Tuesday, December 24, 2002
Friday, December 20, 2002
"One day soon, we all will be together, if our fates allow. Until then, we'll have to muddle through, somehow."
No, we won't. We won't all be together. I don't even know if I could handle everyone from different "lives" I live and have lived converging upon me at once...
This time of year, I always find myself feeling nostalgic and wistful (As opposed to my usual cold, emotionless demeanor...for those of you who don't know me, that's sarcasm in the highest form. I cry at Hallmark commercials. I'm a marketing-type person. I know not just THAT these things are designed to manipulate you but HOW they're designed to manipulate you. I cry anyway. But, I digress.), and I end up reflecting a bit on people I miss. I miss everyone. If you're not sitting in the cubicle across from me right now, chances are that I miss you. But, some people, because of simple logistics, I am forced to miss more than others. So, in no particular order, here are a few of those.
Mom and Dad: Yeah, I miss my parents. I don't need them, per se, but I do wish I saw them more often. They're back in Southern Maryland, "The Land of Pleasant Living", and haven't gotten around to visiting me YET. But, I love and miss them just the same. It'll be nice to go home for almost a week at Christmas. I can't wait to hear Dad blasting Gordon Lightfoot while he makes pancakes.
Brandy: Ying to my yang, Bill to my Ted, G to my Spot. We've known each other since we were 5 and been "best friends" since we were about 8. How many people can boast a friendship of this magnitude? But, she does give me an excuse to get to Baltimore every now and again.
Robb: What can I say? I love the guy like a brother-in-law. And he's taught me a multitude of things, from how to make my own hashish to why I should "never" deprive myself of an orgasm.
Ben: My little baby brother, all grown up now. We were just starting to be able to talk like normal people when he up and joined the Navy. Now he's going to be in boot camp for the holidays, and in some kind of top-secret nuclear submarine training for a couple years in Charleston, SC after that. But, I am wicked proud of him!
Sarah B.: She's still in Cleveland, and has a bad habit of seemingly disappearing off the face of the earth when she's involved with someone. She's also had a bad year, with her mom sick and all. Yo, Sarah! You're in PARMA for godssakes! Resurface!
Fady: "What are you talking a-BOUT?" The only (unrelated) guy I've ever REALLY loved on a mutually platonic basis. He not only puts up with, but embraces my mercilessly teasing him about his nearly nonexistant Egyptian accent. He's working for The Man in upstate NY.
Danny and Jen: My old Lakewood roommates, who could always be counted on to accompany me to Hylander. Or Pacer's. Or Manja. Or any of scores of neighborhood restaurants and pubs we frequented.
Melissa, Amy, and Gina: My Health Comm cronies, with whom I had pretty much ALL my classes up until last semester. They're actually all still IN the greater Boston area, but last semester was so hectic, we never had a chance to even get together! Classes aren't the same without 'em.
The Cleveland Anthropology Bunch: From the Body Farm to the Newark Earthworks to the FBI Forensics Lab, we had a killer time. Even with having to rise so damn early to work those bake sales and fund our trips.
Tiffany: The ex-sister-in-law. She was (is?) a great kid.
Brian and Jason: My wonderful cousins--two guys who remember what "our family" was like before the grandparents got sick and everyone was at each other's throats. I used to get in fistfights with Brian, and we used to tie Jason to trees and leave him. Now Jason's got a child of his own. Wow.
Jumar: "That Jumar, he's a rooster!". He's actually in boot camp with my brother, strangely enough. And who would have thought such a hard-nose type of guy could be as sweet and fiercely protective of me as he is. People never fail to surprise me.
My Sister: She died YEARS ago, when I was very young; so it's not like I miss her as a person, but more that I miss the idea of having a sister. Of having someone who remembers how my parents used to be before losing her ripped their world apart. But then again, that would defeat the purpose, I suppose.
Holly, MacDuff, and Twister: While I'm on the dead people thing, who's to say I can't miss pets I've lost over the years? There's very little I wouldn't give to see Holly's wide, tooth-baring smile.
Deek and Co.: I stopped hanging out with an entire group of people fairly recently. Deek I still keep in contact with (although HE is the one who moved out of the country...), but the rest? Nope. They weren't what they seemed. At 27, I'm a bit old for such high school antics. But, I guess I do wish things had been different. They were fun to hang out with, on a "surface" kind of level.
So, now that I have severely depressed myself, let me give myself a quick reminder that I'll see Brandy, Robb, the parents, and Brian over the holidays. I'll probably see much of the Cleveland bunch next semester, when I eventually get out there for a visit.
And the dead ones? Well hell, they're dead. Not a damn thing I can do about that.
Happy Holidays, to those I miss, those who miss me, and everyone in between.
Do you believe in love at first sight? When did you "first" fall in love with the person you are/were/will be in love with?
I don't. I believe in lust, attraction, and that intangible "something special" that draws you to someone immediately, but love? Nah. It's just too complicated of an emotion to be pegged as such instantly. Personally, I think most of what people call "love at first sight" can be attributed to their current feelings for someone--looking back, it can be hard to imagine a time you didn't "love" him or her.
I once dated a guy who was a staunch believer in love at first sight. He further claimed that the reason for this belief was that he had fallen in love with me at first sight. (Hmmm...) According to him, he saw me from across the room (forgive me as this morphs into an Air Supply song....); laughing as I loaded my plate at the dorm cafeteria salad bar, clad in a "Let Pretzel Boy Play" t-shirt (remember those Rold Gold commercials with Jason Alexander?) and cut-offs. I was tall and red-haired (those are really the only 2 things that stand out about me, and BOY do they...), and oozing confidence like syrup. He said later "You were just so....alive. I couldn't take my eyes off you. I wanted to know you more than I had ever wanted ANYTHING before."
(Yeah, he gave good verbals...)
We met a few days later, when by chance a mutual acquaintance invited us both over; and he was apparently like "Oh. My. God. It's her."
Well, as much as I liked being the her in this story, I still don't buy the "love at first sight" thing.
Later, I asked him if he had set out to fall in love with me, right from the beginning. If it had been some sort of plan on his part. He replied "No, but I hoped."
I didn't like that. It was as if everything about me that made me ME was negligible. He had already caught a five-second glimpse of me, and decided that he hoped we'd fall in love. What did it matter if I was a bleeding heart liberal, a vegetarian who ate ribs when drunk enough, an ex-artist psych major who equally loved the concrete jungle and the clorophyll one? Why did he need to know my hopes, my dreams, my successes and failures? I was the tall, smiling redhead in the funny t-shirt. That was all he needed.
