Tuesday, November 30, 2004

good quotes

I had written these down a while ago while reading The Grapes of Wrath, but I never got around to sharing them:

"The monster... had ... goggled his mind, muzzled his speech, goggled his perception, muzzled his protest."

"I got to figure. We all got to figure. There's some way to stop this. It's not like lightning or earthquakes. We've got a bad thing made by men, and by God that's something we can change."

Saturday, November 27, 2004

i can't believe it's been 5 years.

Well, last night was Farmington High School's class of '99 high school "reunion" thingy - I use the quotes because it was just a gathering at the local bar, not this big organized event. People just showed up between 5 and 8pm, and we stood around in groups talking to people we hadn't seen in ages, for the most part. It was kind of a trip, because people generally looked pretty much the same but a bit older, so it was this weird Twilight Zone return-to-high-school thing, but we were forced to make awkward conversation with people who we weren't ever friends with in high school, and hadn't seen in over 5 years. Odd, all very, very odd. In any case, I actually enjoyed myself more than I thought I would; I managed to spend time only with people that I really wanted to talk to, and avoided (sometimes blatantly) people who I didn't want to talk to. I made it a point not to talk to anyone who I never talked to in high school, because I mean come ON, if we didn't give a shit about each other then, why should we start bothering now?

In any case, it was at the very least a kind of interesting night. I'm glad it's over; next we'll have to see how everyone's changed in 5 more years...!

Right now I'm still in CT (what's new, these days, right?). Well, I guess that's obvious because I was just at my high school reunion, heh. I'm stuck here for a while, though, because I have to figure out all that insurance stuff and go see Dr. Millis in Boston before I can go back to Ithaca! Ugh. So much stupid red tape to deal with. I'm very disappointed that I didn't get to see the doctor on Tuesday like I was supposed to - especially because I had to walk around with my cane all night at my high school reunion, ugh. Oh well. Not many people actually asked, and I'm sure the rest thought I was just being my old eccentric self, heh. I've changed, but they probably don't know that.

Anyhow, so I'm just chilling with the family at the moment. Thanksgiving was really nice; we went to Aunt Yvonne's for the first time EVER (traditionally we have Thanksgiving at my parents' house - it's been that way all my life so far, anyway), and it was really, really nice. She did a great job with everything, and I had fun hanging out with my cousins as usual. Daniel showed me some of his computer science work from school; he looks like such a good programmer! And Erin was there; it's been probably a year since we all got to see her! It was so nice to see everyone again.

Then I drove down to Waterbury to go to a second Thanksgiving dinner at Dan's grandparents' house. I was so nervous about that one! Everyone (Dan, his sister, his mother) had made me scared of that side of his family, hehe. But they turned out to be really very friendly, pleasant people. And it was so nice of Dan to share that part of his life with me. And aww his little cherub cousins were adorable - and they told Danny that they thought I was the prettiest of his girlfriends - nice. They're all good in my book, now! Haha.

Nothing too exciting going on yet today, though. Right now I'm just sitting around reading The Mists of Avalon, which is still a very engaging book. I'm also in the middle of both Catch 22, which is one of the funniest books that I've read in a long time!, and Days of War, Nights of Love, which is a really interesting crimethink piece. They're all going a bit slowly these days because, as always in CT I have much more of a life than I do in NY these days, but I'm enjoying them all, so I'm sure they'll go relatively fast, even considering the amount of time I have to read them.

Hmm, not much else to report on right now. Sorry I keep doing these really long entries but I guess I have to catch up on everything, since I keep going so long between each one. I'll try to be better.

For now, back to my book - ciao!

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

i'm feeling better

It's been a while, I know. Sorry 'bout that. I have actually been pretty busy (wow!). Dan came to visit me up in Ithaca a few weeks ago, and then we both drove back to CT this past Tuesday because I had a meeting to go to for work on Wednesday, and then on Thursday I took my baby to the CIA (Culinary Institute of America, I mean!) for his birthday. It's nice to be back in town, but I today was just a really bad day. I am still trying to figure out all this stuff with insurance - I can't seem to get the proper referrals for the post-op appointments I've had with Dr. Millis, so I had to cancel the one I am SUPPOSED to have tomorrow because I first need to settle all these past denied claims! UGH! It's sooo frustrating - I cried several times today because I am just so damn fed up with all this shit. I have come to the point where I almost wish I didn't HAVE the corrective surgery! I'd almost rather be in pain & having trouble walking than having to figure out all this insurance shit. Goddammit.

