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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 pelĂ­culas 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