this is from One-Night Stands With American History, too. I tried to find the Harper's Weekly drawings of how Santa Claus used to look, because it was really kind of creepy, but I couldn't manage to. Sorry!)

But we all know that my dad (see Larry, from Hartford, CT) is the real Santa Claus, anyway.

ok, this is mostly it.

I finally finished One-Night Stands with American History, yay! Now I will no longer have to bore y'all with a billion crazy (but so interesting!) historical anecdotes, and hopefully we can more on to more productive things. :)

Anyway, for now, here are the rest of the selections that I found of particular interest in the book:

  • As a politician LBJ did a lot of traveling. Once he visited Thailand for a conference. At the conference Johnson was feasted royally and given plenty to drink, which made hime a frequent visitor to the rest room. As he emerged from the rest room on one of these trips, he met a group of reporters. Instantly, Johnson opened his fly, pulled out his membranous Texan, and commented, "Don't see 'em this big out here, do they?"

  • During the eight or nine years that Joseph Heller was writing his first novel, the working title of the book was "Catch-18." Then, just as the book was going into production, Publishers Weekly, a trade magazine, informed Heller that Leon Uris was coming out with a book with the same number in the title. The magazine warned that the public would probably not accept two books with similar titles, and opined that if people had to choose, they would pick the Uris novel, since Uris was a familiar name. Heller immediately sank into depression. He even took a leave of absence from his job as a writer of advertisements for McCall's to brood about his problem. He had specifically picked the number eighteen because it was the only mutli-syllable number that begins with a vowel, except for the number eleven, which could not be used since it was part of the title of a recently released movie. For four weeks Heller worried about the problem, until one day his editor called with an idea for a new title. The editor suggested "Catch-22," and instantly Heller agreed.

  • Some ideas are better left alone than refuted. Herbert Spencer, the famous English philosopher, adapted the ideas of Darwinian evolution to biology, psychology, sociology, and other fields of study. Many people, of course, did not agree with Spencer's reasoning. At Yale University, President Noah Porter personally conducted a volunteer class on Spencer's First Principles, trying to refute them. By the end of the term, however, every member of the class had become a believer in Social Darwinism.

  • For decades there has been no national controversey about the teaching of the theory of evolution in public schools[remember this book was written in 1980, twenty-five years ago!]. Even in 1925, when the theory was put on trial in the famous Scopes case, the anti-evolutionists were regarded with scorn. But the Tennessee law that put John T. Scopes on trial remained on the books for many years. Not until 1967 was it finally repealed.

  • When Edward Everett Hale was Chaplain of the Senate, someone asked him, "Do you pray for the Senators, Dr. Hale?" "No, I look at the Senators and pray for the country," he replied.

  • According to Congressman William Everett of Massachusetts, one church congregation found the advertising barrage [from drug companies, in the late 1800s] to be especially trying. New hymnals were needed, but the church had little money to buy them. To economize, the congregation contracted with a patent-medicine manufacturer who agreed to defray a large percentage of the hymnal cost in return for advertising space in the new books. The songbooks arrived on December 24. On Christmas Day the churchgoers filled the sanctuary only to find in their new hymnals:
    "Hark! The herald angels sing
    Beechan's pills are just the thing.
    Peace on earth and mercy mild
    Two for man and one for child."

  • Beginning in 1931, ten years before the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, every graduate of the Japanese Naval Academy had to answer the following question as part of his final examination: "How would you carry out a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor?" The question remained on the cadets' exam every year until the beginning of the war in the Pacific. It is not known if the Japanese high command used any of the answers from the ten-year period while planning the real attack.

    There was also this one that I didn't feel like typing out (my fingers are getting tired!), so I managed to locate it online - slightly altered from the book's text, but the story comes across nonetheless:
    It is said that in the House of
    Representatives in the 1890s, the then Speaker of the House, Thomas Brackett
    Reed, was once forced to send telegrams to absent members asking their
    attendance in order to obtain a quorum. One congressman, delayed by a flood
    that had disrupted railway service telegraphed back: "Washout on line. Can't
    come." Upon receiving this message Reed sent a reply telegram: "Buy another
    shirt; come on next train."