That's another reason I'm not a fan of the love at first sight concept. It reduces us from whole, fascinating, self-actualizing beings to a simple sum of parts. When you "fall in love" upon first glancing at someone, do you ever really see more of them? Or do you spend the entirety of your relationship trying to reconcile what you imagined them to be with that first look and who they actually are?
I think it's the latter. Call me unromantic, but I think we deserve more than to forever be a shadow of a snapshot on someone's psyche.
I think it's going to be a Big Blogging Day. It's the last day I have to work this year, and I have an absolute LACK of desire to be productive.
Hold on, kids! It's gonna be a bumpy ride!
Thursday, December 19, 2002
1/2 hour = 30 minutes = 1800 seconds
Isn't it time to leave work YET?!?!
Today has been a day for receiving surveys from people who injured themselves in particularly hilarious ways. Now, lest you think I'm some sort of ogre for muffling guffaws at the ways people have been hurt, I would like to inform you that I once broke my arm falling out of a hammock. So, it's kind of a laughing with them kind of thing.
Anyway, today's Asshole awards include the following:
How did the injury occur?
Trying on pants at H & M.
(This person plans to file a claim against the "responsible party". Hmm. Now, if you're either so in denial that you've injured yourself trying to stuff your size-12 frame into a size-6 pair of pants; or so klutzy that you've fallen over while putting your legs in; shouldn't you have the good sense to be too humiliated to MENTION it, much less point fingers of blame?)
How did the injury occur?
I was curling my bangs and burned my eye with the curling iron.
(This is a case of fate giving you a helping hand. Curled bangs went out about 15 years ago. There is no need for such dangerous activity any longer. Try a ponytail.)
How did the injury occur?
I stepped in front of a golf cart.
(How in the hell did this even happen? It's not like golf courses are filled with places in which a golf cart can sneak up on you, or like golf carts move that fast So what, you're walking along and somehow miss the 6-foot square vehicle rumbling towards you? "Hey Earl, I found my ball! I can play through! I---owie! I have been knocked over by a golf cart run amock!")
How did the injury occur?
I sat down on a stool that had been removed moments earlier.
(So...you didn't exactly sit on the stool, now did you? By the way, were you one of the original Three Stooges)?
Type of Accident: BBQ Fork in right big toe.
(I have no comment on this one. I've been rendered nearly speechless.)
I am going to hell for laughing at these people. There is no doubt. But while I'm at it, wouldn't you like to laugh at them, too? We can hang in Hades later.
Wednesday, December 18, 2002
Now that the semester is, at long last, over with a big "Oh!", I could finally get a start on my Christmas shopping. And where else would I go but the downtown Filene's Basement?
Now, for those of you unfamiliar with this Boston phenomenon, the downtown Filene's Basement is a store like no other. Racks and racks and bins and bins of fine and cruddy merchandise, marked down another 25% for every week it's been there. Oh, the pushing, the shoving, the Cole Hahn handbags for $40.
So, there I am, on a diligent search for Christmas gifts. (Of course, I did get a thing or two for myself. I felt a flutter of guilt at that, but I mean, who knows what I want for Christmas better than I?) During the time I spent at Filenes, I had my stuff stomped on (I had set it down while I was trying on a coat and someone stomped RIGHT on it!), was practically assualted over not getting "far enough" out of someone's way (for which, I assure you, she received that no-Krispy-Kreme tongue lashing meant for Sean....), and got to watch the dismay of Filene's Virgins.
Now, as I said, Filene's Basement is a store like no other. One reason I deem it as such is that its fitting rooms, rather than being the usual rows of locking stalls, consist of one giant room equipped with mirrors and hooks. Yep, you do your thing in front of the world. I'm really not bothered by this. But when people who aren't expecting it walk in...well, let's just say that hijinx can ensue.
Well, Filene's was pretty much a success story. I got some stuff I needed to get. So, the next stop was Strawberries, where I was hoping to pick up a copy of Best in Show for my mom, who is a dog show enthusiast herself (and yes, they are really that insane, but that's another story...). Lucky for me, I nabbed the last one! Hells yeah!
I hit numerous other stores, my adventures in each individual one something I won't subject you to. For instance, Aldo seems to have an obsession with Britney Spears, which did not make me want to buy their shoes. I longingly caressed a pair of over-the-knee boots, then shrugged my shoulders at the jeans I was wearing and left for the next place.
I also tried in vain to replace my favorite jeans, which were rendered non-wear-to-work-able when I slipped on a patch of ice the other night, fell, and ripped out the knee. (Hmmm. That's too humiliating to mention. Maybe I should have said "I was fighting off a pack of rapid wolves that were attacking an infant, when...") No luck.
God, shopping is exhausting. I ended up famished and queued up in line at Wendy's. How exactly this happened, I'm unsure.
Fast food is kind of an odd thing for me. I don't like it. In fact, since I was a vegetarian for so long, my first instinct is that I "can't" eat most of it. But, every now and again, I end up furtively shoving something greasy, paper-wrapped, and gross into my mouth; praying all the while that none of my Health Communication classmates happen to walk by.
It was so last night. I got the #1, NOT "biggie-sized", thank you very much. (Like it doesn't have enough calories as is? I need MORE?)
It wasn't good.
I ended up throwing half of it away, fearful that if I crammed too much of it into my mouth, I'd no longer be able to fit into the Donna Karan blazer I had just snagged for a steal at Filene's.
So, I was finished. I forgot to stop by Filene's on the way home and pick up a rolling duffle for my flight. Damn, I'll have to stop by again today.
So, that's my story.
You were expecting more, weren't you? Like for me to tie it all together, or make some observation about the over-commercialization of Christmas, or something?
Nope. Not gonna.
Monday, December 16, 2002
It was pretty great! A no-guns, no shoot 'em up sci-fi spectacular that left my viewing companion (the irrepressible Sean) and I discussing such existensial topics as the meaning of life, life after death, love after death, the origination and final determination of consciousness, and whether or not 2 shots of George Clooney's ass is worthy of an "R" rating.
Star Trek: Nemesis
Chriz, Mike, and Roger didn't despise it nearly as much as Sean and I did, so check Chriz's site to see if he gives it a more interesting or in-depth review. I thought it was swill. I'd rather watch Demolition Man over and over.
(I bet Sean would like that, too....)
