Disclaimer

The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Money on my mind

About 5 years ago, I found myself standing in a boy's living room attempting to read Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything while stoned out of my fucking mind. I can't even begin to explain just how infinitely blown my mind was while reading about the size of atoms.

Today I started that book again. Apparently Bill Bryson usually writes comically about his travels, so this is more of a travel through the history of the world told with an ironic and friendly sense of humor. Many times I've found myself thinking, "Oh, man, I need to remember that line!"

But I could not resist any longer when he mentioned this chemist's name: Lorenzo Romano Amadeo Carlo Avogadro, Count of Quarequa and Cerreto.

I want that name. Or something fabulously similar.

Also! Irene will be in town TONIGHT. Let the brazen disrespect for maturity begin!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Please don't ask me to get up

It's 6pm. I've been awake for 11 hours. I think I'm going to be sound asleep before the 12th.

Fuck me today was a long day. On the plus side, I finished my first book of Winter Break. Babylon Revisited and Other Stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Am now working on Salman Rushdie's Jaguar Smile, seeing as I can't get enough of these tales of Latin American revolutionaries.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Just a little update

Having officially moved into the pool, I'm finding that formerly irritating coworkers are the cat's pajamas! Perhaps it's the holiday season, perhaps it's the fact that most of the real bosses are out of town. Whatever the reason, everyone seems more chipper and friendly and amusing than ever before.

One lady especially is starting to pull at my heart strings. She's a hardcore music fan from the 70's era (and before), and she just adores sharing her life stories with anyone who will listen. Fortunately, I'm ready and eager to hear her stories, as well as to share a few of my own. We're also a couple of computer nerds. The other day I helped her make a list of every ctrl key shortcuts we know. We also traded my external hard drive for a pair of speakers for my laptop, and she compiled a set of 5 CD's entitled, "Judy's Classics: For all those kids born in the 80's who don't know what good music is".

I haven't had a chance to listen yet, though, since the pool doesn't have a cd player and I've got very little non-sleeping time at home. But Minus the Bear sounds amazing on the speakers.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hey Smartass

So that final was a joke. I looked the whole thing over twice checking my answers, and still finished with 50 minutes to spare. Out of 80. I think I was #5? Anyway, I will now plagiarize a letter written from my professor to the ISEP program regarding my awesomeness.

"Dear ISEP,

My name is Robert ----- and I am adjunct faculty at Western Washington University where I have taught a business law program, Management 271, since January 1998. My class enriolls 80 students each quarter.

During this past quarter, Fall 2007, I have had the pleasure of instructing Chelsea ----- as one of my business law students. I have come to know Chelsea better than I would most of my students because of the time she took outside of class to visit me during office hours to discuss course materials. I also enjoyed hearing her plans for the future, which seem quite bright to me.

Chelsea is an intelligent, personable and articulate students who stood out from her peers as being a most capable public speaker, notably when called upon to participate as part of the "Socratic Method" employed in my class. She is obviously quite interested in studying abroad, and, given her language skills, I believe she would make a wonderful spokesperson for our university, your program, and our country.

I hope you give Chelsea serious consideration as an applicant for your program.

Very yours truly,

Robert ----- etc etc"

This glowing report, plus the fact that I so clearly just aced his final, has inflated my ego to about 10x its normal size. Think of the Grinch. I used to be a bit of a wimp, scared of speaking up and certainly unsure of my worth. Now? I am the shit. Don't worry about making conversation, I'll just talk about myself for the next hour. Thanks. Besides, what could you possibly have to say that would top the cleverness of me?

Note to Self:

When off campus, pirate LCD Soundsystem, Sound of Silver. Also, 45:33, a workout track.

Also watch this video porque el laboratorio de lengua no tiene un servicio para ver películas en la Internet.

Oh man. I'm blatantly stealing these links from BoingBoing.

Comments on Bic Pens.

Comments on Whole Milk.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Awake 5 Hours So Far

7:00 am. Jump start awake in panic mode because I cannot figure out why the hell my alarm is going off. It's too late for work, far too early for class! Oh, right, finals.
7:30 am. Roommate and I decide McDonald's is a good idea before our 8:00 am finals. We make it there and back, but barely. The grilled steak burrito thing was delicious, but probably a bad idea.
8:50 am. Have aced final, but it is really bitter cold out. Buy some coffee and wait for a bus home.
10:00 am. Decide to take a nap despite the caffeine coursing through my veins.
11:45 am. After having hallucinatory phone and text message conversations without ever falling asleep, decide to get up. Have also imagined the living room decked out in pine garlands and a scraggly Christmas tree. Might just try to cut one down from the arboretum over the weekend with the handsaw I found in the hall closet.
12:00 pm. Oh. Should probably head out to my next final. Wish me luck!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Low Income Housing

The rest of the set from last night's Meeting of Architectural Hobbyists.

The Viking Long House, complete with treasure chest, falls amidst a glory of flames...



While Santa stands atop it all and laughs.



Nick's version of Falling Water



Chris, naturally, had to make a house that actually stood.



My attempt at a house on stilts turned into.. well, a giant pile of candy reminiscent of last year's house.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

New Favorite: Digital Love, Daft Punk

I need to read 100 pages from my law textbook, create study guides, then review all 12 before my final on Thursday. In the meantime, I also need to read about 100 pages of anthropology textbook (Friday), create and understand a cheat sheet for financial statistics (Tuesday), and review the uses of: por v. para, a, indirect and direct prepositions, ser v. estar, imperfect v. preterite, and all combinations in between (Tuesday).

So naturally I spent tonight making graham cracker houses and stringing up decorations around the apartment. Now, I'm listening to Daft Punk and burning Nick's cd collection onto my computer.

Snow Day = Barbecue!




Snow Day burgers make everyone happy. Sort of.



Snow Day doesn't encourage good driving habits. Even funnier? When the snow melts and you still look like an idiot.



I had to promise Sharron these wouldn't find their way onto Facebook. So here they are, in a little-viewed but still online location.






Melissa's architectural career started off strong, but quickly lost momentum.




And oh drat Blogger has just quit on me. More pictures of edible houses to follow at a later date.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Chili Night!

So. The deathly disease is still going strong. 3:30 am I found myself locked in the bathroom, again at 5, and again at 7. Each time I thought I was hallucinating - Kenny was always calmly making coffee or eating cereal in the kitchen. Mid-agony I realized that I daily get a solid break between bouts that last about 8 hours before it comes back - so I'm wondering if simply being awake sets my intestines grinding themselves apart.
I've plowed through about 3 Nalgenes of water, so today has been a little better than yesterday. Went out for a delicious breakfast at Arlis's, aced my stats quiz, and finished the last homework problem like this:

Me: I don't know. Let's make it up. Let's say wider!
Paul and I start to make up some bs reasonings and calculations.
Paul: Wait -- this is actually right. See? Smaller numbers make the results less accurate!
Both of us: Touchdown dance!

I then came home and lay down in bed listening to Regina Spektor. By 4:30 I was conked out. The boss at work called around 5:30, and after a 5 minute conversation about my schedule,

Boss: Sorry for waking you up.
Me: Don't worry, I'm still asleep.

And I was. I didn't open my eyes the entire time, and I'm pretty sure I lied to him about availability.
At 7 the call of "Chili's ready!" went ringing through the apartment. Made with Miller High Life leftover from yesterday, it was delicious.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Uncomfortable

Oh God. Are we back to September guys? Really? This is disgusting. This is a travesty. This kind of behavior wouldn't be tolerated for more than a few hours, if I only knew how to stop it. It started again Tuesday morning at 4 am, and has been going strong since. I HATE IT I HATE IT I HATE IT. And then, of course, the "I'm fed up with this let's see a doctor" appointment I made(back before this relapse!) has been pushed back by another week. If this thing keeps going as strong as it's been in the last 48 hours, I'll probably be losing more than 10 lbs this time around.
El Padre has had surgery for cancerous polyps. He's called the Uncle about getting himself checked out, because guess what? It's genetic. What a bitch that would be if, at the ripe young age of 20, I have to go in and start a life-long process of scraping cancerous growths out of my body.
Fuck I keep thinking about it. I've got a lot of the symptoms webmd says to watch out for. At least last time I could blame it on parasites. Now there's a good chance it's really serious. This is like the cervical cancer scare of 2 years ago. I'm having trouble sleeping again, I'm walking around jittery and nervous, and all I want to do is start awkward conversations about it with people who really don't care/don't want to know. Add Finals Week Stress to all of this, and I'm basically a big ball of nerves ready to lash out at any moment. Will she cry? Will she start a fight? Who knows! Let's give her some alcohol and find out!
Tonight's Repeal Day Gathering is both a very welcome distraction, and a very bad idea.