My coworker Art has been invaluable in helping me out with all this insurance crap (he really knows his way around, he's been through the same kind of situation many a time), and my boss has also been great about it all, really understanding when I have to figure stuff out at work and make a million phone calls and visits to doctors to get referrals. And best of all has been my awesome surgeon himself, Dr. Millis - he's been so helpful and so accomodating and so understanding about this all. He sounds as frustrated as I am with this whole insurance debacle. People like that have really been making this survivable - otherwise, I don't know what I'd do.

Anyway, after work I stopped at Danny's place because I really wanted to feel better after such a shitty day, but that didn't really cheer me up, either. I won't get into details, but I guess I just feel like there was a time when Dan was excited to see me, and made some effort with me. Now I think he takes me for granted - he knows I love him and want to be only with him, so he's not worried anymore. I understand, but I also wouldn't mind a little attention sometimes. I found myself wondering today what I get out of the relationship - and I know I get a lot! Dan has done me a world of good. I can't measure his actions in terms of the kinds of things I'd do, like buy little presents that make me think of him and tell him I miss him all the time. That's girly stuff, and I don't think I'd even LIKE it if my boyfriend did that kind of stuff, really. But I guess I do sometimes just want some attention, some reassurance. I can't just judge by one night when I was in a bad mood to begin with, so I will have to reevaluate all this stuff later on, but I had to get it out, had to say something. I love Danny so so much and I don't like having these bad feelings, they bother me so much. I have a strong feeling it's me just trying to harden my heart again, so that I don't get burned if Dan decides he doesn't want to be with me, like all my past boyfriends have done. Because I know Dan leaving me would be the hardest thing to deal with, ever. He's become my best friend as well as the person I love. I need to stop being so damned scared of that! Everyone goes through heartache - we have to risk it for people we think worthy of that risk. I need to jump in with both feet, eyes closed, heh.

Anyway, the great part of my night was the last part, when I went out for coffee with Jen Kane!!! YAY! That so made my night. I almost didn't even want to go cuz I was so exhausted from such an emotionally draining day (I was upset just even driving to her house to pick her up!). But I'm soooo glad we went out - we caught up (it's been ages since we've seen each other!) and had some great coffee at Cosi, and I just generally really enjoyed the visit. It's the first time in a while that I've been able to just sit back with a friend and forget about everything else except having fun and enjoying the company. It was really pleasant. I'm glad Jen's been one of my best friends for like 8 years!

In any case, the coffee's keeping me up, but I ought to go try to sleep a bit. I am sure I'll write more soon. --G'night!

Thursday, November 11, 2004

fun geek lore

According to Bill Bryson (don’t worry, this is the last of it – I’m almost done with the book!), DOS “originated as Q-DOS (a play on kudos), and stood, rather daringly, for Quick and Dirty Operating System. When Microsoft bought the firm in 1981, it changed the name to the more staid MS-DOS, for Microsoft Disk Operating System." I guess I pretty much knew all of that, except the "kudos" part. I think that's kinda neat. (Hey, remember those chocolate & granola bars by the same name? Are they still around?)

I also learned 2 more fun facts (from Made In America) in recent days: one, that the "ouija" from Ouija Boards comes, simply, from the concatenation of the words for "yes" in the French and German languages. Another one of those that-makes-sense-but-I-had-never-thought-of-it-before words. And two, "bleachers" were so named for places for baseball fans to sit and watch the game, because those who sat in the uncovered part of the grandstand were "bleached by the sun". Well, I thought they were both neat little tidbits.

And hey lastly but certainly not least(-ly?), Bill Bryson is left-handed - yay! I am glad to hear it - and I'm not surprised. Always good to hear when there are more of us out there, though. Especially when they're as cool as that guy, and know so much.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

who the hell is this chick?