Saturday, December 14, 2002
While I was visting my "best friend", the infamous Brandy, in Baltimore over Thanksgiving, we had some interesting conversations. We always do. One of these kind of centered around looks and sexual attraction. Brandy observed that we were kind of fortunate that we fell into the same category: attractive enough to be described as such, but not so much so that we had ever had to worry that that was the sole reason someone was dating, screwing, hooking up with, or otherwise "involved" with us. I saw where she was going, and I agreed. But I've kind of turned the conversation around in my mind; mulled it over, so to speak; since then.
I have to say, I no longer believe it's entirely true. First of all, perhaps unbeknownst to her, Brandy is a knockout. A friggin' knockout. She's tall and naturally tan with blonde hair and green eyes...and hell, her ass ain't half-bad either. My whole life, she's been my "hot friend" (As in "Who's your 'hot friend'?"). So, who's to say that in all her years of dating, since I first aided my fellow classmates in holding down Andy Guy at recess and forcing her to kiss him, she's never dated anyone who was doing so in part just because of what a hottie she is? Call me a doubting Thomas, but hmmm.....
And in my case? Hell, I'd just put myself in the "reasonably attractive" category. I'm tall, I've got good teeth, I bathe regularly. That's about it. But even I have been "involved" with someone, knowing all the while that I was arm candy. But I guess in a way that particular situation serves to reiterate Brandy's point--remembering the situation, it wasn't that he thought I was cute, but that he thought I was cute and intelligent. (I guess he wasn't aware that they could come together in one package?) And it kind of drives the point home even more that he knew that I knew that I was just arm candy; and that I was "dating" him (we'll call it that for simplicity's sake) just for something to do. He was an attractive man with money, but neither the time nor the inclination to pursue a "real" relationship with me or anyone else. So, he had his arm candy girl for occasions that warranted one. Did he deserve more? Yes. Did he desire more? Probably. Did he actually attempt to "get" more? Nope.
I'm confusing myself even more as I go around in these circles. Every man I've been involved with has, at one point or another, practically tripped over himself to tell me how attractive he thinks I am. Very few have ever bothered to compliment me on my intelligence, sparkling wit, or grilled cheese-makin' skills. So, I hypothesize that although I may be just in the "reasonably attractive" category in general; the people who date me find me, in particular, beautiful. And likewise, I've never been "involved" with a man who I did not think was attractive (at least while I was involved with him...).
So. Is it that the attraction comes from the attractiveness, and the relationships with the people who have the sparkling wit and grilled cheese-makin' skills are the ones that perservere? Or is it that those with the sparkling wit and grilled cheese-makin' skills become more attractive to you when you allow yourself to love them?
I don't know, I don't know, I don't know....
But Brandy, the one thing I can state, with a good degree of certainty; is that people with your level of the intelligence, sparkling wit, and all-around greatness just don't tend to attract the kind of scum-buckets who only want pretty pictures for their wallets. They'd be far too intimidated.
So, I guess she was right, in that sense. Let me turn it over for another few weeks and I'll have an entirely different take on it.
Friday, December 13, 2002
In all the years I've lived "on my own", I've never had normal roommates. I swear. They all have some kind of oddness, whether it be just a simple, lovable quirk, or a pull-out-your-hair-crazy quality.
First, there was Danny. He was a gay sometimes drag queen who was a RIOT to live with. God, we had fun. His oddity? Well, he was kind of a compulsive liar. And strange lies, too; the kind that are either pointless or obviously lies. For instance, he once told me he was going to Pennsylvania Dutch Country when he was really going to visit his friend in Reston (VA). And when he up and joined the Air Force (he later 'cracked' and was sent home in disgrace...), he told me he was moving to Chicago to go to hair design school.
Danny and I kind of lost touch after that. I miss him.
Next, there was Sarah, my roommate in college and still one of my close friends. Sarah's oddities were more quirks than anything else. Like the way she'd never eat her own food, but gobble up your entire carton of Ben & Jerry's using your spoon, as if that somehow rendered the calories unprocessable. She also would wash the dishes in the bathtub. That was kind of gross. Oh, and have sex with her boyfriend while I was in the room. This may seem like normal college activity, but I should point out that said boyfriend had a single room (practically unheard of in sardine-like collegiate living!) two doors down.
So, that was Sarah. She's still in Cleveland. I miss her, too.
Next, I moved off-campus and lived with my friend Jen. Her boyfriend Danny (a "different" Danny...) moved in, unofficially; almost immediately; and officially, a few months later. Jen and Danny were another two with mostly harmless quirks. Danny had a thing for devouring anything not nailed to the floor, including items in "to-go" boxes, which are traditionally "off-limits" to hungry roommates. Jen never cleaned. Anything. Ever. Dishes would pile up for weeks as we engaged in a silent battle of wills, one that I nearly always lost. I just couldn't stand all the damn dishes piling up! It was icky! Jen also couldn't stand to be alone, so she'd follow me around in puppy-dog fashion. Oh, and whenever she couldn't or didn't feel like paying the rent, a quick phone call to Daddy solved everything. Her parents paid for her car, her insurance, her rent half the time....I guess I'm mostly just envious of that. Geez, do you know how much beer money I would have had in those days if I hadn't had to pay rent and car insurance?
But, I digress. Like all my Cleveland friends, I don't talk to them as much these days (simply because I'm so busy), but I miss them, too.
When I moved to Boston, I moved in with virtual strangers I had met and "spoke" (so to speak) with online, Jess and Ewen. Both were fellow Emerson grad students, and we got along famously. I expected tons of fun with them when I moved here, much as I had always experienced with roommates before. But alas, it wasn't meant to be. Jess and I got along instantly, but Ewen was...very strange. I believe he takes the cake as the most bizarre roommate to date. God, the list on him could go on and on and on....I'll spare you all the details, and just supply a few notations. Firstly, it took very little time for us to discern that Ewen had taken up permanent residence in 'the closet'. C'mon, straight men just don't own picnic baskets. Or subscribe to Martha Stewart Living. Yet, he persisted in trying to date women. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt, ladies and gents. He went home every weekend, and spent most days skulking in his room with his iMac. Very strange for someone who had seemed so personable on the phone and via email. He took a bunch of DVD's home one weekend and then accused us of stealing them and selling them on eBay. He never talked to us, and after awhile we stopped making an effort and simply felt relieved when he wasn't around.
When Ewen finally left, we breathed heavy sighs of relief. Then we walked around the house and gazed at the empty walls (he hadn't wanted us to hang any of our stuff), where he had, in grinchlike fashion, removed each and every nail that had once supported a picture.