Text Conversation:
Me: Us plus 3ish, a small gathering of drunks
Nick: fine by me... and no bonus runway viewers?
Me: those are the pr kids. minus sharron.
Nick: ok cool. and its understandable she doesn't want to hang out with team drunk.

We decided yesterday that we want to become alcoholics. You know, to fit in with the rest of our friends. So I guess step one is to start referring to ourselves with quirky dysfunctional names.


In other news,
• Men show a greater preference for tongue contact and open-mouth kisses.

• Men are more willing than women to have sex with someone without kissing, as well as to have sex with someone they are not attracted to or consider to be a bad kisser.

• Women place more importance on kissing throughout a relationship, whereas men place less importance on it as the relationship progresses.

Thanks CNN!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Comfort

Nothing warms up a dreary drizzly rainy day quite so well as a piping hot bagel slathered with cream cheese and a steaming cup of chamomile tea.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Dinosaurs Kick Ass

New Dino Discovery!

I'm envious of whoever gets to take Thor's dino class next quarter. The man is going to be a giant ball of child-like enthusiasm on a sugar high when he talks about this.

Photographic

I wanted to be asleep by midnight. Naturally, I decided it was about time to share the photo highlights from Fall Quarter 2007. There are more, but they're still on my camera.

The 40 Oz. Formal








Iron Chef: Booze








Toga

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Baby, you got what I need (But you say he just a friend)

There are ups and downs to knowing how to use the internet for more than googling images of Britney Spears pre-breakdown. On the upside, I know where to find endless material for amusement. Blogs are fantastic. They're also the biggest downside. After all, if I, an easily amused college student who relies upon her parents to make rent, can manage to keep a blog, then obviously there are many other people with many other talents and far more interesting stories doing the very same. Nothing quite brings me out of my "yeah my life is awesome" mindset as well as an hour spent catching up on Internet idols.

Not to mention that I lose an hour reading about someone cooler than me, when I could have been studious or amusing or bonded with a roommate or cooked something amazing. That is an hour I will never get back. It's an hour that I chose to spend chuckling while simultaneously making myself feel bad about how that's not my amusing story.

That said, awkward moment of the day: Sharron, Andrea and I tried to pull off a group hug today, only to realize we didn't know what to do with our faces. We ended up staring creepily into each other's eyes (or chins, in my case.)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I am a Gemini

Via Wikipedia:

Characteristics (bold words apply)

Astrologers broadly agree that the following are the characteristics of Gemini:
The Gemini person is versatile, whimsical, nimble, articulate, active, adaptable, intellectual, witty, inquistive, intuitive, charming, brilliant, affectionate, courteous, theatrical, generous, thoughtful, straight-forward, social, talkative, mercurial, eloquent, brave, free-spirited, loves attention, playful, good-natured, good sense of humor, leader, broad-minded, diplomatic, and lively.
The Gemini is prone to be temperamental, fickle, demand attention and admiration, boastful, plays mind games, quarrelsome, prattlers, tricksters, narcisstic, devious, manipulative, superficial, argumentative, restless, childish, indecisive, nervous, duality, tense, cold, insensitive, inconsistent, and cunning.

Semi-Compatability: Pisces, Aries
Incompatability: Cancer, Scorpio (the favorite brother), Virgo, Taurus, Capricorn
Ideal Careers: Actor/actress (no thanks), comedian (no thanks), teacher (maybe), debator (no thanks), sales person (no thanks), diplomats (sure! except not rich enough), speaker (no thanks), authors (no talent), poets (no talent), journalists (no talent), lawyers (sure!), movie writer, or director.
Likes: Talking, the unusual, teaching, different things in life, Multiple projects all going at once (oh God ew stress)
Dislikes: Feeling tied down (definitely), learning (actually, I wish I could stay in college forever), being in bad situations, mental inaction, being alone (also not true)

Astrology.com says:

Gemini
May 21 - June 21

Gemini is the third Sign of the Zodiac, and those born under this Sign will be quick to tell you all about it. That's because they love to talk! It's not just idle chatter with these folks, either. The driving force behind a Gemini's conversation is their mind. The Gemini-born are intellectually inclined, forever probing people and places in search of information. The more information a Gemini collects, the better. Sharing that information later on with those they love is also a lot of fun, for Geminis are supremely interested in developing their relationships. Dalliances with these folks are always enjoyable, since Geminis are bright, quick-witted and the proverbial life of the party. Even though their intellectual minds can rationalize forever and a day, Geminis also have a surplus of imagination waiting to be tapped. Can a Gemini be boring? Never!

Since Geminis are a mix of the yin and the yang, they are represented perfectly by the Twins. The Gemini-born can easily see both sides of an issue, a wonderfully practical quality. Less practical is the fact that you're not sure which Twin will show up half the time. Geminis may not know who's showing up either, which can prompt others to consider them fickle and restless.

They can be wishy-washy, too, changing their mood on a simple whim. It's this characteristic which readily suggests the Mutable Quality assigned to this Sign. Mutable folks are flexible and go with the flow. Further, the Twins are adaptable and dexterous and can tackle many things at once. It's a good thing, too, when you consider their myriad interests. The downside of such a curious mind, however, can be a lack of follow-through. How much can any one person do, anyway?

comments: the whole gathering information and relaying it to people bit is oh-so-true. life of the party, though? not so much. sudden mood changes apply - my mother says i'm impulsive. lack of follow-through, definitely, though i don't usually try to multi-task like crazy. it's too stressful.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Today's Game Face: Irrational!

All morning, I've been surprising myself by how alert and chipper I've been. No breakfast, but I'm not hungry. No caffeine, but I'm not drowsy. 5 hours of sleep, and I'm not irritable.

But just now, all the warning bells and whistles went clanging crazily away. I most definitely am not well-rested and prepared to meet the day. How do I know? This entry made me teary-eyed. Although I think that's what Heather wanted.

"...but when her feet leave the ground there is a tiny, measurable block of air that separates her feet from the earth. The distance from here to the stars is a lot bigger than that, I know this, but if you take that enormous distance and convert it to centimeters, well then Leta just got a little closer."

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Hands like ice

At first I thought it was a silly coincidence. But after listening all the way through, I am convinced that Putumayo Presents: Turkish Lounge accidentally filled the CD with Bollywood tracks translated to Turkish.

Also, I locked myself out of the apartment this afternoon. Instead of cooking my own lunch, I walked the mile to Fairhaven and enjoyed a warm cup of hot cocoa and a chicken pot pie. This conveniently took up enough time until one of my roommates came home from class.

I made a beeline for my bedroom, and settled in with the computer while I waited to warm up. Over an hour went by before I realized that I keep shifting my position to have one foot and one hand tucked under my body. Oops. Someone forgot to turn the heater on.

Monday, November 12, 2007

High Expectations

So I know that studying a language for three years naturally gives you a leg up over the non-bilingual population. But I refuse to believe that understanding Spanish is really that hard. Look! So many of the words are almost identical to English! It's the verbs and conjugation and structure that don't make sense at first. I feel like almost anyone with a clear head and ability to recognize word roots could figure out the gist of my essay.

¡Quiero comer pan, por favor!

En este día, hay muchas personas que no son saludables. Son cansados con mucha frecuencia, no pueden concentrar, y se enferman fácilmente. Necesitamos preguntarnos, ¿es una cuestión de una vida normal, o es algo que nosotros hacemos mal? Los defensores de la medicina alternativa creen que las cosas que comemos duelen nuestros cuerpos. Para dar el tiempo del cuerpo a curarse, es necesario que algunas veces todos los años eliminemos los alimentos perjudiciales en nuestra dieta. Esta vez de comiendo comida pura se llama una dieta de desintoxicación. Una dieta de la desintoxicación tiene críticos en la medicina profesional, pero si se lo hace correctamente, la dieta da más energía, ayuda a personas a adelgazar, y ayuda en descubrir comida más interesante y saludable. Yo traté de hacerlo.

En una dieta común hay muchísimos comidas que tiene componentes artificiales y peligrosas. Naturalmente, una dieta de la desintoxicación quiere quitar los dos. Las instrucciones de la dieta dicen: No comas trigo, gluten, azúcar, carne, productos lácteos, comidas con mucha aceite ni grasa, y no bebas alcohol ni cafeína. Es esencialmente una dieta vegetariana. Para mí, la parte más difícil no fue buscar comidas apropiadas. Fue no comer pan. El cuerpo tiene comidas favoritas y confortables, y quiere comerlas. Vegetales y frutas son excelentes, pero yo nunca me siento repleta sin algo más sólido. Sin pan y carne, especialmente porque mucho de mi dieta está hecho de esas cosas, sentía completamente vacío unos pocos días después de empezar. Afortunadamente, esto es uno de las metas de una dieta de la desintoxicación.