    The same is true for the following story, found here:
    [JFK] told a good-humored story on himself and two other aspirants, Senators Lyndon Johnson and Stuart Symington, at the Gridiron Club dinner: 'I dreamed about 1960 myself the other night and I told Stuart Symington and Lyndon Johnson about it in the cloakroom yesterday. I told them how the Lord came into my bedroom, annointed my head and said, "John Kennedy, I hereby appoint you President of the United States." Stuart Symington said, "That's strange, Jack, because I too had a similar dream last night in which the Lord annointed me and declared me, Stuart Symington, President of the United States and Outer-Space." Lyndon Johnson said, "That's very interesting, gentlemen, because I too had a similar dream last night and I don't remember annointing either of you."'

    And this was a neat tidbit (found here) : Following the death of William McKinley, the press covered the brief swearing-in of the new president, Teddy Roosevelt. One New York paper mistakenly used the letter "b" instead of "o" in the word oath. The next morning, readers read the following headline: "Mr. Roosevelt took his simple bath, as President of the United States."

    I also learned that "the only nonwhite to be elected vice-president of the United States was Charles Curtis, a Kaw Indian, who served under Herbert Hoover." Being reminded that we've been ruled by an elite, white male government for so long just makes me so sad.

    Okay, sorry that this entry was so long! I think I should be done, for now...although the next book I'll be attacking is Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong, so I can't promise! (I took both of those books out of the library at the same time, and therefore am forced to read them one after the other, whereas otherwise I would definitely take a break). This book is a "teen book", though, so hopefully I'll be able to speed throught it rather quickly. I just thought the concept sounded too good to pass up. Kind of like a kiddie version of A People's History, heh.

    Well, for now, I have to go get some sleep. Goodnight! xoxo

    Currently Reading:

    TITLE: The Wisdom of Crowds
    AUTHOR: James Surowiecki

    TITLE: Lies My Teacher Told Me
    AUTHOR: James W. Loewen

  • Monday, August 15, 2005

    even more fun facts

    All courtesy of One-Night Stands with American History, published by William Morrow & Co. in 1980:

  • James Fenimore Cooper once remarked, "'They say' [is] the monarch of this country." [It's too bad he couldn't have read Rushkoff's Coercion; I think he would have agreed with a lot of it!]

  • Unil the 1830s, Americans did not eat tomatoes. Up to that time tomatoes were believed to be poinsonous and were used only as decorations. They were known as "love apples."

  • During his time as a congressman Davy Crockett made repeated attempts to abolish West Point, which he believed was a haven for the sons of aristocrats.

  • Looks like there might have been even MORE presidents we didn't know about:
    [David Rice] Atchison may have been president of the United States for one day, but no one is sure. The facts are these. Atchison was president pro tempore of the Senate on March 4, 1849, the day President James K. Polk's term expired at noon and one day before Zachary Taylor was sworn in (Taylor refused to take the oath on March 4, since that was a Saturday). Because Polk's vice-president had resigned a few days before, Atchison, it would seem, was technically the only person legally allowed to exercise the powers of the presidency - by virtue of his being third in line in the succession. According to the law, the president pro tempore automatically became president when the presidency and vice-presidency were vacant. Nothing happened during Atchison's one days in office, though a few friends jokingly requested appointments to the cabinet.

  • Why are barns painted red? In the early nineteenth century farmers learned that the color red absorbed sunlight extremely well and was useful in keeping barns warm during winter. The farmers made their red paint from skim milk mixed with the rust shavings of metal fences and nails.

  • The ice-cream soda [yum] was invented by accident in 1874, when Robert M. Green ran out of sweet cream and substituted vanilla ice cream in sodas he was selling at the semicentennial celebration of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.

  • The word "hooker" goes back before the Civil War, to the time the Dutch seaport Hook became famous for its streetwalkers. But not until the War between the States did the term become popular. At that time prostitutes south of Washington, D.C.'s Constitution Avenue began being referred to as Hooker's Division - in honor of Joe Hooker, the Union's preeminent paramour.

  • In the fall of 1866, Mexican general Santa Anna, exiled from his native land, lived on Staten Island, New York. His new interpreter and secretary, a young American named James Adams, noticed how the old general would constantly cut slices from an unknown tropical vegetable and place the pieces in his mouth. Inquiring, Adams learned that the substance was called "chicle" [I'd assume that's where the name "Chicklets" comes from]. When Santa Anna left New York the following May, the young interpreter persuaded him to leave behind his supply of chicle. Adams then began experimenting with the substance, adding different sweetening agents to bolster the flavor. Soon he had "invented" chewing gum. When Adams introduced his new product to the American public, he found a willing and hungry market. Later, Adams founded the Adams Chewing Gum Company, and Americans, helped by a most unlikely Mexican source, have been chewing gum ever since.