I don't see Ewen anymore. Jess does sometimes, and I guess he sprints away like a frightened deer every time.
When Ewen moved out, we selected Barbara as our next roomie. She seemed young and excitable, but very sweet and genuine. ("Seemed" being the key word...) We all moved from JP to Brookline, and Barbara was nice enough to front the cash for the new place till Jess and I got our student loan money in. I mean, it's hard to come up with 2 grand on a grad student's shoestring budget! Anyway, I think that's where "it" started. After the move, she became increasingly odd. First, it was just thoughtless annoyances--like the fact that she left the place for a week before we moved and packed nothing, leaving it all to us; and then spent the entirety of moving day making sandwiches or lounging and complaining of how tired she was (she hadn't moved anything). Then, it gradually began to escalate, until it reached its current state of full-blown crazed paranoia. Whenever either one of us sees her, she interrogates us about something of hers she's certain we've eaten or taken; especially if her boyfriend is within earshot and she can play the martyr.
B: "Amanda, have you been dipping into my dip?"
A: "Er...No, I haven't even been here to eat in weeks...say, is that the same dip from when we first moved here 3 months ago? Don't you think it's gone bad by now?"
B: "Well, it's still mine."
The kicker is that she hoardes things in her room like she's some kind of Mormon preparing for the Rapture (is it Mormons that prepare for the Rapture?) or something. Boxes of tea, containers of cookies, jars of peanut butter. And giant packages of toilet paper. No, I'm not kidding. She has refused to buy toilet paper for the entire 4 months we've lived there. But she keeps a 12-pack of double-roll Charmin under her bed. Under her bed. Seriously.
The sad thing about the Barbara situation is that we were pretty close, pre-insanity. Now? Jesus. I'm afraid to be near her, lest I catch Psycho.
So, those are my stories. I just want a normal living situation. Is that really so much to ask?
Monday, December 09, 2002
Ahh, learning. Ain't it fun?
Today's lesson is: you cannot add visible page numbers to a document after converting it to a pdf without creating a little text box on each page and inserting text in this manner.
I spent some time this morning doing just that for my group's 100-page marketing proposal planbook. Not to mention that I had to re-format all the bulleted (bulletted? ahh, who cares?) text last night before going to bed.
Ahh well, it's done now. And off to Kopy Kop to be bound oh-so-professionally.
And the fact that the page numbers are all slightly different sizes and in slightly different places? Hell, I'd say it gives our proposal "character", "personality", "a sense of gritty realism", even. All in all, I think I did the group a favor!
Hmmm. How long before they notice, do ya think?
Friday, December 06, 2002
I am slowly becoming part of the evil conglomerate that is "the man".
Why, you ask? Well, because I have agreed to toss aside the plebian robes of a "temp" and accept a permanent job offer with Blue Cross.
So, on one hand, I'm going to be inherently evil. But on the other, I get such things as "benefits", which apparently includes 3 weeks of paid vacation. Hoo-yeah!
Currently, I'm in negotiations with them trying to get more money. Not because I really deserve it, just because I'm greedy and wanted to see if I could. If I don't succeed, it won't bother me too much. Hell, they're already offering to pay me a ridiculous sum of money for a job that mostly consists of stuffing and unstuffing envelopes. And before you ask, no, this isn't my ultimate career goal! But they presented it to me as "We KNOW this isn't what you want to do. But stay here, let us pay you more and give you benefits, we'll give you a very flexible schedule, and you can finish up your Master's degree." So, what kind of moron would say no?
So, that' s what' s new with me. Now, if only Massachusetts could get its damn budget under control, maybe the state could afford me. Till then, I guess I'm stuck weasel-ing.
Wednesday, December 04, 2002
Ahh, the blur that is December when you're a grad student....I'm not sure I remember a time when I didn't spend my entire day hunched over the computer monitor, snarling like an animal at passers-by.
Jane, stop this crazy thing!
Wednesday, November 20, 2002
One good thing about being sick, or more aptly, the only good thing about being sick, is the freaky fever-induced dreams one gets to experience. Have a gander at this one:
Sean and I were vacationing in some evil-governed tropical locale, like Columbia or something. Presumably, we were visiting his older sister (note: he doesn't HAVE an older sister), who was living there with her litter of children.
Anyway. So, we're alternately backpacking through a lush tropical jungle and shopping for light fixtures in a gift shop (you know how these things make perfect sense in dreams....), when suddenly an olive-green jeep full of uniformed men pulls up. We were a bit startled, but the man who approached us seemed friendly enough. In a heavy accent, he asked if we were visiting for the first time. We replied that yes, we were. He then asked if we had seen the famous, rare Gimlet Bird that inhabited the areas (I don't actually remember what he called the bird, "gimlet" seems interesting enough). We said no, we hadn't.
So, the man proceeds to jiggle around some branches of a nearby tree and produce this bird straight out of something by Lewis Carroll. It was fushia, yellow, green, blue, orange...it had a little horn for a beak and little suction cups to help it climb the tree, Fairythin wings beat rapidly on his/her back.
Entranced, we watched the bird for some time. We thanked the man, and he excused himself. When we came out of our freaky Lewis Carroll bird reverie, the man was gone. It was then that I happened to glance at Sean's backpack, which was sitting open next to a tree (mine was still on my back).
It was filled with blocks of cocaine.
I gestured to Sean, trying not to appear alarmed. He looked over at the bag, then looked back at me with widened eyes. Recognizing that we were the victims of some kind of setup attempt, we turned tail and began to walk nonchalantly (so as not to draw attention to ourselves) out of the jungle/gift shop. At a distance, we could see the uniformed men shouting to each other; so we began to run.
As is typical of dreams, I couldn't run very fast. I remember telling Sean to go ahead as fast as he could, saying they wouldn't bother me because I was already wearing a backpack (not sure of the logic there, but anyway...). Reluctantly, he ran off, his purple-pink sweatshirt (of paintball fame) streaking through the forest.
Not sure how, but we ended up back at his older sister's house eating vanilla ice cream with chocolate sprinkles (or "jimmies" to you Bostonians...) with her 6 or 7 children. Then, I realized I was late for my Social Marketing class group meeting, so I grabbed a calzone and headed for the library.
Whoa. That nyquil's some heavy stuff.
Tuesday, November 19, 2002
This is a conversation going on right now in the neighboring cubicles. Sophie is Russian, and very impressed with her social standing, but in a funny way. Marie is NOT impressed with Sophie, and pokes fun at her a good part of the day.
Marie: I think I'm going to wear my bunny slippers to work tomorrow.