Algunos efectos de la dieta son extraños, pero otros son buenísimos. Yo necesité el baño frecuentemente en la primera semana. Desde que la dieta requiere comer muchos alimentos con mucha fibra, el colon limpia su contenido pronto. Algunas personas les duelen la cabeza a causa de retirada de cafeína. Después unos pocos días, yo tenía más energía y podía concentrar mejor. No he adelgazado todavía, pero no es la cosa más importante para mí. Pienso que el mejor aspecto de esta dieta es que yo aprendí cocinar comidas más interesantes.

Puedes ver que no tengo resultados significativos de hacer esta dieta. Para esta misma razón, muchos médicos no creen en la dieta de desintoxicación. Dicen que nuestros cuerpos adaptan a sustancias nuevas y no necesitan ayuda. Si este es verdad, no me importa. La dieta de desintoxicación es un descanso de comidas insalubres que normalmente una persona no toma.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Failing Again

I've successfully given up on nearly every endeavor I've tried. Rowing lasted a whole 2 seasons. The tennis club lasted a day. Running this summer? I did 4 miles a day for a week, then decided that working part-time was enough of a commitment. I dropped out of the Culinary Arts class in high school. I didn't apply to any other college except Western because their application requirements were too strict - application essay? Forget that! Even last quarter, I failed a finance class because I decided that riding my bike was more important.

The most recent drop-out I've accomplished was my attempt at a detox diet.

The idea was that I'd stop eating wheat, gluten, dairy, meat, caffeine, sugar and alcohol for two weeks. Sounds crazy, right? Well, I have a Spanish essay due Tuesday, and I thought it would be fun to write about my experiences. Also, ever since the Peruvian parasite poop-fest, my body still hasn't quite been up to shape. I started last Sunday, and I was doing well. Trader Joe's has an amazing assortment of indian curries, and one bag of frozen stir fry veggies from Costco + gluten free soy sauce + rice can keep a girl stuffed for weeks. But oh. The roommates just had to go and stock up on bagels this same week. I've been smelling toasted bagels every morning, watching Nick and Chris lather on the cream cheese while I drink my soy milk and fruit smoothie, knocking bags of the delicious circular bread out of the freezer every time I go for the vegetables. It's been sheer torture.

So this morning I gave in. I ate a bagel, and it was delicious. So delicious, in fact, that I took another one with me to work. While there, a coworker and I unjammed the vending machine and looted over $2 in quarters. Naturally, I had to celebrate the windfall with some peanut M&M's. I knew I would regret it and here I am, 4 hours later, tallying up my history of wimping out.

I think I'm going to keep going with the diet, though. It's only another week. Today was a slump, but I'm more determined than ever to see it through.

Also, I made potato pancakes for dinner. They were heavenly.

Fortunately the roommates are in Canada tonight, because I also burned them and filled the entire apartment with a thick layer of smoke. Does anyone have tips on how to cook with oil without starting smoke signals?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I Have the Giggles

Nick just came in to my room. "So I was eating a bowl of rice, and I sneezed. Now I have a kernel of rice stuck up my nose. And I can't get it out."

Monday, October 29, 2007

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Feist is not acceptably quotable in entry titles

Well loves, looks like I'm updating a bit more than usual today. Guess it's all this downtime mixed with procrastination I'm doing.

I'm coming up on a killer management test in the next 30 minutes. I feel decently confidant. The poor Japanese students, though, I don't think they realize just how fucked they are by taking Olsen. They walk out after the break every day - not smart!!!

Brag time. I got a 96% on my freshman level anthropology midterm. Wait, is it not bragging if anyone with half a brain could have done the same?

More day-in-the-life-of quotes:

Me: Come on Chelsea, stop picking at your cuticles.
Nick: Do you really talk to yourself using your first name?

Ran into Lady Rumble in the coffeehouse today. I don't think... nope, she and I haven't been drinking together since freshman year. Which is a downright shame.

This Break Between Work and Class Kills Me

1) I can be very critical of Bollywood, thanks. The dialogue is ridiculously cliche (thanks blogger for not recognizing the d. and c. words I just used!), the plots are painfully dull, and yes, the entire point of the movie is to show off how well the actors dance and how pretty they look in as many outfits as the budgets will allow. Also, the hit music that comes out of the films is incredibly repetitive, with just one line (Fanah, Chaiyya Chaiyya, Kajra Re, etc.) repeated ad nauseum until 5 minutes go by and the song ends.

But that doesn't stop me from loving it!

(I also just spent about 15 minutes watching all those songs I just listed on YouTube.)

2) The month of November is a fabulous time to take on challenges (according to the Internet). Last year I participated in NaBloPoMo. That was a pain in the ass because I never had anything to say - kind of the same reason why I didn't try to write a novel (see: NaNoWriMo). I ended up writing things like "I think my brother's friend is cute. I also have a test tomorrow." Blech, boring. So this November I will be following along with Matthew Baldwin's NaNoReMo. "We" are reading Catch-22, which I loved, and I figure reading it will be far better than devoting hours a day to japanese soaps (one more episode and I'll be done with Kimi wa Petto!) If you're at all interested, the reading guide can be found here.

Dreaming is Free

Last night was a dream-o-rama! The first, in which I got in a fight with a woman at Target over a pair of pants on sale. The bitch attacked, I was shocked, the po' stepped in and I got the jeans.

The other was a legitimate zombie apocalypse survival guide. My mother, brother and I piled up shotguns and water, tied the horses up out front to attract the nasty z-hizzle's attention, and settled in on the roof for a long wait.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Recent Conversations

Discussing the night before:
Brent: I was super drunk. I was drinking vodka, and playing beer pong, and then someone decided to get me high! There was no way I knew what I was doing.
Jen: That's how date rape happens!

Earlier today:
Nick: I've noticed you've been wearing a lot of pumpkin colors lately.
Me: That's because I wore this shirt yesterday.
Nick: Oh.

In Anthropology:
Random dude: So, easiest test ever, right?
Me: I hope so, I only studied for 20 minutes!
Random dude: Yeah, 11:30 rolled around, I thought I'd get started, but I decided to watch Harry Potter instead.
Me: It was the Japanese soap operas that did me in.
Random dude: I love those! And Passions.

Twenty minutes until Business Law... Mondays and Wednesdays suck. Eight hours of campus time in one day is never acceptable.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"As he was sentenced, Father Von Wernich showed no emotion. Protesters torched his effigy outside the court." -- News from Argentina

Can't wait to study in a country that really knows how to party!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Yeahhh Fixie

"For men, the bikes present another challenge: Because riders can't stand up in the saddle to coast, long rides can result in reduced blood flow to the reproductive organs, which studies suggest may lead to impotence." -- San Diego News

Other ways to entertain yourself in class:

"...We have located the enemy fleet under the command of Admiral Kompüter, but do not yet have visual contact. We suggest the best course of action is to fire at random into their vicinity and listen for the impact of the shells...

...Our intelligence sources indicate the composition of the enemy fleet is the same as our own, and has likewise been forced to resort to the same tactics as ourselves. In accordance with the rules of war, fire will be exchanged one shell at a time and vessels lost will be announced immediately...

...As per your orders you have been placed directly in command of the fleet's guns. Select the target location by clicking in the left-hand grid above. The right hand grid shows the status of our own fleet. Information as to the remaining strength of the enemy will be relayed directly to your status bar...

...We believe this battle will not be over until one or other fleet is sunk in it's entirety. Our gunners await your commands. We're counting on you, Sir..."

Monday, September 24, 2007

Upstaged

A while ago I did a tribute to sinkholes. Another website did it better.

Um, so does the title of that webpage indicate anything about my personality? Because in Peru, I definitely got backlash from the other students for expressing an interest in experiencing a natural disaster. It's not wrong to hope for an earthquake. It's wrong to hope people die in that earthquake.

Flashback provided by "Ragoo"

Hello world! I would like to sit back for a moment, relax, and reminisce about Bumbershoot this year. Namely, the Kings of Leon show. And just how very much those Southern boys rocked. Imagine, kicking back, sipping on your iced Starbucks drink of choice, sun warm and beating down on your bare arms, throbbing rock music surrounding you. Some man wails on about his "pistols of fire" and you think to yourself, ahh, this could go on forever. Time is endless in front of you, the day began long ago and will end many, many hours from now after several unexpected turns of events. You, of course, don't know this. Instead, you are simply content to revel in the moment.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I don't work tomorrow!