  • Nouveau riche extravagances included a dinner held in honor of a dog who was given a $15,000 diamond collar, and a man who had little holes drilled into his teeth so that he could have a diamond-studded smile. [from around the end of the 19th century.]

  • According to Louis L'Amour, the Western-fiction writer, the red light became associated with prostitution because late-nineteenth-century trains conductors who visited whorehouses often left their red lamps hanging outside.

  • In 1884 the "latest social craze" - according to numerous advertisements - was displaying framed pictures on walls.

  • Electric lights were installed in the White House during the administration of Benjamin Harrison. Harrison and his wife were so afraid of electricity that they left the job of turning the light switches on and off to the servants.

    And these are just some of the better ones! And the shorter ones, that I didn't mind typing out. This book is chock-full of interesting stuff. I'd suggest you check it out of your local library or get ahold of a copy for youself. I'm sure I'll keep adding more as I go through, so if you are interested in this kind of stuff, keep an eye out. xoxo

    Currently Reading:

    TITLE: The Wisdom of Crowds
    AUTHOR: James Surowiecki

    TITLE: One-Night Stands with American History
    AUTHOR: Richard Shenkman & Kurt Reiger

  • Sunday, August 14, 2005

    i hate how it smells when it rains

    Just got back from a really nice weekend visiting Kristen down in Jersey, yay. Dan and I left after I got out of work on Friday evening (after running a few errands), and didn't hit much traffic driving down, so we got there around 10:30pm, I believe. We hung out with Kristen, saw her new place, and drank some good wine until Jeremy arrived home from work, and then all 4 of us went out to the diner for some late-night food. I had never met Jeremy before, but he is a really nice guy. He's also really intelligent, and was fun to chat with - the four of us had several really interesting conversations, especially since Danny's always eager to discuss his (well, often, "our") politics with others. In any case, I also loved seeing how well Jeremy treats Kristen, and how great they were together - it always makes me happy to see my friends happy, and being well taken care of. :)

    Anyway, thanks Kristen, for a lot of fun! We spent a lot of the weekend eating some fantastic food, between cinnamon-raisin French toast stuffed with cream cheese filling (at IHOP) and awesome blackened fish and grilled corn and blueberry preserves back at the apartment, mmm. I could go for some more of all of that right now! Hehe.

    I always love spending time with Dan, especially when we get to just do low-key things and spend a lot of time alone together, like when we were driving to & from NJ. Of course while we were there I also enjoyed my time, but I especially just loved having his company for the trip. He makes me smile nonstop like a complete dork sometimes. And I couldn't stop cracking up on the drive back home - we ended up having to pay a second, unexpected toll (we had of course paid the NJ Turnpike one, but I think we also ended up hitting the Tappan Zee on the way back) of $4, which rather sucked seeing as I had planned only to pay the first toll, and had absolutely NO CASH WHATSOEVER left. But between the two of us, we managed to scrounge up enough quarters to make up $3.75, and then added 2 dimes and a nickel to make up the rest...and while Dan was preparing it (counting it out), he managed to drop most of the change on his lap & the seat! So I'm getting close to the tollbooth and am trying not to go too fast so we have some time, and Dan is unbuckled and turned around, perched on his seat, trying to gather up all the coins. HILARIOUS. I was dying. And yes, we managed to make the toll just fine! Wahoo! We rock together. :)

    Well, it's wicked hot right now and I still have to finish One-Night Stands with American History, which was actually due today, so I'm gonna go get to reading that. Haha I've a bit more left than I thought I had, because I think Kristen dropped my bookmark out of my book this weekend and then put it back in the wrong place, and since the book is entirely solely unassociated "snippet" paragraphs, I didn't really notice until a short while ago, haha! Thanks, Kristen! ;) But it's all good - it's not like I needed to read them in order, and I'm sure I'll catch up to where I THOUGHT I was pretty soon - it's a fast read! :)

    Have a good night...more tomorrow. xoxo

    Currently Reading:

    TITLE: The Wisdom of Crowds
    AUTHOR: James Surowiecki

    TITLE: One-Night Stands with American History
    AUTHOR: Richard Shenkman & Kurt Reiger

    Thursday, August 11, 2005

    i was wrong

    I thought the following snippet that was included in One-Night Stands with American History was very cool, but it turns out I was wrong, since there was more to it than I thought:

    One day he [George Washington's father] went into the garden, and prepared a little bed of finely pulverized earth, on which he wrote George's name at full, in large letters--then strewing in plenty of cabbage seed, he covered them up, and smoothed all over nicely with the roller.--This bed he purposely prepared close along side of a gooseberry walk, which happening at this time to be well hung with ripe fruit, he knew would be honoured with George's visits pretty regularly every day. Not many mornings had passed away before in came George, with eyes wild rolling, and his little cheeks ready to burst with great news.