Sophie: Bunny slippers? What are these bunny slippers? Who wears these?
Marie: You know, bunny slippers. You don't have bunny slippers?
Sophie: (indignant) No. I have good slippers.
Marie: "Good" slippers?
Sophie: Yes, good slippers. They are made in Italy!
Marie: Are they made out of spaghetti?
These people crack me up some days.
If it weren't for the fact that I utterly cannot miss my Social Marketing class tonight (I'll be out of town next week...), I would have called in sick. But if you have to go out anyway....might as well have the cash from working. Not to mention that I had a short week last week and I'll have a super-short week next week. Hey, we pions don't get such luxuries as "sick time" or "vacation time" or "holiday pay".
So, here I sit, my glands swollen to the size of baseballs, my hair stubbornly sicking (Ha! I meant "sticking"! That was a Freudian slip!) to the damp, clammy skin of my neck. I'm out of coffee at home, so I'm slurping long-cold green tea. I'm also out of food at home (these things happen when other people insist on eating your food, but that's another story...), so for lunch (at work) and dinner (at school) today I brought a bag of banana chips, a granola bar, and some baby carrots. I'll likely be supplementing with a bagel, courtesy of Dunkin Donuts. I eat too damn many bagels. Of course, I wouldn't have this problem if the lunches and dinners and snacks I buy to get me through my hectic schedule didn't mysteriously disappear. I'm not really sure what happens to them, since both of my roommates blame the other. I'm thinking that perhaps there's a very small man with a very large appetite living under the sink. He seems to have a taste for Trader Joe's frozen biryani and cereal.
Well, ladies and gents, that paragraph should have been 2 paragraphs. But am I going to change it? No. I'm tired. And I guess I should start doing some sort of work. Blech. Ahh, phlegm, my long-lost friend, I embrace thee.
Sunday, November 17, 2002
Here ya'll go--if you'd like a heads-up on the site I'll be reviewing for tomorrow's class, it's the website of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry , part of the US Department of Health and Human Services. I'll post the entire site review after we go over it in class--or else I'd be wasting my breath, eh?
Friday, November 15, 2002
I met my alter ego last night. Or at least, I fancy her as such.
I was walking through Chinatown on my way to class at Tufts, inhaling the smells of grease and soy sauce that tend to permeate the very air around NEMC, when she brushed past me. She was in a hurry, like me; and she looked a bit lost. For an instant, our eyes met in some sort of deeply human recognition of "kindredness", and then we were both gone.
I thought of her as I plodded on towards my class. Not just of her, but of the scores of people we pass every day and don't ever really "see"; and I wondered about her; about her life. She was wearing a mid-length dark trench coat, she was carrying a backpack. Her hair was babyfine blond; not oozing-with-self-confidence-I-paid-$100-at-james joseph-for-these-highlights blond, but the plain natural blond that nonhighlighters tend to have. What struck me most about her was that she was wearing a long, black skirt with a slit up the front, and as she hurried along she was furtively trying to hold it closed over her calf-high boots. I suppose the reason it struck me so was that it was so vulnerable, so not confident. If it were me, I would have let the slit snake up my thigh and walked along completely oblivious, or at least laughed at my risque skirt.
But, she didn't. I wondered how else we were different. Does she love oatmeal cookies, where I would gladly leave them alone? Does she drive a big luxury car, as I rush to catch the "T"? Is her favorite season summer? Does she love to knit? Does she loathe the feeling of warm, wet spring grass squishing between her toes? Is she a dog person or a cat person? New England or Manhattan clam chowder? Is she in love? Is she alone?
I decided that she loved the oatmeal cookies--fresh and hot from the oven with big soft raisins that burst in her mouth as she bites into them. Her car is something in the middle of economy and luxury, something nondescript like a honda or nissan. She likes summer because she likes the warm weather, but she doesn't like to go barefoot because it's "gross". She's a cat person (not just someone who happens to like cats and doesn't have time for a dog; like me; but a full-blown cat person), and she has a calico cat with a food name--like "Muffin" or "Cookie". She likes manhattan clam chowder. She's not in love. But, she's not alone, either.
I thought of her again after class, as I climbed hill after hill walking from the T stop to my apartment; exhaling streams of condensation in swirling clouds. I thought of the split second we looked at each other, recognition in our eyes; and wondered if she wondered about me--the girl with the thatch of red hair and the smattering of freckles, the glasses she hates but has to wear until she has time to get a contact exam perched on her nose, her hands lazily squeezing the gloves in her pocket. I had made all these snap judgements about her--that she lacked self-confidence, that she was quiet and gentle. What would she have thought of me? Me, who fancies myself a 'free thinker', clad completely in Abercrombie & Fitch (because their jeans are long enough, but that's another story...); who preaches about "health", as I slurp cup after cup of coffee....do I really fancy myself a more complicated person because I prefer autumn to spring? Am I deep, dark, and brooding because I don't like oatmeal cookies and had a pet ferret?
I didn't have time to really put as much thought into those issues as I would have liked. By this time I was nearly home. I let my scarf come unwound and flutter to my hips, its fringe tickling my fingertips; as I burst into the light of my apartment building, climbing the stairs towards my cat, my secondhand lamp, and the phone I'd use to call someone who loved me.
Tuesday, November 12, 2002
Monday, November 11, 2002
Friday, November 08, 2002
Thanks to Mia for the link. Try it out! Who are YOU, really?
amanda is an outdated version
amanda is lookin good
amanda is amazed
amanda is cool
amanda is by vixen69
amanda is the best
amanda is awesome
amanda is a vivacious young english diva girl
amanda is great
amanda is ready and waiting for your hard cock appetite for sex
amanda is a great show
amanda is the coolest and from mars
amanda is 5 stories tall and is one of the oldest buildings in my city
amanda is also part of the children’s clinic’s nutritional therapy outreach service which provides complementary medicine to residents of government
amanda is seeded 7 at toronto
amanda is a chocolate point siamese cat with stories
amanda is to instrument a large volume of ice with photomultiplier tubes
amanda is an enthusiastic honor
amanda is in good company wearing her mini dress in purple
amanda is an array of devices for detecting muons and neutrinos
amanda is a very devout christian
amanda is designed to handle large numbers of clients and data
amanda is optimized to take advantage of tape drives
amanda is still in a coma
amanda is the most academically successful of her friends
amanda is here
amanda is located on the west bank of the auglaize river
amanda is sooo funny sometimes
amanda is in good health
amanda is rather complex
amanda is a detector being constructed at the south pole
amanda is a bright
amanda is a film about an extraordinary horse and a boy named biddle
amanda is the heir apparent
amanda is very low
amanda is caught up in the american war of independence
amanda is well mannered
amanda is furious at finding out the news about her father's remarriage from a complete stranger
amanda is set up in a georgetown mansion to entrap a fast
amanda is a network backup utility
amanda is demonstrating normal maternal care by holding and cleaning her baby
amanda is a little panda bear who lives in the forest
amanda is eating super blue green algae
amanda is good
amanda is proud
amanda is our oldest child
amanda is spunky
amanda is a 13 year old teenager
amanda is also available for stimulating keynotes and workshops which bring a deepened state of awareness to the workplace
amanda is hot?