Tonight I watched Lindsay Lohan's shitshow of a movie, Georgia Rule. The other kids got to drink every time she made their heads hurt, but I didn't. Stupid meds. By the end of the two hour movie I'd had a low and constant ache in the back of my skull for one hour and forty-five minutes. The current theory is they let LL run around and do her crazy psycho thing with the other actors, filmed it, and hoped for a plot. Oh, and told everyone to call her by a different name to make her even more unstable.

Listening to Ryan Adams tonight. I downloaded his music, oh, a year ago? And then never listened to the cd until tonight. "Come Pick Me Up" is an amazing track. Here are some choice lyrics: "Take me out. Fuck me up. Steal my records. Screw all my friends, They're all full of shit." Nothing extremely deep, but boy, that harmonica in the background really wails. (Does Ryan Adams play his own harmonica? I don't know, nor am I too concerned about it.) I really do love that Emmy Lou Harris is a female vocal on a bunch of the tracks.

....

Have I mentioned that I've unintentionally been listening to country lately? I stole some of my dad's old cds and stuck them on my laptop. Van Morrison, Beatles, Bob Dylan, all the greats that I grew up on and didn't appreciate. And then there were a bunch of Emmy Lou Harris cds that I didn't recognize, but decided to give them a shot. That woman broke my heart in two songs.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Excellent!

I've been googling information about my sickness. I can't find the names of the two amoebae, but I have two. One is bad. I have two. Anyway, I can't find their names (getting repetitive enough for you yet?) but I did look up the drug I'm taking to get rid of them. And you know what??

It causes cancer!!

The doctors didn't tell me this.

"Metronidazole is listed by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as a potential human carcinogen. Although some of the testing methods have been questioned, it has been shown to cause cancer in experimental animals.[4] Nevertheless, it appears to have a fairly low potential for cancer risk and under most circumstances the benefits of treatment outweighs the risk." -- Wiki

So it's not really something I need to be fretting over, but it's another side effect to an already long list. Metallic taste (which I'm definitely getting), numbness, liver problems. And I can't touch a drop of alcohol, not even Listerine, else I'll be puking instantly.

Brent keeps offering me beer. It's getting irritating.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Nostalgia

I built a cushion fort today. It looks pretty badass, actually. You have to crawl under a chair to get into it, and it has a "ceiling" made of colorful blankets and afghans. Unfortunately I'm not a 50 lb child any more, so I almost knocked it down when I climbed inside. It's perfect for kicking back and sipping beers and reading by headlamp light, though.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Warning: This is Gross

It takes my body exactly 24 hours to "digest" a microwave chicken pot pie. I know because I could recognize the ingredients.

It's been six years since I last babysat. Six years since I last got up-close-and-personal with poop. I've decided that these past couple days' experiences have now pushed back my baby-making urges. I have absolutely no desire to see any more poop, mine or anybody else's, for a very, very long time.

I went to the Metropolitan Market again. Today was an adventure in more cane sugar sweetened beverages. I'm drinking a Sioux City Sarsaparilla right now - Wikipedia says that the only difference between Sarsaparilla and Root Beer is "a little bit more of a creamy taste ... and a hint of vanilla." It's quite delicious. Later tonight I'll crack open a Boylan Bottleworks Creme Soda - I expect good things, although the internet says their root beer is the best.

Growing Dreds

My hair's getting long. I haven't had long hair since junior high, so I don't remember much of what it was like. Now, I'm starting to realize that my hair is not at all the same as it used to be.

Take, for example, how often I need to wash it. I like washing my hair every day. But if I do, it gets frizzy and under-nourished. I still take showers (come on, ew) but I have to wait to use the shampoo and conditioner combo for every other day, maybe even every third.

But what really bothers me is my cow lick. I've always hated it, always tried to cover it up. But apparently my hair doesn't like being told to go somewhere else. I've spent the last two hours on this couch, reading or using the internet with one hand, and playing with my scalp with the other hand. If I move the roots of my hair in different directions, it hurts. Not really badly, but it's like poking a bruise. Not exactly pleasant, but interesting all the same.

Tomorrow I'll wash it and see if it goes away.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Update from Fedtown

Roll out of bed around 7 am to be sick. Go back to sleep. Get up fo' reals when landlord comes in to fix the dishwasher. Sick again. Get on the phone and call some local doctors. None are taking new patients. Call up mom. Says I should come home and see the usual doctor. I agree. Take a shower, sick again. Stop at the McDonald's in Marysville to be sick. Get home. Sick again. Will be going to talk to someone with extensive medical knowledge and hopefully an instant cure in an hour.

On a plus note, the too-small brown corduroys I left at the apartment 2 months ago fit again.

I really don't mind having an intestinal bug that makes me shed pounds at an alarming rate. What I do mind is that I can't go on bike rides, walks, hikes, or any sort of out-of-house excursion without being sure that I can find some privacy at a moment's notice.

Totally unrelated topic. I went to the Metropolitan Market just a little bit ago, looking for some natural cane sugar soda (Brent got me interested.) One - Jones Soda is making cane sugar soda now, which I imagine is excellent except they didn't have any of the flavors I typically like. But, I found this stuff called GuS - Grown-Up Soda. It's very lightly flavored (lightly carbonated, too, so it doesn't make me all burpy). The flavors are pretty interesting too - I've had the cranberry lime so far, and bought a few other flavors because they were on sale. I've already looked online, and the soda's only sold in Metropolitan Markets in Washington. So boo, Community Co-op. You'd better have some damn good organic drinks to make up for your lack of carrying GuS.

What a Waste

I was feeling especially lackluster around 5 this evening when I called up an old friend. My pre-phone call plan was to entice him over with Pabst, then keep him over for as long as humanly possible because oh, God, I cannot stand this empty apartment much longer. Unfortunately his cousin was having a BBQ this evening and (how lame is this?) I just couldn't coax myself into the biking mood. So I cracked a few Kokanees by myself and started a game of Zelda. I got up to the boss of the second forest temple when I realized, shit, I've wasted the whole night drinking beer and playing video games by myself! Tomorrow I'll have to go to the mall so I can feel feminine again.

I might also have to set up an Internet account, because hacking neighbor's unsecure wireless is mean. And unreliable.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Bay City Creamery

If one looks off to the right of this post, you'll see the archive system. Look how many posts I've made in 2007! Especially compared to previous years! I noticed that last time I wrote something. With that in mind, I'm going to try to pick up the pace for these last 3.5 months of the year.

I've moved in and unpacked and settled down, minus a few really irritating things. I left my plants at home, and my full-length mirror, and my PS2(aka DVD player). Also, the bank is being irritating and won't make the funds for my room&board check available until the 14th. I'm living off beer and bread, paid for with Brent's gas money, waiting for my work to call me back and give me hours so I can feel at least marginally comfortable with spending money. The car is officially off limits until the 14th, which means my bike? It's getting some love.

After BRAG and a few half-hearted attempts to commute by bike to the Community Center (which fell through the window the same day I started working at 5 am), Rot Roja got left behind in the garage. Since arriving back in the 'Ham, I've picked up an air pump and regular pedals and given her a small tune-up, so she simply flies down these streets and purrs encouragement while climbing hills. My bike and I, we have a wonderful relationship. Until she gets her next flat.

I'm trying to spend the whole day downtown. I'm on a quest for two posters: a GIANT map of Bellingham to stretch over my bed, with which I will plan my daily routes to various locales, and a Renaissance-esque voluptuous woman with filmy see-through clothing to put in the living room (like the one my former roommate had.)

You'll be pleased to know that I am using the Internet for more constructive purposes than usual. Since returning from Peru, I've been sick. A lot. In ways that are really gross and I've actually lost quite a bit of weight, but still, it needs to end. So it's finally come to this. I've got to find a doctor in Bellingham, preferably one without cold fingers and a penchant for taking my temperature the old-fashioned way. I think I'm going to look up a dentist while I'm at it.