So I saw this in Tanya's LiveJournal and decided I was gonna take it, too. She got Tinkerbell (so very appropriate, she's a little pixie!), so I figured I'd wind up with someone fun like Ariel or something.

You are Katrina. Popular with the guys, and always

Which Vintage Disney Girl are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

But, no! I get Katrina. No idea who she actually IS. And I'm not confident! This is so weird.

I think she's from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow or something, I dunno. Looks like an older movie.

Hey, at least I'm supposedly "popular with the guys". That's not too bad, I guess. Hehe.

Update: Okay so I took so more of that person's quizzes, and I figured out they're just kind of abritrary. Every time I'd say I'm quiet and shy, it'd come back saying I'm some character who is strong and confident and a natural born leader. -- Eh?? I guess it was probably based on my answer to like 1 or 2 questions. Anyway, this is another one I took:

You are Belle. You are independent and self-aware.
You don't really need a man. They need you.

Which Classic Disney Movie Girl are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Once again, making me sound like a feminist. I wouldn't have posted it, but I like Belle. She's a cool girl.

Monday, November 08, 2004

i'm frustrated

Okay, so maybe someday when I'm sick and tired of the current look of this thing, I'll go back and try to change the background stuff again, but for the time being I GIVE UP!! I have been trying for ages to make a background I like, and I thought I was satisfied! But I just realized the other day that, while it looks nice and pretty on my browser (Firefox), the code that I had put into the Blogger.com template to change things around a bit and personalize the site to me did NOT work out nearly the same way in IE. D'oh. Once again, another reason I hate IE! And I would have even said "fuck IE, I don't care if it works with that crappy browser", but of course 99% of the world is still tied by the apron strings to it. So I just couldn't bring myself to let things be - I didn't want IE users to think I had such an ugly (and yes, it was UGLY) site.

I chose this one cuz it's pink, but I don't really like the layout. At least it's kinda pretty...

now this is a bit much

CNN.com - The car that can read road signs - Oct 7, 2004

A car that can read road signs for you, and tell you if you're driving well or not? I mean, okay, so it could be a very good idea for a lot of bad drivers out there (perhaps myself included, who knows!), but seriously, what're we gonna have next - machines that dress us and feed us and tell us what to think? Oy.

late-night thoughts

I wrote this last night on my laptop in kind of a "free-thought" format when these thoughts were keeping me from sleeping - hence the lack of capitalization (I tend to do that when I'm going to be typing a lot - saves strain on the hands or something heh).

i've GOT to stop being so fucking neurotic. i'm gonna ruin this great thing that i have. Dan and i have such a good thing going, and i just sit here and nitpick until we're both pissed off. it's awful. i see myself doing it, and i want to stop it, but it's like a train wreck that i have no control over until it's too late - after the crash, i try so hard to make things better, to ease the pain of the people who are suffering, to administer first aid and make sure they feel okay...but it's all just a bit too late. if only i could have stopped the train from running into that wall in the first place. i need to learn how to be less anxious! i guess it's anxiety, i don't know what else to call it. i just sit here and wonder why i feel like Dan doesn't want to make an effort with me, and then i say stuff to him that i shouldn't, that's uncalled for, and then i spend the rest of the time worrying that i'm going to scare him away finally, that one day he's gonna just give up having to try so hard with me, give up feeling like he has to appease me at every turn. just like all the other boys have done.

i know Dan's not them; that's what i love about him. but i can't seem to get my heart to wholeheartedly believe that. i just get more and more frightened as i fall further and further for him - because there's going to be a point where i'll be lost without him, like i felt when Chris first left me. and my heart wants so badly to ward off that loss, so it puts up these stupid walls to defend itself. but all that does is put an obstacle between my heart and Dan, which is exactly what i DON'T want. i'm so fucking confused. my emotions are so lost. i know that i nitpick because some warped thing deep inside of me wants to see him throw up his hands and give up and run away, so at least this time i'd know WHY the fuck the guy ran. but Dan won't give up, or at least hasn't yet, and i love him for that. there are so many reasons i love him. but i can't seem to get that through to the thing inside of me that wants to ruin all that for me! when i'm finally so happy again - i haven't felt this way about someone in years. he challenges me, he makes me want to be a better person. i know, this is all really stale cliche, but it's how i feel about him - and it's not how anyone else has made me feel, ever. and i guess that's another reason i'm so scared - because i am a person who likes comfort, and mostly resists change. and Dan is pushing my boundaries, and i am trying in my own weird way to reject that. i wish i wouldn't. i'm seeing more of the world than i ever have before. the boy is amazing.