    " O Pa! come here! come here!"
    " What's the matter, my son ? what's the matter ?"
    "O come here, I tell you, Pa: come here! and I'll shew you such a sight as you never saw in all your life time."

    The old gentleman suspecting what George would be at, gave him his hand, which he seized with great eagerness, and tugging him along through the garden, led him point blank to the bed whereon was inscribed, in large letters, and in all the freshness of newly sprung plants, the full name of


    " There Pa? " said George, quite in an ecstacy of astonishment, " did you ever see such a sight in all your life time? "

    " Why it seems like a curious affair, sure enough, George ! "

    " But, Pa, who did make it there ? who did make it there ? "

    " It grew there by chance, I suppose, my son."

    "By chance, Pa! O no! no! it never did grow there by chance, Pa. Indeed that it never did! "

    " High! why not, my son? "

    " Why, Pa, did you ever see anybody's name in a plant bed before? "

    "Well, but George, such a thing might happen, though you never saw it before."

    " Yes, Pa; but I did never see the little plants grow up so as to make one single letter of my name before. Now, how could they grow up so as to make all the letters of my name! and then standing; one after another, to spell my name so exactly!--and all so neat and even too, at top and bottom! ! O Pa, you must not say chance did all this. Indeed somebody did it; and I dare say now, Pa, you did it just to scare me, because I am your little boy."

    His father smiled; and said, "Well George, you have guessed right. I indeed did it; but not to scare you, my son; but to learn you a great thing which I wish you to understand. I want, my son, to introduce you to your true Father."

    [text copied & pasted from, which is the text of Mason L. Weems' 1818 The Life of George Washington]

    I was initially thinking that the story meant that Nature was George's true father, which I know doesn't really make logical sense, but I guess the obvious didn't occur to me right away. When I found the website that had the story, though, there was more to Weems' account of the story:

    " High, Pa, an't you my true father, that has loved me, and been so good to me always? "

    " Yes George, I am your father, as the world calls it: and I love you very dearly too. But yet with all my love for you, George, I am but a poor good-for-nothing sort of a father in comparison of one you have."

    "Aye ! I know, well enough whom you mean, Pa. You mean God Almighty; don't you?"

    " Yes, my son, I mean him indeed. He is your true Father, George."

    Ugh so yeah, the truth comes out. And it goes on, but it's the same stupid stuff. I know, I should have caught that it was a God reference way earlier, but I didn't. So I'm slow, so sue me.

    But I don't think good old Ethan would have approved.

    George, as it happens, wasn't the first President of the United States, anyway:

    The first president of the United States was not George Washington. In 1781, Maryland finally signed the Articles of Confederation, and the union among the thirteen states became an actuality. John Hanson, the man who signed for Maryland, was immediately elected president of the assembly. His formal title was "President of the United States in Congress Assembled."

    Even George Washington himself addressed Hanson as "President of the United States." When Washington won his great victory at Yorktown, Hanson sent the general a letter of congratulation. Washington reciprocated at once, addressing his letter to the "President of the United States."

    So, that's that. I'm gonna take off for now, and go get some more knitting done, maybe watch a movie. Have a good night!

    one-night stands, indeed

    I hope the authors of One-Night Stands with American History don't mind if I share a few choice tidbits from their book:

    "The colonial towns of Lyme and New-London[sic], Connecticut, once held conflicting claims to the same piece of land. Its value, at that time, was regarded as a trifling amount - certainly not enough to warrant the appointment of representatives from the two towns to present their cases before the colonial legislature. Instead, the towns agreed on a local solution. Champions were elected - Griswold and Ely for Lyme, and Ricket and Latimer for New-London - and on the appointed day these four met on a designated field and slugged it out with their fists. Griswold and Ely beat up Ricket and Latimer, and Lyme took possession of the disputed tract."