Final bit of news before I go buy more coffee (and maybe a sandwich)! Irene called this morning, it's official, we're going to Mardi Gras! She's flying me down on a Saturday, I'll be there for the Official Day of Mardi Gras (according to the City of New Orleans website), spend Wednesday being hungover, and fly home early Thursday morning. Four days of class for an extra-long weekend with Irene in the South? Hell, even if I miss all my midterms for this, it's worth it.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Bikes and Boxes

Yesterday was a hectic and partially horrible day. I woke up hungover and extremely tired, only to find that my brother had locked his keys in his car. I drove him back to Federal Way for the spare key, picking up a speeding ticket along the way. Greasy Jack in the Box woke me up a bit - a croissant breakfast sandwich truly is the ultimate hangover food. Drove back to Redmond, then back to Federal Way again. Spent the day huddled on the couch with my fancy-pants brand-new laptop, which is black and shiny and fabulous. I scraped up my foot during the barn party, and it's been red and angry and still-bleeding even up til now.
Anyway, all of this added up to my decision to skip town tomorrow. The van's already loaded up - and boy, do I have a lot of junk! - and Brent and I will be driving off around 10 am.
Now for bike talk. Brent's buying himself a road bike! So I'll have another bike buddy in the 'Ham. His "new" bike is a craigslist baby, and I'm quite excited to go look at it. Naturally, though, I now want to go buy up some new equipment for my Rot Roja - fenders and flat pedals, which together hopefully won't be more than $50. The idea is that with these last two pieces I'll be able to use the Rot Roja for all commuting activities. Until the snow starts. I know I've spent a ridiculous amount of money on the bike, but I'm finally reaching a point with it where I can't think of anything else to add. Now, all I need to think about is the ride!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Drabble!

Apologies for my verrrry long absence. I thought I might update while in Peru, but that didn't happen. Things back at home have been a bit hectic. Before I left, I lost all my mp3's and movies and such on my external hard drive, and now that I'm back I've killed my laptop battery and have to wait until Thursday or so before I can even use my computer again. So I haven't really been bumming around the Internets lately.

I have, however, been trying to catch up with all the scattered acquaintances I have around the country (and world). Here in Federal Way, I'm limiting myself to brothers and Chanel, but my phone and email have been seeing quite a bit of use.

Some current events that may or may not interest you: I was not bothered by the earthquake in Lima. I was lying in a hammock, reading a book, and had no idea until the next morning. Yesterday I watched some BMX racing and later drank raspberry vodka with pink lemonade while lazing on the couch with Dirty Dancing and Chanel. Today I returned my headlamp to REI. I broke it three days after arriving in Peru (or rather, it broke itself). The rubber button came undone and I spent three weeks walking around with a pencil in my pocket so I could turn it on and off as needed. Today I switched it for one with a less breakable button. I'm not wearing it now, but I was earlier.

As far as I know, the postcards I sent out 1 week after arriving in Peru have still not arrived. The Peruvian postal service is clearly not my #1 favorite government service.

Speaking of things that are not my favorite, Coke. Peru is the only country in the world that out-sells Coke products, that national favorite being Inca Cola. Coca Cola bought them out a few years ago, didn't change anything about the brand, and tried very very hard not to let the news make headlines. Peruvians are essentially unaware. Oh, and Inca Cola tastes like bubble gum.

While digging through the laundry closet today in hopeful search of a bandanna, I found a secret stash on aprons. One is light green and checkered. Another is black and says "Fabulous Fifties". Another is brown and says "Don't Forget Who's Boss". The final one has sheep on the bosom and a little pocket with another sheep on the skirt. I'm going to take them all with me to Bellingham and hope my mother never notices.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

With a roll of toilet paper

Seriously Chelsea, seriously? 16 hours before your international flight takes off from SeaTac, and you go and get a cold?! WHAT THE HELL!!!

Excuse me while I go die.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Lauren Bacall surveyed the wreckage of the party and declared, "You look like a god damn rat pack."

I have a secret to confess. My Netflix queue is full of all sorts of movies. War flicks, Bollywood, 80's comedies, surrealist dramas, indie films, foreign films, intellectual documentaries... But the ones I really, truly, always want to watch are the classics. The black and whites. Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall and Paul Newman and Frank Sinatra. I was bumming around on the internet (looking at photos of Grace Kelly, God she's beautiful) when I came across a review/summary of The Philadelphia Story. You can read the whole thing here but I'm going to cut and paste the final bit so you can get a taste for its fabulousness. And, you know, so I can ruin most of the ending for anyone who's never seen it before.

Things are very complicated. Tracy has three men confronting her that she must choose from: her charming ex husband Dexter, her well-mannered, aspiring fiancee George Kittredge, and her present love Mike. (Chelsea's notes: Tracy and Mike spent the last night on a drinking binge. Tracy hasn't had liquor since she booted her ex husband, Cary Grant, out of her life. She can't remember much of what happened and fears her lack of control.)

Tracy: I had a simply wonderful evening. I hope you enjoyed it too.
Mike: I enjoyed the last part of it.
Tracy: Really? Why especially the last?
Mike: Well, Tracy, are you asking me?
Tracy: Oh, you mean the swim!...(They laugh together nervously) I did swim, and so forth, didn't we? Mike -
Mike: Oh, Tracy, darling...
Tracy: Mike -
Mike: What can I say to you? Tell me, darling.
Tracy: Not anything - don't say anything. And especially not 'darling.'
Mike: Then you're going through with it, huh?
Tracy: Through with what?
Mike: The wedding.
Tracy: Why, why shouldn't I?
Mike: Well, I made a funny discovery. And in spite of the fact that somebody's up from the bottom, he can still be quite a heel. And even though somebody else is born to the purple, he-he can still be a very nice guy. Boy - I-I'm just repeating what you said last night.
Tracy: I said a lot of things last night, it seems.
Mike: Okay, no dice. Also, no regrets about last night, huh?
Tracy: Why should I have?
Mike: Oh Tracy, you're wonderful.
Tracy: You don't know what I mean! I'm asking you - tell me straight out - tell me the reason why I should have - have! (But she changes her mind) No - don't.

Dexter brings an alarmed Tracy a strong drink (a "stinger") as a remedy - it supposedly "removes the sting." Tracy is reminded of the awful things she has done to her ex-husband: "Oh Dexter, I've done the most terrible thing to you!" Dexter doubts that she really means him - she must be thinking of George. Distressed, she asks: "What am I going to do?" Tracy rises when reminded that she must talk to George before the wedding: "I've got to tell him." Even though it is considered "bad luck," Tracy phones George to talk to him, discovering that he has already sent over a note in the morning, and that he also knows about everything regarding the night's happenings - and so does everyone else!: "Was he here too?...Good golly, why didn't you sell tickets?"

Sitting in front of her wedding cake, Tracy is upset and reaches out to take hold of Dexter's hand, and thanks him for helping her to accept herself:

Tracy: I'm such an unholy mess of a girl...But never in my life, not if I live to be a hundred, will I ever forget how you tried to stand me on my feet again.
Dexter: You - you're in great shape.

Dexter asks for an acknowledgment for his wedding present (a symbol of their previous relationship), and Tracy becomes concerned that he is thinking of selling the boat:

Tracy: It was beautiful - and sweet, Dex.
Dexter: Yes, yes. She was quite a boat, the True Love, wasn't she?
Tracy: Was, and is.
Dexter: My, she was yar.
Tracy: She was yar alright. I wasn't, was I?
Dexter: Not very. Oh, you were good at the bright work, though.
Tracy: I made her shine. Where is she now?
Dexter: I'm gonna sell it to Ruth Watrous.
Tracy: You're gonna sell the True Love, for money?
Dexter: Sure...Oh well, what's it matter? When you're through with a boat, you're through. Besides, it was only comfortable for two people. Unless you want her.
Tracy: No, no I don't want her.
Dexter: Well, I'm designing another one anyway, along more practical lines.
Tracy: What'll you call her?
Dexter: I thought the True Love II. What do you think?
Tracy: Dexter, if you call any boat that, I promise you I'll blow you and it out of the water. I'll tell you what you can call her if you like...in fond remembrance of me, the Easy Virtue.
Dexter: Shut up, Red! I can't have you thinking things like that about yourself.
Tracy: Well, what am I supposed to think when I - Oh I don't know. I don't know anything any more.
Dexter: That sounds very hopeful, Red. That sounds just fine.

Tracy's mother hands her the note from Kittredge, and it is announced that Sidney Kidd is at Dexter's house, reading the scandal report. Things are near "the deadline" as Tracy reads George's words outloud to Dexter, Mike, and Liz:

My dear Tracy: I want you to know that you will always be my friend, but your conduct last night was so shocking to my ideals of womanhood...that my attitude toward you and the prospect of a happy and useful life together has been changed materially. Your breach of common decency...