amanda is no exception
amanda is the only person in the room
amanda is 9 years old
amanda is kinda happy now
amanda is extremely giving to her fans
amanda is 16 years old and lives in arizona and is quite used to the blazing heat
amanda is conservative
amanda is very excited and surprised
amanda is presently a graduate student in education at lemoyne college in syracuse
amanda is the story
amanda is one of the more recent female pop idols that have been springing up ever since the spice girls hit it big
amanda is ready and waiting for your hard cock hot candy asian angels group hug
amanda is so not funny
amanda is finally coming home to the doulton family estate; but is she really amanda?
amanda is beautiful
amanda is from texas
Thursday, November 07, 2002
Why would anyone ever title a song "Falling in Love is Hard on the Knees"?
Do they not REALIZE what that sounds like? And c'mon now, on whose knees is that hard? Methinks Steven Tyler's knees would likely remain intact.
Well, that is, if he even was the one falling in love in the first place.
Monday, November 04, 2002
Well, apparently I was wrong, wrong, wrong. They're far from being the same animal, and what's more it seems that usability testing is a much simpler animal (perhaps comparable to an amoeba rather than a cat). You don't really seem to need too many participants, much less the degree of expertise required to facilitate a successful focus group. And hey, the next chapter even promises to give the deets on how to accomplish a usability test! Yay!
Ok, that was way too much enthusiasm. We will now return you to your regularly scheduled apathy.
Sunday, November 03, 2002
personally, I like sundays. quiet 'cause the roommates are usually at work or out, and, although i hate looking ahead to monday, I enjoy getting up in the mornings early (well, earlier than on saturdays, anyways), and having the whole day to just do whatever. although I never seem to use my time too wisely, but i like at least thinking i can get something accomplished. *sigh* *sigh again*. see you monday.
Well, not THAT quiet---my blogging activity today takes place with a soundtrack of Sean's mp3's--the rolling, soaring, stumbling melodies of Portishead, Hooverphonic, the Cure.
It's always kind of strange being at Sean's without him--I always have this nagging feeling that I'm going to round a corner and find him sprawled on the bed or the couch, his hair spilling all around him in rich brown ringlets, his eyelashes fluttering innocently in sleep.
But not today. He's off to a martial arts seminar, leaving me to contemplate such varied topics as the meaning of life, how the hell I'm going to get my Social Marketing project finished, and whether or not I should have a fourth cup of coffee.
Anyway, it's strangely quiet here without him. I keep looking over my shoulder, half-expecting to have an audience as I cross and uncross my legs, push stray strands of morning-tousled hair behind my ears, absentmindedly nibble at one of my remaining long nails.
I'm not a fan of Sundays. I haven't really been in ages. When I was waiting tables, Sundays were an "amateur day"--meaning meager tips and people just plain unaccustomed to the schemas and scripts of visiting a restaurant. Now, Sundays are just a paper-thin sheaf of time between Saturdays (the one day I don't feel pulled in 20 directions at once) and Mondays (which marks the beginning of yet another hectic week...). I know how silly that sounds, that I actually spend an entire day dreading the upcoming week. But every passing minute on Sundays serves to remind me that I am hopelessly backlogged, that there is far more to accomplish before the semester's end than I'll ever have time to accomplish, that nothing I am doing pleases anyone anymore because I'm doing it all half-assed.
The hopelessness of the situation amuses me some days. I have two huge group projects this semester, and in one of them a group member is trying to ascertain everyone's schedule so she can figure out the "best" time to meet.
I guess I forgot to inform her that I would be the token slacker in the group this time (which is funny, since usually I'm the one who does the majority of group projects...), that I didn't have a snippet of time to spare. I should have downloaded the epidemiological statistics program weeks ago. I just...haven't. And group meetings? My god, the only night I get home before 10 or 10:30 pm is Wednesday, and that's just because I go into work at 7 so I can leave at 3; thus giving me ample opportunity to do a few hours' work for my assistantship. I guess that leaves weekends, when I can't seem to bring myself to do any work because the though of it just plain sickens me--writhing in my stomach like a thousand hungry worms.
How did I get here? I was that undergrad who obsessed about her field of study, writing pages and pages of eloquent, factual prose for papers; researching in my spare time just for pleasure.
I got a "B" on a paper last week. A "B". I haven't gotten a B since what, high school? I just shrugged sadly at it, slid it into my folder, and went home; hoping beyond hope that neither of my roommates would be around so I wouldn't have to talk to anyone and could just go to bed.
But, I digress. In summation, let us just say that I've been scratching off the days of the semester for ages, and when it ends I won't be a bit sorry.
Until then, you can find me huddled at Sean's, pretending that I can hide out from the piles of work and piles of drama that await me when I carefully pull his door shut, set out for the bus stop, and head home with my sleep-deprived head in my hands.
Thursday, October 31, 2002
I'm not one of those people who has any delusion that the world is a nice place. In fact, whenever someone has newly discovered something horrible that goes on here, I feel kind of like "Aww, aren't they cute, just figuring out how much the world sucks." But still, every now and again something strikes me, slapping me in the face with the cold water of reality and haunting me for ages to come.
In the Social Marketing class I'm taking this semester (that's also kind of my forte, so to speak...) our big project is to prepare a plan to market Coordinated School Health Programs to school superintendants; focusing on the implementation of healthy, nutritious lunch programs and nutrition education for students. We just got back some results of our secondary research, which consisted primarily of surveys we sent out from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Dept. of Education (who we're doing the project for).
I knew it was going to be a daunting task at best, especially with the meager budget we were allotted. But nearly all the surveys we got back said the same kinds of things: "yes, our lunches suck, there's not enough time to eat them, we have no health education program....but we don't have the money or personnel to accomplish these things..."