    Nice, CT. You always know how to do things the classy way.

    "The word "buncombe" and its derivative, "bunk," both meaning "speechmaking to please constituents" or "nonsense," were coined during the debate over the Missouri Compromise of 1820, when Felix Walker, congressman from Buncombe County, North Carolina, stood up in the House and said he wanted "to make a speech for Buncombe." The speech was irrelevant and rambling and transformed the name of the county he represented into a word."

    I love etymology.

    Also, I learned that Ethan Allen was famous as an atheist in his day. That must explain the furniture (what? no, I have no idea either).

    In other news, I heard this joke on the radio earlier today:
    Q. What do you give a sick pig?
    A. Oinkment.

    Not great, but cute enough.

    More later as I come across more Neat Facts. xoxo

    Currently Reading:

    TITLE: The Wisdom of Crowds
    AUTHOR: James Surowiecki

    TITLE: One-Night Stands with American History
    AUTHOR: Richard Shenkman & Kurt Reiger

    Wednesday, August 10, 2005

    the balcony isn't safe

    It's so amazing, how the mind works. I was sitting here coding away, and I see that I have a "breaking news" email saying that George & Jennifer Hyatt, the escaped prisoner & his helpful wife in Ohio, were captured. At the same time, I was listening to "Hollywood Perfume" by The Pretenders. I didn't think too much about it, until I went to reread the email and wondered where the hell I had gotten the notion that the fugitives had been captured in a shootout on their hotel balcony, when nothing like that was described in the extremely succinct email. I sat there pondering such an odd notion for several moments, until I realized that the song playing in the background sings about "going out on the balcony" and events ensuing. Not fugitive-shootout events, but that's where my mind came in and took over, deciding that that's how it all must've happened. Odd, isn't it?

    I really should have been a psychologist. I love this shit.

    oh sugar

    My mom and I were just talking, and our conversation reminded me of how whenever I get really thirsty and find myself drinking a lot, my first thought is: "oh no, I hope I don't have diabetes!" Now, I guess that's a symptom of the disease & all, but I wouldn't have that immediate fear if it weren't for years & years of reading The Babysitters Club series. Thanks to Ann M. Martin, now whenever I get up in the middle of the night for a drink of water, I immediately speculate as to whether I'm developing symptoms and will have to start giving myself insulin shots. Haha! Don't worry, I don't spend too much time on it, but I find it funny that my mind was conditioned in that way. Ms. Martin was only trying to help make people more aware of diabetes, and believe me, I probably understood the disease a lot better than most 8-year-olds! But in doing so, she also managed to make me paranoid about ever being really thirsty (since getting up for several glasses of water one night was one of the symptoms that put Stacey McGill in the hospital, where they realized she had diabetes, for all you non-BSC-fans out there).

    I know. My mind is so weird. Sometimes I, too, wonder what is going on up there.

    ah, if only...



    More later, I think. xoxo

    Currently Reading:

    TITLE: The Wisdom of Crowds
    AUTHOR: James Surowiecki

    TITLE: One-Night Stands with American History
    AUTHOR: Richard Shenkman & Kurt Reiger

    Tuesday, August 09, 2005

    today is picture day

    I've needed to catch up on sharing photos with you all for quite some time now, so here goes quite a slew of them:

    This is a checkerboard that I knitted for Dan a good long while ago, but I'm so proud of my accomplishment that I had to share it. I suppose only knitters will really be impressed, but any case, it was supposed to be turned into a bag to hold Dan's chess pieces back when he was really into chess, but for now it's just sitting in his room somewhere. Maybe he'll ressurect that passion when we move... :)

    This is a series of photos of these crazy socks Marsha sent me from Japan a few weeks back...they are designed to be worn with sandals/flip-flops, as I've demonstrated in the pictures (please kindly ignore my ugly feet).

    She also told me about this cool stuff. Konnyaku. Read up, it's interesting! Sounds kind of like Japan's version of tofu, although yes I do realize how odd that sounds, seeing as they eat bean curd more than we do...

    Then there's this, courtesy of LetterJames, a neat website where you can put your text on all kinds of images. Check it out.

    And this I just thought was great, that's all. It's definitely not my own work and I certainly wish I could attribute it to someone, so if you know whose it is please give me a holler.