Coming in from the garden in a slightly belligerent mood, George interrupts the reading and criticizes her for revealing his words in public. She explains that she is among friends: "It's only a letter from a friend. They're my friends too." She goes on with the letter:

...certainly entitles me to a full explanation before going through with our proposed marriage. In the light of day, I am sure that you will agree with me. Otherwise, with profound regrets and all best wishes, yours very sincerely...

The bride-to-be gently responds to George's demand for an explanation of her previous evening's conduct. She vows that nothing compromising happened:

Yes, George, I quite agree with you - in the light of day and the dark of night, for richer, for poorer, for better, for worse, in sickness and in health - and thank you so very much for your good wishes at this time...I wish for your sake, as well as mine, I had an explanation, but unfortunately I've none. You'd better just say, 'Good riddance,' George.

George denounces her, feeling that he has a right to be angry: "On the very eve of your wedding, an affair with another man." Finally, Mike speaks up, confirming that nothing happened:

Kittredge, it may interest you to know that the so-called 'affair' consisted of exactly two kisses and a rather late swim...All of which I thoroughly enjoyed, and the memory of which I wouldn't part with for anything... After which I deposited Tracy on her bed in her room, and promptly returned down here to you two - which doubtless you'll remember.

Looking at Mike all the time during the explanation, Tracy is astonished and suddenly turns on him - angrily demanding to know why he didn't advance on her. He replies that he didn't want to take advantage of her when she was drunk:

Tracy: Why? Was I so unattractive, so distant, so forbidding, or something - that - ?
George: Well, this is fine talk, too.
Tracy: I'm asking a question.
Mike: You were extremely attractive, and as for distant and forbidding, on the contrary. But you also were a little the worse - or the better - for wine, and there are rules about that.
Tracy: Thank you, Mike. I think men are wonderful.

George fails to see humor in the situation, even though Liz wisely remarks: "We all go haywire at times and if we don't, maybe we ought to." When Tracy admits that she had a little too much to drink, George is ready to forgive and forget if she will promise never to touch "the stuff" again. Tracy declines his offer and rejects her fiancee, even though apparently nothing happened the previous evening:

George: A man expects his wife to ...
Tracy: (interrupting) ...behave herself, naturally.
Dexter: (agreeing) To behave herself naturally.

She expects that her beau wouldn't jump to hasty conclusions about her escapade with Mike, and use his "imagination" to conclude the worst - that she was guilty of immoral behavior. She had hoped that George, at least, would have thought the best of her:

George: If it hadn't been for that drink last night, all this might not have happened.
Tracy: Apparently nothing did. What made you think it had?
George: Well, it didn't take much imagination!
Tracy: Not much, perhaps, but just of a certain kind.
George: It seems you didn't think anything too well of yourself.
Tracy: That's the odd thing, George. Somehow I would have hoped that you'd think better of me than I did.
George: I'm not going to quibble, Tracy. All the evidence was there!
Tracy: And I was guilty. Straight off. That is, until I was proved innocent.

Peruuuuu

3 days until Peru. The last week I've been amassing addresses so I'll know where to send the postcards. I'm not sure what sort of selection I'm going to find, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to dedicate at least 3 hours in Lima to "The Search for Postcards and/or Souvenirs With Which to Decorate My Pad". AKA the apartment where three boys have no idea what kind of Latinophobe is about to descend on them. Posters of Che Guevara, Isabel Allende, and Castro are in the near future (if I can find them.)
While I'm immensely excited about taking on a foreign country for three weeks, it's also a bit horrifying. I've left home before, sure, but that was with the intent to either make a new home, or I was only gone for a week. Three weeks is one very long vacation, and not nearly long enough to truly settle in.
But really, that's okay. The people I've talked to who will also be on this trip have the same kind of enthusiasm that I do. It can't go wrong.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Where did I put my gum?

It's just not safe to give me time off from my job and/or school. All that time I'd been spending inside, nose to the grindstone, gettin' things done comes to nothing. Once I come up for air I realize, wow, look at this money I've stashed away! How can I spend it?

I won't document the thrills for you.

I've been kicking around the empty new apartment for a few days. Last night was the lovers' wedding plus after party, and around 2 am I crawled into bed to sleep off the drunk. Around 11 Irene leans over and says to me, "Chelsea, I think someone just walked in the front door." So I stumble out of my room only to find my landlord standing in the middle of the kitchen fiddling with something. Surprise! He apologized, didn't realize I was crashing there for a few days. Seems like a nice guy. Anyway, I've been slightly hungover all day since, laying on the couches and watching tv until I got motivated enough to come down to Starbucks and use their internet. Of course, only after I got down here and paid for coffee did I realize that the only reason I couldn't hack the neighbors' wireless was because I'd been running my Linux system. I haven't quite figured out all the workings of Linux, and I doubt I ever will. That's why I've got a partition so I can run Windows, too.

No plans for tonight, think I'm going to go to Bed Bath and Beyond and look at curtains for my window. The ones provided in the apartment are missing some very important pieces. Namely the bits of dark plastic that keep the street people from watching me at night.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

400+ Damage

I broke my "don't spend any money until your first paycheck" rule. But who can blame me? Peru is coming up and I am getting excited. During my break from work today, I went down to the Tacoma REI and went buckwild! New hiking shoes, Chaco sandals, Hawaiian board shorts, regular khaki shorts, long underwear, two tank tops, and a head lamp. (The head lamp is my favorite.) Still on the list of Things I Am Going to Buy Today: a blank notebook, whose first pages will be covered with lists of more things I want to buy and What to Pack.

What can I say? When it's 6 am and I'm sitting on a stool, watching old folks soak in a jacuzzi, I make lists. It passes the time better than anything else I know.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Nightmares

Some people have nightmares about being naked, falling, missing a test, etc. I have nightmares about being late for work.

I'll wake up at 1 am in a sweat thinking I've missed my shift. Any time a phone wakes me up, I instantly assume it's the pool wondering where I am. Some nights, when I'm especially exhausted, I'll toss and turn all night thinking if I fall asleep, I'll miss my alarm. In Georgia, I kept Irene awake one afternoon because I was tossing, turning, and whimpering. Guess what I was dreaming about? Being stuck in traffic when I was supposed to be teaching lessons.

I cope with this by getting ready very, very early. I set my alarm for an hour and fifteen before work when I know I only need 45 minutes. When I open, I'm usually at the door by 5:07, when the guy with the key doesn't show until 5:15. (How he times it perfectly, I'll never know.)

Right now it's about 12:40, I'll be leaving in 5 minutes so I'll be at the pool with a whole 10 to spare.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Diphenhydramine?

I've spent 24 of the last 48 hours at the pool. Forgive me for talking about it nonstop.

Adding to the pile of Shit That Has Gone Wrong this week, today we had a little girl bleeding in the locker room at the same time we realized the hot tub (you know, that steaming pool of festering bacteria) had absolutely zero chlorine in it. So while some staff ran around trying to find First Aid supplies and bleach, the other half was running back into the boiler room trying to figure out just what the hell happened. Twenty minutes after things had calmed down, the fire alarm went off and we evacuated the pool.

In other pool news, Creepy Asian Lady is officially on stalker watch. CAL was first noticed back at the old building, often standing near adolescent boys and giggling if they did something funny. She was particularly fond of wearing her white bathing suit, which we repeatedly told her was inappropriate for the pool. So then she started wearing her underwear instead. Push-up bras and panties, right into the pool. She also wore very thick eye makeup that ran all over her face once she got in the water. CAL never noticed.

Before, CAL was just creepy, and I was weirded out by her, but the staff never talked about her or gave her a name. Obviously, things are different now. Creepy Asian Lady cut off her hair, bleached it, and dyed it back to black in patches. She has a new, slightly modest one piece, and continues to watch the adolescent boys. A few nights ago she came to the public swim with candy and asked for some boys' addresses. Pool staff has gone into watch mode; when CAL makes her next appearance at the pool (we know she will, but when?) then we call in the managers and Shit Goes Down.

It'll be like an old-fashioned rumble. Think The Outsiders but wearing swimsuits and matching red shorts.

Oh! And finally, there was an old man at lap swim this morning with the most amazing Colonel Sanders mustache EVER. I kept looking at it and grinning; I wish I'd had my camera with me.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Very funny, moving on

In my last four years of lifeguarding, no child dared even ask me for a band-aid. I remained dry, calm, and completely out of touch with the finer details of cleaning up vomit.

In the last 48 hours, I've pulled a boy out of the winding river, sat and tried to keep a second-grader with a bladder infection occupied until her mom came to pick her up, walked into the locker room with a woman possibly having a heart attack, and attempted to put a leash on said woman's Cujo-like terrier.