And so they don't. The budget's been stretched to the breaking point, and what little there is goes to try and improve MCAS scores. My plan of attack is to focus on how those scores would/will increase when you get some good food into these kids.
I think the project pretty much rocks. But one survey has kept me up the two nights since we got them back. In answer to an open-ended question about the quality of the school lunches, the school's principal wrote in: "Our lunches are extremely poor quality. The meat is dried out and resembles hockey pucks, and everything is frozen and poorly reheated. They do NOT taste good AT ALL. But, the children at this school are hungry. They eat it all anyway."
Jesus. The magnitude of the problem hits you there. The district is too poor to fund a decent lunch program, its citizens are too poor to feed their children. What kind of chance do these kids have for a "normal" (relatively speaking) life? How the hell am I ever, ever going to make even the smallest dent in problems like these?
Some days, I swear, I want to just throw up my hands in despair at the freaking BIGNESS of all the problems I tackle in this field. I want to just give up and work for some big, evil corporation and live like an ostrich, my neck stylishly wrapped in a Burberry scarf.
But I can't. I just can't. I would toss and turn at night, haunted by images of those kids hungrily wolfing down their hockey puck lunches and wishing they had a bagel like the one I'm cramming in my mouth right now....
Wednesday, October 30, 2002
Well, second favorite. But "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot would make for an awfully long blog, wouldn't it?
somewhere i have never traveled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near
your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skillfully,mysteriously)her first rose
or if your wish be to close me,i and
my life will shut very beautifully,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;
nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with this colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing
(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands
As I may have mentioned before, one of my main duties at work involves entering responses to questionnaires (that our "members" have filled out regarding accidents they've been in) into the system. Hey, not all of them can be like the mooning lawnmower incident. But, I find myself chortling guiltily nearly every day. I'm convinced I'm going straight to hell for laughing at the ways in which people have injured themselves.
For your amusement, here's a few of my newest favorites:
1. How did the accident happen? Accidentally ignited self on fire.
2. How did the accident happen? Tripped over a dog.
Do you intend to file a claim against the responsible party? No. Responsible party is a dog.
3. How did the accident happen? Ate peanut butter.
4. How did the accident happen? Slipped at a gas station.
Do you intend to file a claim against the responsible party? No. I would get little money from me, and it's not like anyone at the gas station pushed me or anything.
People! You gotta love 'em!
Monday, October 28, 2002
I'm also wicked guilty of assuming that all web users (and, well, everyone else, too...) are just like me--sharing the same opinions and preferences. I mean c'mon now, isn't anyone who's NOT like me just misguided? This can be a pretty bad trait when you're kind of a marketing-type person, and kind of have to be able to relate to audiences completely different from yourself. Hey, thanks for pointing it out, Steve!
Saturday, October 26, 2002
1. Rain = sleep in, get up around lunch time and eat something, turn on tv and fall asleep watching Halloween III, wake up two hours later realizing you have work to do and can't sleep anymore, fall asleep.
2. Laundry necessitates too much work. if i have to go to the bank for $$$ then to the grocery for detergent, then sort the clothes then go sit in an overly-warm room becoming mezmerized by the spinning clothes and then walk back to the apartment in the rain and put it all away, all the while still agonizing over the fun things i could have bought with that $12, maybe it's just not worth it.
3. roommates whose parents are visiting are not pleasant people.
i'm going back to sleep now.
Friday, October 25, 2002
Interesting stuff I learned in my Public Health class last night:
1. 500,000 trees ( ! ) could be saved annually if everyone recycled their Sunday newspapers.
2. (This is the doozy!) One million pounds of waste each year was eliminated. Know how? McDonald's began producing thinner straws.
Yeah. I'm freaking speechless over that one.
Thursday, October 24, 2002
A little dirty, a little ashamed, and strangely, smugly satisfied. :)
...To Sean, who sent me this link to Krispy Kreme's site to demonstrate that YES, they do have more than one variety of donut. It's all because of that that I found myself at Dunkin Donuts, powerless against the charms of an ooey, gooey chocolate cruller.
I never eat donuts.
But this one is gooo-oood.
Wednesday, October 23, 2002
It was a wonderfully crisp autumn day, the air thick with anticipation for the upcoming winter and holidays; the trees gleaming like a thousand forsythia bushes dipped in alzarin crimson paint. As is practically the law on such days when you're half of a "couple", we set out for some leaf-peeping/pumpkin-gettin'.
Sean had a farm in mind for the pumpkins--and what a farm it was! Piles and piles of nature's bounty--from pumpkins to apples to various phallic gourds--dotted the landscape. There were cute barnyard animals roaming about, and cute young families towing red wagons full of their Halloween booty. We smiled and set about on our quest. At the center of the autumn landscape was the main attraction--a giant pile of pumpkins soaring above the horizon like some kind of wonderful orange craggy peak. A sign warned away would-be alpine explorers with a simple message: "DO NOT CLIMB ON PUMPKIN PILE".
Now, to Sean's credit, he's never been one to obey the rules foisted on him by society. As a burgeoning anarchist, he chooses instead to make his own rules, basing them on his own sense of what is right and wrong. However, there are a few rules even Sean can't flagrantly disobey--those of "gravity"and "physics".
In silently noting that yes, others were climbing Mt. Pumpkin, Sean apparently failed to note that they were all around the age of 7, and thus much smaller than he. Spying a pumpkin that caught his eye, he began negotiating the hills and valleys of the pile, leaving me to stand guard over the pumpkins we had selected thus far. I stood quietly, taking in the autumn eye-candy that surrounded me; until my little reverie was interrupted by a horrid "CRRR-AAAACK!!!" Some asshole must be too big for the wooden pallets, I mused; and went back to my sight-seeing. I didn't even look up until I heard the unmistakable "Whoa-ooooh" that could only mean one of two things: either someone was singing an eighties new wave tune or Sean was the aforementioned "asshole".
Yup. It was the latter. Sean does everything gracefully, and this was no exception. First, his foot crashed through the wooden pallet. Next, his arms fluttered like a butterfly's in a desperate attempt to stay upright. Finding that to be impossible, he swung out his legs and flipped around in a kind of slow-motion ballet until he at last came to rest on the closest pile of pumpkins. A passerby came rushing over to help, but it was far from the end of the show. The pile of pumpkins refused to hold him, instead thrusting him downward to a lower pumpkin pile. This continued; along with the butterfly arms and leg ballet manuvers, until the lowest level of pumpkindom was reached. Finally, he came to rest in a gentle heap on the moist, brown earth. Pumpkins rained down around him in an avalanche of orange.