    Anyway, I guess that's it for now. Sorry I'm always so late with photos. And sorry that I always think I have way more to share than I actually do. And yeah, I know, my camera takes better-composed and less-blurry pictures by itself than I do. Oh well. I never claimed to be a photographer, but my camera definitely claimed to be a camera. Or something. Ignore me, I'm tired.

    Currently Reading:

    TITLE: The Wisdom of Crowds
    AUTHOR: James Surowiecki

    TITLE: One-Night Stands with American History
    AUTHOR: Richard Shenkman & Kurt Reiger

    Monday, August 08, 2005

    one more quick thing

    Bethany sent me this guerilla garden gift set link. I plan to try it out sometime post-move; anyone in an urban area really should, too, if you've got some extra cash lying around!

    Red Bull looks like pee

    Well, it does! There's no denying that. But I am sure that won't stop me from drinking it, since most of the time I'm usually drinking it from the can, anyway.

    I'm loath to post anything because I really liked the way the last post looked at the top of the page...haha I'm so weirdly into aesthetics, but at the same time I am pretty awful at decorating or layout or design. I don't get it.

    This past weekend was Tanyafest '05! Which was pretty awesome. I love Tanya, she's one of my best friends & favorite people in the entire world! I got to spend tons of time with her between pre-gaming on Friday night with the girls at Up Or On The Rocks (my first time there; usually I'm a Pig's Eye kinda gal), a sleepover, party prep, and then the actual party at Eric's. What a great time! I was so glad I got to talk to awesome people that I've kind of adopted as my own friends (Sarah, Scotty, Monique), since Tanya has such good taste in people. :) And I didn't even mind being d.d. on Friday night, and only having one beer on Saturday. I always forget how much I hate the morning after drinking (I'd call them hangovers but I rarely ever really get those) until it's too late, anyway. So it was kinda nice to be able to have fun and be totally comfortable with people I don't know all that well for the most part (but who are all really easy to get along with & accepting, thus no pressure to perform/need for drunkenness).

    That took up most of my weekend, anyway. Sunday I spent mostly racing to finish The Wisdom of Crowds until my father informed me that I could in fact renew a "new" book (if no one else had tried to reserve it) at the Farmington Library, so I got a chance to relax, whew. (I'm only about halfway through it right now.) I am enjoying it, but it was getting hard to speed-read it and still get anything out of it.

    So after dinner I picked up some knitting (haven't done that in ages, it feels like!) and watched Little Black Book, which was a pretty awful movie. Just really pointless, and SO hard to watch because I hate movies where I am constantly cringing FOR the protagonist. (Like 99% of Ben Stiller movies.) One kinda cool thing from that movie, though: girls, remember when we were wondering aloud what in the hell ever happened to Gavin Rossdale? Well, despite our worries that he might have died, haha, he actually makes an appearance in that movie! How out-of-the-blue, huh? Well, at least we know he's still kickin'. And yeah, he's still pretty cute. I wonder what he's up to these days, besides doing Gwen Stefani and appearing in bad movies.

    Hmm, not much other news, really. I should get back to work, anyway. This next month is going to be BUSY, what with prepping & selling my car (sad), getting ready to move & moving (ack), a wedding (yay), a visit to Kristen in NJ (yay), and taking my mom to Schemitzun for her birthday (fun).

    Thank goodness I'm taking the last week in August off!

    Currently Reading:

    TITLE: The Wisdom of Crowds
    AUTHOR: James Surowiecki

    TITLE: One-Night Stands with American History
    AUTHOR: Richard Shenkman & Kurt Reiger

    Friday, August 05, 2005


    My camera just took this picture

    by mistake. I thought it turned out kinda neat. That's the stained-glass lampshade my father made that's hanging in our addition.

    More later. xoxo

    Currently Reading:

    TITLE: The Wisdom of Crowds
    AUTHOR: James Surowiecki

    TITLE: One-Night Stands with American History
    AUTHOR: Richard Shenkman & Kurt Reiger

    Thursday, August 04, 2005

    that's just about right.

    You Are A Romantic Realist

    You are more romantic than 40% of the population.

    You tend to be grounded when it comes to romance.
    Sure, you can fall hard... but only for someone you've gotten to know.
    And once you're in love, you can be a total romantic goofball...
    But you'd never admit it to your friends!

    (courtesy of Sarah)

    i feel like Alexander

    Alexander of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day fame. Well, okay, mine would be more something like the Terrible-Horrible-No-Good-Very-Bad-Start-To-The-Day. But either way.