What next? A spinal during public swim? Seriously, enough of the accidents. Enough filling out forms. I just want to watch the little kids play!

In other related news, I've started up my old 5:15 am schedule, only this time it's Monday through Friday. The same old men as last summer are coming in to swim laps. Bob, 91, and Dalton, the Santa Claus Lookalike, were sitting in the hot tub around 7 am.

Dalton: We've found the fountain of youth, Bob.
Bob: ... Too late.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Pandora: it'll do for now

Okay, I realize this is a strange hour to update. But there are some things I feel like sharing.

1) My dad is configuring my computer to work with Suse. While this is extremely exciting, it's also a major bitch because my external hard drive is not enjoying the transition. Before, I had managed to work around the corrupted music files. Now, all but maybe 200 of my mp3's have become inaccessible, both in Windows and Suse startups. Fortunately, my dad is a big computer geek and sees this as just another fun project for him to play with, once he gets my wireless working with Suse. (Once Suse is up and running, and my hard drive is fixed, I doubt we'll be seeing much of Windows. Maybe to use Excel for class.)

2) I have seen Tom twice since I've been back home, both times with beer and his recently-graduated high school friends. They're charmingly exuberant. Also, Tom is one mean BBQing machine.

3) It takes 5 minutes for me to drive to work, 15 to ride my bike. It would probably only take 10 to ride, except my neighborhood is designed to be impossible to leave by bike. I have to walk it up the roller coaster hill going out, and up the 7-11 hill coming back.

4) Work is fucking amazing. A sauna and steam room, and I didn't even realize how bad I missed my old coworkers until now. If only I could pluck up the new Rec Center and drop it over Arne Hanna, mixing the two town's lifeguards and completely transferring Fedtown's supervising staff. I'd never whine about lifeguarding again.

5) Redondo is just as useful as I thought it would be. Running every day, plus walking and drinking coffee at night. Never before did I realize how steep the Redondo hill was until I drove up it, imagining myself on a bike. I cringed. Can't wait to show it to Irene.

6) I have not done laundry since the week before BRAG. With the dawning loss of clean underwear, it's about time I ran a few loads. Maybe tomorrow, before I head to the bike shop for some fresh air in my tires.

7) The long-awaited reunion of Chanelsea takes place tomorrow morning, 11 am, location TBD.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Don't you wanna go down?

All year long, I kept track of my bike mileage in my school planner. Each month had a mini-calendar before the real planning part began, and I used those little boxes to mark off "Bike Work" or "Bike 10 miles". The distances were short and infrequent. I believe my best week was a 30 mile ride one day, and Bike Work all the rest of the week. Once Spring quarter got to be tedious and predictable (and my attempts to actually do schoolwork fell off completely), I stopped keeping track of my training.

I kind of wish I'd kept it up. If anything, just to see the sudden spike from Bike 10 Miles to Bike 70 Miles, Bike 65 Miles, Bike 73 Miles, etc., all within one week.

Seriously, I did 421 miles in 7 days. I still don't quite believe it.

This evening I went for a light pedal around Bellingham. Ended up going up hill after hill after hill, and instead of wondering why the hell I kept turning up instead of down, I really just regretted that I was on the mountain bike. I can't wait to put the road bike back together.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Network Cable is Unplugged (but really, it's not)

I would like to file an official complain to my laptop's internet connection. I've been back home in Bellingham for little over an hour, using a computer for the first lengthy chunk of time in over a week, and I can't begin to explain the extreme frustration I'm experiencing. Apparently my computer's internet plug likes to wiggle around in its slot, disconnecting and reconnecting at random. When I go back to Fedtown for serious this Sunday, I'm going to have a chat with my dad. See what he can do about hooking me up with a better piece of machinery.

Please take the time to note the timestamp on this post. 10:30-ish, yes? I've been fighting off sleep for the last 40 minutes. Last night, I slept from 9pm to 8am. I've been sleeping 12 or so hours a day ever since I climbed off my bike on Sunday. Tomorrow I'm going to go out running and see if I can't jolt my body out of its hibernation mode.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I'm trying to look at my own blog right now, but instead I'm seeing something completely different. Is Blogger down? Who knows. Anyway, I'm going to post this as a test and republish the whole damn thing. Also, Irene and I got bored during the ride today and started thinking up jokes to tell to the riders we pass/who pass us. Here are some I found on the internet just now:

A: What do you call a deer with no eyes?
B: No idea. (No Eye Deer.)

Q: If you drop a white hat into the Red Sea, what does it become?
A: Wet.

Q: What do you call a boomerang that won't come back?
A: A stick.

Q: What do you call a hippie's wife?
A: Mississippi.

What do you call the best butter on the farm?
A goat.

What do you get if you cross a chicken with a cement mixer?
A brick layer!

Two cannibals eating a clown.
One says to the other "Does this taste funny to you?"

Police arrested two kids yesterday, one was drinking battery acid,the other was eating fireworks.
They charged one and let the other one off.

Staying at high schools is irritating. 90% of the joke websites I tried to check were blocked, as are Facebook and Myspace. Who knows how many kottke.org links will work when I go for my links fix?

A movie about this year's Tour de France winner is playing. Mostly it's just amusing to watch the skinny biker footage. Listening to Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! and planning on running back to my book here soon.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Washington? DC or the one in Georgia?

I came into the campus library to use the bathroom (after staring at the building from 200 ft. away trying to convince myself to get up), then saw the computers and thought, Hey, I'll check my email. Now I'm back to the same dilemma from before. I really want to go back outside and lay in the sun, read a book, sleep, but damn it's hard to stand up.

We're 205 miles closer to the 4oo-something finish line. 416? 402? I can't remember the specific number. I can barely remember how many miles we're doing a day. Day One was Hills of Death, Day Two was The Day My Legs Didn't Work, Day Three (today) was Party Armadillo Day. Yeah, today the bikers were throwing Mardi Gras beads on all the roadkill.

If I could actually focus, I'd try to write about all the bizarre behaving bikers. But right now my legs refuse to lift me from a sitting position, and my back and shoulders are in a constant slow burn. My legs have an already frightening mid-thigh tan, and... I don't know what else. I'm going to go sleep in the sun (it rained all morning, so the heat is semi-bearable today.) Funny to think that I'm getting up 2am West Coast time and sleeping like a baby by 6pm.

Also, I think I'm picking up the accent.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Why can't we be friends?

The geekout moments just keep coming. I was watching another episode of Freaks and Geeks today (I think I can blame this show on my current descent into geekdome, actually). Episode 8, Boyfriends and Girlfriends, for all you dvd tv show nerds out there (Tommy, that was directed straight to you.) Anyway, the very last 2 minutes or so are of Lindsey and Sam sitting in the kitchen, eating ding-dongs. Sam gets a phone call from the girl he likes, who starts telling him about the boy she likes that asked for her number. Sam wraps the telephone cord around his neck and fake-dies, and Lindsey comes over to listen in on the conversation. After a couple seconds she opens her ding-dong filled mouthed into the phone receiver, and Sam shoves her away before turning back to the call.

And I smiled and felt a little pang, because I really miss living with my brothers.

Tuey and I are going out for an End of Year Dinner at Jalapeño's when she gets off work. Hopefully. Usually whenever I write about my plans in here, they fall through. But if they don't, then tonight is a night of enchiladas and Deep Fried Ice Cream (aka DFI, for when you find yourself saying the phrase too many times in polite conversation and need to save your breath for the gasps of anticipatory excitement (or pretend you aren't geeking out over ice cream covered in corn flakes.)) Tonight will also include reminisces of older times, like the time in junior high when we stayed up until 5 in the morning eating frosting from the container and talking about boys. Or all those Memorial Day weekends in high school spent wandering Folk Life Festival. Or the endless nights we used to spend between the pool hall and Denny's with Bob and Steve-o.

...

I am practically dying with anticipation now, thanks Blogger. An hour and a half until showtime.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Don't touch me please, I cannot stand the way you tease

So, in my dinosaur class today, we watched a clip from the fabulous movie Dinosaur, which I have watched many a time thanks to my many years spent babysitting for families with vast Disney DVD collections in high school. When the mama monkey screamed for her baby monkey, "Suri! Where are you?!" I almost fell over snorting with laughter. I think the Hollywood gossip rags can finally stop arguing. We know where Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes found their baby name. Also, in statistics I felt the usual desire to keep a running commentary on the class material (it keeps me distracted from his accent, sort of.) When he started talking about the Greek letter beta, ß, I had an immediate flashback to high school German. I spent a good chunk of time rewriting words including the eszett. My favorite is saßy.