i just hope he keeps not giving up on me until i've given in, and i won't fight anymore, i'll just let myself fall so deep into love i won't be able to ever get out.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

i grew up in a mail-order house

I did! Sounds rather absurd, doesn't it? But Sears, Roebuck, & Co. used to sell houses and the furniture to go inside them, back in the day! Ours is from somewhere around the turn of the century (the 19th to the 20th, that is - I keep forgetting there's been one since then). Of course, ours has since been modified in several ways - like with the great addition my dad put on one side of the house in '91 - but it's still, at heart, a mail-order house. Aww.

Here's yet another fun fact: did you know that Animal Crackers were originally intended as Christmas treats? Hence the strings on the boxes - they're not for carrying, they're actually so that the boxes could be hung on trees! Crazy, huh? Ah, the things I keep learning from Mr. Bryson...

I watched the new version of Freaky Friday tonight ... heh. I actually have to say I enjoyed it! I thought I wouldn't because I really liked the original with Jodie Foster, but this one was a very cute, modernized remake. One of those feel-good teen movies. Gah, as embarassing as it is to say, I have to admit I'm a sucker for those...

I just signed up for StarzTicket today, the movie download website - and so far, I'm pretty impressed! The downloads are usually around 6oomb, and they take only 2 or 3 hours to download, if that. Even on our slow connection! The concept is that there is a somewhat limited selection of movies (the selections get rotated through maybe once a week, I think), and you can only watch those that are currently being offered - no matter when you downloaded the movie, if it's no longer offered by StarzTicket, you can't watch it. But you can download as many as you want, for $12.95 a month! So, I think it's a pretty fair trade-off. And the movie quality's not bad at all - at least not on my 17'' LCD monitor. So, we'll see - I'll give a verdict at the end of this free trial period of 14 days - for now, I'm just gonna enjoy the movies! :)

i never liked that movie, anyway...

Turns out that "The Road to Wellville" was the name of a pamphlet done by C.W. Post (inventor of Post cereals), and doesn't have anything to do with Kellogg except that, while at the Kellogg sanitorium, he decided he wanted to make and sell cereal, too. Thus the advent of GrapeNuts, which I've still never tried. Anyway, I hated that movie when I first saw it and it still disturbs me, but I was checking out imdb.com today and there seems to be no mention of any character named Post. Who knows, maybe they couldn't get rights to his name or something. I really don't remember the movie, so I could be wrong. But if I'm right, I hate historical inaccuracies like that. Don't associate Kellogg with Post's pamphlet just for the sake of a "clever" movie name for a shitty movie to begin with!

Wednesday, November 03, 2004


Okay, check out all of these foods that are, according to Bill Bryson, unique to our hemisphere (and were introduced to the Europeans when they found the New World): white potatoes, sweet potatoes, the peanut, the pumpkin, the squash, the persimmon, the avocado, the pineapple, chocolate, vanilla, cassava (the source of tapioca), chili peppers, sunflowers, the tomato! Even green beans and strawberries were much better over here than there. Those are some of my favorite foods - I wonder if it's a concidence that they are all native to American soil? Mmm....I'm getting hungry just talking about it!

I just finished watching M - very interesting movie. I like the story. I also wonder how many people got the "joke" when MTV ran those ads several (many? - it's been a long time since I've watched TV, particularly MTV) years back with that shuffling guy who was always looking over his shoulder - here's a picture, 'cause I can't seem to do it justice with my description:

Anyway, very good film. One I'd been meaning to watch for a while; it's been hovering around the #50 spot in the imdb.com top 250 movies probably since the list was started, so I definitely have been wanting to see it for a while. I have got to keep working on that list! I keep encountering such good films that I wouldn't probably otherwise have any way of coming across!