    Well, first, on a somewhat unrelated note: last night I actually caught myself thinking "her mother actually let her out of the house wearing THAT?!" when I was waiting in line behind a 13-year-old wearing a skirt that pretty much showed her ass-crack. But god, I'm getting old. I don't think I would have cared one way or the other a few years ago. Well, maybe it was how young the girl was - most of the skanky clothes I encounter tend to be more on girls my age, who get to choose their own level of hoochiness when they dress themselves. Usually I tend to think that teenagers are still a bit under their parents' control. In any case, WOW are clothes getting kinda trashy. Thanks, Britney and Christina and all you other exemplary role models.

    Also last night (but this one relates to my bad morning, I swear!), after I got home from visiting Jen (yay!), I couldn't stop rubbing my left eye. I realized that it's been bothering me for some time now (at least since Monday-ish) and so I set out on a quest to finally remove what was in there. (I know it sounds weird that I've had something in my eye for that long, but I don't think it was always bothering me. Plus, I tend to get my long eyelashes stuck in my eyes all the time, so I guess I just thought it was that and it would find its way out eventually.) My quest took me to the bathroom where I spent a good 15 minutes trying to see something in there. I touched my eyeball I don't know how many times! And then I ended up having to use a Q-tip (shudder) to remove a little fleck of something I finally spotted on the underside of my eyelid! But all that eye irritation took its toll, and this morning while getting ready for work, the eye area was still very tender. I didn't even want to find out how eye makeup would feel on it, so I had to forgo being Danny's dwarf hotot for the morning.

    I have been having a lot of eye problems lately. The other day I rubbed my itchy eyes so much that not only did I look like I had gotten punched twice in the face, but also I had these odd little allergic-reaction bumps on the outside corners of both my eyes. I ended up wearing really big, dark sunglasses while paying my grandfather his daily visit, until they reduced to a more normal size. I wonder what the problem is, though. Dust? I never used to be allergic to anything, grr.

    Anyway, back to my morning: So I'm getting ready to leave, and since I'm going to Dan's after work today I figured I'd bring along the (set of 2 matching) Christmas bear mugs that he said his mother might like (as a replacement for some large Christmas mug she claims he lost a few years ago). In order to place them somewhere I wouldn't forget them, I put them on my bed together, and OF COURSE - now, bear in mind (haha! pun not intended but boy was that a funny coincidence) that they made it ALL THE WAY back from Ithaca (when I couldn't manage to Freecycle them there, and didn't want to throw away perfectly good mugs) stored only in a pillowcase, and rattling around perched atop all my other stuff! - they managed to clank together in just the wrong spot, and one of the decorative pieces on one of them shattered to unsalvageable shards. UGH. And of course now the mug is completely useless because who wants to use a broken one, even when the cup is still intact? And now I feel silly giving only one of a set of 2 away. Gah.

    Dealing with that kept me busy, and in turn I managed to leave late for work, and on top of that got stuck for at least 1/2 of the drive behind a slow-as-hell semi trailer. God knows why he felt the need to go like 20 miles under the speed limit, when I wanted to at least go 5 over! :) But I guess all that frustration was somewhat made up for when I found myself being passed on the highway by a little old dude cruisin' along in his Monte Carlo. Way to go little old dude! Way to make up for your peers' general slowness!

    When I got to work, I realized the the antenna on my tablet PC is now hanging on by just a thread. We taped it back on and that looks okay, but what bad design to create a portable computer with such a vulnerable piece on it!

    Well, since I've been kind of intermittently writing this entry all day, it's now 3:20, so I should probably post this now. The rest of my day hasn't been going SO awfully, although lunch (a tuna melt at Philip's Diner down the street) wasn't great, but hey what can you do. And I get to see Dan tonight, and that's always a plus.

    I just hope he doesn't fall apart on me or anything.

    Currently Reading:

    TITLE: The Wisdom of Crowds
    AUTHOR: James Surowiecki

    TITLE: One-Night Stands with American History
    AUTHOR: Richard Shenkman & Kurt Reiger

    Wednesday, August 03, 2005

    the French do it better

    ...well, at least, they DO it. Hah - that got your attention, didn't it? And all I was talking about was online shorthand, you dirty-minded bastards!