I completely geeked out this afternoon at Fred Meyer. First, I've got a brand new baseball cap. I've been dying to find a good one for ages, and alright, it's Nike, not Adidas, but I can deal. Not all my sports apparel has to be from Adidas. (But my new workout shorts are! Note to self: Find red Adidas shorts, they must be around the house somewhere.) Anyway, my geek moment was when I stood among all the sports bags and backpacks and suitcases, fondling and comparing fanny packs. I took the items in my basket and saw how many I could fit in each one. I checked for durability of the fanny strap, color, price, and sex appeal. Ouch, well, I guess I have two Nike products now. But my new black fanny pack is perfect, wonderful, glorious, I can't wait to get it covered in dust on the outside and bug spray/sunscreen on the inside.

9:30 Update
3 days until I leave Bellingham, 82 hours and 18 minutes until my plane departs for Georgia!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Loves Company

Every day with this cold is a new adventure. Friday was mild discomfort. Saturday was a complete body failure, where every muscle went on strike and I slept 18 hours (non-consecutively) and still didn't feel "rested". Sunday I almost went through an entire toilet paper roll while blowing my nose. Today I've sneezed 23 times and counting, lost all sense of taste, and can't keep my eyes open for more than 10 minutes without them drying out and simultaneously watering like crazy.

On the plus side, Siggy is coming to visit tomorrow! (Supposedly. Every time I announce a Fedtown Friend Visit, it seems to fall through. Here's hoping I don't jinx it.) I've made a considerable dent in my Statistics study plan. Considering the actual difficulty level of the work, it's purely shameful how I manage to pull a C on the test and have failed to do the homework assignments. I could say it just feels like busy work, but obviously there's something in the problems I'm not getting from lecture. Damn that last test. Damn that test this Thursday that I'll probably almost-fail. Damn that I have to take the final for this class 3 or more weeks from now.

Siggy is coming to visit tomorrow. I'll put all my homework concerns aside and take her out on the town, revisiting all the old stomping grounds and getting positively fat on Mallard's.

Perhaps I'll get her to drink my warm keg beer, too!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Confessional

Irene laughed at me today when I told her that my favorite memories from this quarter were the times I rode in the back of her truck. We were, naturally, riding in the back when I told her. Tiana and Seth were up front, and we were on our way back from Mallard's. Cigarette dangling from my fingers, wind blowing the hair in my eyes and the smoke from my face, my legs propped crosswise across the truck, it was a typical afternoon ride. And it was magic.

During Spring Break we went camping out at Larrabee. I rode in the back with all the camping supplies, huddling under sleeping bags and blankets, leaning against the mountain of pillows we'd brought along. I ate a Cadbury Egg and watched the trees along Chuckanut pass overhead.

Then there are all the times we've been heading out on some bike ride or another. Irene and Seth in the cab, like usual, my with my legs intertwined between tires and handlebars, usually wearing a helmet "in case we crash." Occasionally, if there are more than just the three of us along for the ride, Seth and I will sit scrunched together in the back, me snuggled under his arm as we try to keep from sliding too far down.

Whoops

Dropped another too-large amount of money on bike gear today (or rather, yesterday). But! Two brand-spanking new pairs of bike shorts are well worth the money. My vagina can stop crying about the inadequate padding from my crew trou. Plus, I've needed a new helmet since I was 16. And this helmet? It matches my bike! How cool is that??

So, now my shopping list is down to: (oh god it is still so long)

Either some $90 clip-in sandals (which are going to be a PAIN to acquire, considering I don't even know if Shimano makes men sizes as small as my feet, and I'll have to order the shoes over the Internet and just pray that they arrive before June 7th and that their shoe sizes are identical between models. Are shoes referred to as having models? That's a question for Siggy. When she gets here Monday I'll quiz her about shoes.

Oh, right, so if the $90 clip-in sandals don't work out, instead I get to buy new pedals for the bike and some sturdy Jesus sandals. I have my eye on a new pair of Chacos, but I really wanted to hold off on that (again) $90 price tag until Nordstrom's annual shoe sale, right before Peru. Argh, so can you believe it? It will cost me more to go the easier route. So unfair.

A giant monster fanny pack. To scare my friends with, and also to carry the giant tube of

Sunscreen that I will need to apply liberally, every fifteen miles, to places that have never felt the touch of sunscreen before. Like the backs of my ears and the tops of my toes. Somehow I don't think Georgia will be accepting of my "oh I don't burn, I just tan" skin tone.

A very large bottle of Ibuprofen.

A camping sleeping pad.

Very Strong Bug Repellent.

A white t-shirt, which I will decorate with silly Washington pride phrases.

Fake plastic trees?

A hat. One with a hole in the back for a ponytail. I've always wanted one of those, and now I need it.

Okay so I guess it won't really take a whole lot of effort to check off the BRAG shopping list. But I'm really starting to run out of cash and I wanted to avoid tapping into my CD already (although I do realize I'll cash it out long before maturity.)

In other news, while studying for Spanish at the local Starbucks tonight, our neighboring old man companion decided to butt into the argument on verb conjugation that my study buddy and I were having. I didn't really cotton on to what he was talking about at first (he mentioned something about my Georgetown sweatshirt. I considered interrupting to tell him I found it in the nocturnal exhibit at the zoo, but then realized that's a much more interesting tidbit for things like the Internet.) Eventually however, he made it clear that he used to know Jack Ruby, Lee Harvey Oswald's killer. They used to call him Sparky, he said. Because of his temper. And Jack Ruby's buddy's wife was at the Kennedy Assassination, then went on to marry some important official under Nixon, so she was around for Watergate, too. And that the Cubans probably had little to do with Kennedy's death, but that woman was probably involved somehow. Why was this all relevant? Because the verb conjugation we were arguing about was part of a text about the Kennedy Assassination that we were supposed to be translating.

Man, that old man was cool.

We shared a few choice comments are Salvador Allende's death, how South America is going socialist, and that our book authors obviously have a pro-USA anti-Socialism stance. (The text we were translating also spent a good chunk of time talking about the Cuban Communist Conspiracy Theory.) Then he got mumble-y again and I turned back to trying to recall the differences between pluscuamperfecto, past subjunctive, imperfect subjunctive, present perfect, and oh god I know there are more of them but I try to pretend they don't exist. Seriously, why is there a difference between han perdido, hayan perdido, hubieran perdido, habian perdido, perdieran, and perdieron? And why do I have to remember all the subtle contexts in which each version is necessary?

Alright, I'm stressing about Spanish again, which I had managed to forget about since 10:30. I suppose I'll let it go and call it a night.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

AKC @ Lynden Fair Grounds

Saturday was an adventure of great magnitude. Were I going through an identity crisis, it would have firmly reestablished my bearings on just what kind of person I truly am. A geek. Fortunately, my geek friend accompanied me. Cheers to Morgan, who used to raise and show sheep for 4H, and went just as nuts over the dogs as I did!


First dog of the day, a brown husky. I'm still debating the finer points of a gorgeous brown coat versus the overall chill effect of bright blue eyes on black and white. All the brown coated huskies we saw had brown eyes, so the creepy effect is definitely lost.


A cleaner version of Beethoven.


This is just as freaky now as when I took the photo.


A puli. This one had some serious energy issues (maybe it's inherent with the breed?) The following pictures are the ones I took while trying to capture the dog leaping through the air, dreds flying in all directions.










You can see its face in there.


Christ it had a lot of fur.




Someone botched the poor puppy's 'do.


A leonberger. The males get up to 150 lbs, and grow an actual mane. Giant dogs that don't slobber, are great with kids, and don't need excessive space to function (although obviously, something that size needs to be exercised.) Anyway, basically I fell in love and will own one of these someday.




So I'll never be a nature photographer. Whatever.




Cue to the corgis. I watched The Queen today, and that woman was surrounded by packs of corgis at all times. Looove.




Oh no! Now there are two of them!


Left to right, Irish Wolfhound, Bloodhound, English Foxhound, Whippet.


While watching some sort of show as a child, I was introduced to the Basenji (black dog). They don't shed. At all. Also, they bark very, very rarely. Point? They make excellent apartment dogs. So if this next school year becomes unbearable without a dog around (boy roommates, oddly enough, don't count), I'll be sneaking one of these into the home.


Gorgeous Saluki in the background. I wonder if an English Foxhound is like a giant Beagle. Training it would be horrifying.


Another Basenji photo, which that woman's horrible maroon pantsuit ruined.


Check out the giant Borzoi on the right. Huuuge dogs.


Whippets.


The Irish Wolfhound. I love monster dogs.