I read an article at CNN.com today about the most expensive places to live ("the most expensive housing markets"), and the least expensive. No surprise that the top 4 places on the "expensive" list are in California (La Jolla, Beverly Hills, Santa Barbara, Palo Alto); the last one (once again not a shocker) was Greenwich, CT. Way to go, my home state. Heh.

The least expensive ones weren't that noteworthy to me. There were 2 from Texas (that might say something about the state that Bush used to govern...but I won't get into that), two from Montana, and one from North Dakota.

I guess U.S. housing markets don't much matter to me; Dan and I have decided that we're moving to Holland, anyway. I don't quite know when, and I'm definitely planning on becoming an expatriate whether or not we go together, but that could be fun. I definitely enjoyed Amsterdam when I was there! And no, that was not just because marijuana is legal there!! Hehe.

But, either Holland or France. I could definitely enjoy both those places much more than here. *Sigh*

Let's see what else...oh, today I had a lot of fun dealing with my insurance company! Mmm yeah I know everyone enjoys that, but I got told that all of these appointments following up on the surgery I had done in April 2004 (a periacetabular osteotomy - I'm sure I'll get into that more another time) weren't covered! I am being denied claims I made - even though I have made dozens of phone calls each time an appointment is coming up, making sure that the correct doctor is sending in a referral and that I'm all set for the appointment, etc. UGH! So, I'm quite upset with my insurance at this point. Of course. I had to email my surgeon and ask him to write a letter to them telling them why I need to have all these follow-up appointment and x-rays and PT. Yeah, like I just like to head over to get poked & prodded at the Children's Hospital once every month or so for my own amusement. Sure, guys. That happens.

It's not like I'm a hypochondriac or anything, either! Before this surgery, I'd never even been near a hospital, really. I hate taking medicine. I hate seeing doctors. This, I definitely wanted to fix up (my hip problem, I mean). And I'm glad I did, it was important. But come ON! I'm probably seeing my doctor less than I even should be, but I need some kind of guidance post-surgery! Like, just before Thanksgiving I'd LOVE to be told that I don't need to use my cane anymore. That would be a lovely holiday present. :)

In other rather exciting news, I'm thrilled to hear Green Day might try to make a movie out of their punk rock opera, American Idiot! More of a movie and less of a musical though, Billie Joe promised. Yay. I'm happy because I was supposed to go see that show last weekend but that didn't happen; now there really are no other chances for me to see it performed live. So hopefully I at least have the movie to appease me! Hehe.

Okay, I've been trying to put it off for as long as possible, but now I must talk politics once again: Shame on you, America. I'm severely, severely disappointed in this country.

I have discussed most of this stuff to death with my friends in the past 24+ hours, so I won't go into much more detail than that. I will just say I really am looking forward to moving out of this godforsaken nation! Ugh.

I have started biting my nails again - something I haven't done in ages. THAT's how bad it's been. THAT's how nervous all this is making me.

But, I'm becoming much more militant and much more vocal, so I guess that's not bad! I'm all about protesting any and every misstep Bush makes from now on. I've had enough.

Whew. Politics are making me very impassioned these days.

As Judy used to say: finis. (For now.)

the one thing that's made Bethany and me laugh all day...



What is this world coming to?

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

baited breath...

Christine and I are watching the election results with baited breath...right now things do not look good. :( CSPAN is reporting 178-112 in Bush's favor, and CNN has him at 193! UGH. That means that he only needs 77 more electoral votes to win...c'mon, Kerry! Let's see you pull through! I want him to take all the rest of the states...I know that won't happen, but one can dream, can't one?


77-66, Kerry. Keep it up, Dems!


It's 7:32 on the night of Election Day, and things are NOT looking good - already Bush is ahead 34-3. Augh I hate this part...the waiting. I suppose in the end it doesn't even matter who wins, though - I was thinking of just becoming an expatriate either way. But I think I'd be much less inclined to do so if Kerry wins. Oh, god, please let Kerry win...