    Seriously, though, it bothers me in general when people refuse to take the time to write words out, especially when typing "shorthand" really doesn't save them any time or energy. I understand that not everyone is the typing maven (all thanks to Mavis Beacon at an impressionable age) that I am, but still how does typing one or two fewer characters every several words really making things easier? I lean more towards the camp that people like to use these little shorthands because they are the cool thing to do, and are very trendy right now.

    I have to admit, though, that I was more impressed when I found it done in French on a French message board, because while I realize that it's the exact same thing, it's a novelty to me! Much like when I hear a child speaking in another language...I know logically that the child is probably speaking his or her native tongue and most likely isn't fluent in several languages, but still it charms & impresses me. What can I say.

    Anyway, so here's the snippet I stole as an example from some message board or other - I hope that's kosher, but I didn't associate anyone's name or even the site with this, so - here:

    c clair, tu c si jécri kom sa pour allé plu vite

    which translates, without accents because I don't know how to do them on here:

    "C'est clair, tu sais si j'ecris comme ca pour aller plus vite."

    and means, very roughly, "That's right, I write like this because it's faster."

    So, I dunno. It's classier, in my mind, because it's in French - but the text above was in response to a question about how old the girl was and whether she had been taught proper grammar (which is a jibe whose sentiments I would totally agree with, had the forum been in English). Eh, such is how my mind works. What I think is annoying as hell in English gets turned into "so cute" or "so classy" in French. It's so strange what a globalized culture has done to me...

    Currently Reading:

    TITLE: The Wisdom of Crowds
    AUTHOR: James Surowiecki

    TITLE: One-Night Stands with American History
    AUTHOR: Richard Shenkman & Kurt Reiger

    Monday, August 01, 2005

    what a girl wants

    I was driving home at 3am last night (ugh don't ask...well, ok, me Dan & Kyle were at an Evil Robot Us' & etc. show in New London) and I came across this broadcast of what sounded like a talk radio show out of Boston (no idea how I was getting the signal all the way down here, although it was kinda fuzzy most of the time). The show was The John and Jeff Show, which from the website that I just found on them seems like it's a pretty big show, and national. Well, I'd never heard of them, and maybe it was just because of the static, but it sounded to me like a pretty amateur talk show. Oh, well. Obviously I've no idea. In any case, when I tuned in the guys were talking to Daniel, a boy who seemed to be calling because he has trouble meeting girls. J&J got on his case because he sounded desperate (he did) and seemed to think that flaunting his money would get him dates (he pointed out that he drove a Jag and still couldn't score a babe). J&J said that girls don't want desperate, they want a guy who is "together" and that one day, when Daniel least expects it, he'll meet a girl. There were other issues I had with some of their advice, but this especially got to me. Because I think unless the girl is desperate, too, she doesn't want a guy who is out "hunting for a girlfriend"! I don't know why they didn't point that out, specifically. A girl wants the guy who sees her, the guy who is struck by her beauty, the guy who meets her and digs the conversation, the guy who wants HER. Not the guy for whom anybody'll do (or at least any of what they consider hot), or who just seem to be out shopping every time you run into them at a party. As cheesy as it is, girls like the romance. Yes, the girl does want a guy who is "together", but part of that is a guy who doesn't feel incomplete without his female accessory, aka Girlfriend v1.0. We girls want a guy who is content with himself, who by meeting us only makes his life better and makes both of us better people. THAT is why he would find a girl when he's not looking - because it's not ABOUT "looking", or it shouldn't be. It should be about living your life, and eventually finding that person who complements you so well that it seems like no one else will do. But you can't go hunting for that person, I don't think.

    Maybe I'm completely wrong. In fact, I'm certain there are people out there who disagree with me. But I think most would agree with the basic concept. I don't know, maybe I've just been lucky, but I haven't ever been out there "on the prowl" for a boyfriend. I spent long stretches of my life single, and as they say those times taught me a lot about myself, and helped me grow into meeting a boy I feel does complement me. (And who compliments me too, I guess!) I guess I'm getting all cliched here, and I know it's different for everybody. I guess I just wanted to get my thoughts out. I wanted to call into the show last night, but they gave no number before I got home. Besides, I probably would've pussied out. But at least I can share (vent?) my thoughts here. Girls out there, I hope you agree with me. Boys, let that be a lesson to you. xoxo

    Currently Reading:

    TITLE: The Overspent American
    AUTHOR: Juliet B. Schor

    TITLE: One-Night Stands with American History
    AUTHOR: Richard Shenkman & Kurt Reiger