Well, to take my mind off things a bit, I'm learning to "knit in the round" using two-pointed needles (NOT an easy task, let me tell you!) in preparation for the stockings I'm planning on knitting next (those wristbands turned out awesome), and of course reading more of Made in America:

So, who knew that a "turnpike" is so named "because the way was blocked by a studded pole, or pike, which was turned to allow passage once a toll was paid"? Or that things were originally priced at $1.99 because the ringing of the cash register's opening drawer when cashiers were forced to make change was hoped to discourage them from stealing? (Later on, it was realized that $1.99 seems cheaper than $2, and the method stuck.) Or that the cotton gin is not at all related to an alcoholic drink in name, but instead "gin" is a shortening of "engine"? I guess that one is kind of intuitive, but I know I never stopped to consider it before.

Gah I encounter so many more neat tidbits that I wish I could put up here, but then I'd be essentially rewriting Bryson's book, so I'll try to avoid that! Hehe.

I'm also just beginning to read The Mists of Avalon, another one of those classics that I've always meant to read - and have even owned for years - and just never got around to. So now's the time! It's a very engaging book; I can see why it spent so long as a best-seller. I am still only about 50 or so pages in, but I am definitely enjoying it.

I'm sure there'll be more updates from me as the night wears on...only less than 2 hours until the polls close in many states...eep! =

Monday, November 01, 2004

those darned Dutch

Turns out they've given American English a lot of great words, according once again to Mr. Bryson - among them such gems as blunderbuss, cookie, and waffle. I especially liked learning that we got the odd "How come?" interrogative from a literal translation of the Dutch hoekom, and the word nitwit from the Dutch for "I don't know" (that being Ik neit wiet).

They also gave us those great favorites Santa Claus and Yankee!

I have to say, though, the people that gave us the most fun words were the Irish, although they donated very few: smithereens, lallapalooza, speakeasy, hooligan, and slew were some of the few - couldn't be any more fun! Heehee.

...Oy, I keep getting this awful sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when it hits me that tomorrow is Election Day...oh good god I hope this country doesn't go in for 4 more years of downward spiral... I can't type anymore for now, I need to go cross my fingers.

more fun things i learned

Wow, Bill Bryson really knows some cool stuff! Let's see...

1. Vamos became vamoose (makes sense) and from there, mosey - that one I was surprised about!

2. The ten-gallon hat is NOT named for the amount of liquid it can hold (I always thought it seemed kind of small for that...) but rather for the braid which decorates it - the Spanish word for braid is galon (with an accent aigu on the "0" there, but I don't know how to code that...I'll have to look into that).

3. The Spanish word for "the lizard" is el lagarto - hence "alligator". Neat, eh?

In other news, I knitted these really neat wristbands today, they were so quick but they look so good! I mean, not on, but the finished product. Er, close to finished - I always put off having to tie up the loose yarn ends, oh how I despise that part! In any case, I think next I'm gonna knit some socks. I have been feeling so productive & creative recently!

I was also gonna watch M tonight (eep scary), but Christine is supposed to call, so I'm gonna read until I get to talk to her (yay!) and I'll watch the movie another night. It's not like I actually have a life; I have plenty of time to watch it! Heh.

Speaking of scary movies, Dan made me watch Dawn of the Dead last weekend (perfect for Halloween, I guess!), which I was so afraid of, but it turned out to be good! I think I might like zombie movies...as Dan and later Kyle pointed out, they present a lot of interesting questions - like: could you kill your best friend if you had to (to prevent the spread of zombies)? Hopefully something you'd never have to consider, but it's an interesting concept...

Um. Not much else to say. I've recently rediscovered how much I love The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books. They are so great. And they are gonna be made into a movie! As is A Confederacy of Dunces. I can't wait. (Oddly enough, both feature Mos Def as principal characters...I find that interesting. I wonder if he's well-read, or if he just liked the parts?)

In any case, YAY I am in a good mood right now - I just talked on the phone with Christine (The Other Computer Science Girl hehe), and we have plans to hang out at the end of this month when we're both home! AND, I'm talking to one of my best friends in the whole world, Jen - who I had worried didn't like me anymore! So this has all definitely made my night.