I was torn. On one hand, I was concerned. Was he Ok? Was he injured? It had been a perilous fall....
On the other hand, I was laughing uncontrollably. I think I choked out the words "Are you Ok, honey?" before dissolving into more peals of laughter.
He was Ok.
It was the funniest f**cking thing I've ever seen, I swear. I'm laughing just thinking about it.
Here's to you, Sean!
Oh, and strangely enough, all the pumpkins survived. :)!
Sunday, October 20, 2002
ME: "Hi, I'm Amanda; and I'll be taking care of you tonight. Can I get you guys something to drink? One of our freshly brewed beers, or a soda?"
Patron of 'Wallaby's Brewpub': "Err, no, I'd like a pop."
ME: "Clearly you are a freaking moron. Can you not grasp that 'soda' is a different word for the carbonated beverage you refer to as 'pop'? I will bring you a soda, but I will fill it with ice and too much syrup to punish you for your insubordination in questioning my linguistics."
Hence, I had no choice but to almost immediately switch over to "pop". Now that I'm back on the east coast, people look at me quizzically if I say "pop". I still do, though. And I have a friend from Pittsburgh who has switched to saying "soda" now that she's lived in Boston for 5 or so years; and she informed me that her peeps back home say "ooh, aren't WE all hoighty-toity!" if she says 'soda' instead of 'pop'.
Soda. Pop. Tonic. Coke. Just gimme a damn water! Can't we all just get along?
Oh, and yeah; I was listening to that Jewel CD at work on Friday. :)
Saturday, October 19, 2002
Friday, October 18, 2002
Near You Always
Please don't say I love you,
those words touch me much too deeply
they make my core tremble
I don't think you realize the power you have over me
And please don't come so close
It just makes me want to make you near me always
Please don't kiss me so sweet
it makes me crave a thousand kisses to follow
And please don't touch me like that
it makes every other embrace seem pale and shallow
Please don't look at me like that
It just makes me want to make you near me always
BRIDGE: Please don't send me flowers
they only whisper the sweet things you'd say
Don't try to understand me
your hands already know too much anyway
It just makes me want to make you near me always
And when you look into my eyes
please know my heart is in your hands
It's nothing that I understand, but when I'm in your arms
you have complete power over me
So be gentle if you please 'cause
You hands are in my hair, but my heart is in your teeth
And it makes me want to make you near me always.
from Pieces of You
One of the many "cultural differences" between Boston and other areas in which I've been fortunate enough to live is the little differences in everyday speech patterns, from pronunciation to word usage. For instance, Sean has very little if any discernable "Boston accent", but still just says some things differently from me. Along the same lines, I have very little if any discernable accent, but say things like "ya'll" and "pop".
So, I thought for the benefit of people potentially unfamiliar with these contrasts, I'd provide a brief listing of words and the different ways Sean; or any generic Bostonian, and I choose to pronounce them. Which is "correct"? You be the judge.
1. Florida: Sean: "Flar-I-Dah" Amanda: "Flore-DUH"
2. Orange: Sean: "Ohr-ANGE" Amanda: "orunge"
3. Dunkin Donuts: Sean: "DUNKS" Amanda: "DUNG-kin DO-nuts"
4. Peabody: Sean: "PEA-budy" Amanda: "Pea-BOD-y"
5. Billerica: Sean: "Bill-RIK-ka" Amanda: "Who is this 'Bill Rikka'?!? Does he live in Bill-AIR-i-cah?"
6. Fantasy Football: Sean: "FAN-sy Foot-BALL" Amanda: "Fan-TUH-See FOOT-Ball"
7. Beer: Sean: "Beeahr" Amanda: "GUIN-ness"
Thursday, October 17, 2002
When I was a baby, I had a mass of dark brown hair. As I grew to "a kid", a child of say, 4 or 5; I had this long, auburn hair. (It was really quite pretty.) Since then, my "natural" color has evolved from brownish reddish blondish to blondish reddish brownish to reddish blondish brownish. Hell, I'm not really sure I remember what color it should be--I've been dying it for about 12 years now. It's been every color from blond to black to fushia and back again. Finally, I settled on a nice red color--one that goes with my terminally redhead complexion (READ: pasty white and bespeckled with freckles). It's been pretty much the same nice red color for 5 years or so, pretty much since I got the black and fushia stage out of my system.
One thing has remained constant in the ever-changing kalidoscope that is my hair--its texture. Save for the eighties, when everyone who was anyone permed, teased, and otherwise tormented the hell out of their suffering locks, it's always hovered annoying between "straight" and "wavy"--choosing to be just wavy enough to make it frizzy on rainy days. It sucks, but we all have our cross to bear...
I usually straightened it--that was really the only way to tame the terminal frizz that's inevitable when you live in a coastal town--to make it appear glossy and well-behaved (and yeah, trendy...). That's what I had been doing for quite awhile, until in the last few months I became too damn pressed for time to waste any on such a frivolous activity as blow-drying my hair and began to let it just "dry naturally".
Well, you can imagine the surprise I felt when the dark clouds of heat styling receded, allowing me to see my hair in the clear blue light of day--and it was curly. Curly. Not just wavy, but huge-tangled-mass-of-spiraly-locks-that-you-can't-get-your-fingers-through curly. (Shit, where was this stuff in the eighties?)
Here I've been priding myself on being this easy-going, wash-and-wear kind of girl, and all the while I've been completely changing my hair every day. I feel like I owe anyone who's every described me as "having straight hair" an apology.
My God, I feel like I barely know me at ALL!
Wednesday, October 16, 2002
Every day poses a new dilemma when your life is as exciting as mine!
Here's a sample of today's dilemmas:
Dilemma 1: Feel crappy and sick. Want to drink tea. But scalded mouth badly inhaling hot soup at Au Bon Pain yesterday. Hot tea may exacerbate already-sore mouth. Don't want to experience pain involved in this action. (Note to self: wow this is sad...)
Dilemma 2: Feel crappy and sick. Want to go home. But am a pion temp and get no sick time, plus already had unpaid day off this week. Can't really afford to go home. (Hmm...go home and search through couch cushions for quarters? Pursue education rigorously so won't have this dilemma anymore?)
Dilemma 3: Feel crappy and sick. Want to spend entire blog bitching about it. But am afraid will turn off readers. (Bitch about it under guise of posing dilemmas?)
Dilemma 4: Am supposed to be alphabetizing PIP letters. Don't want to. Want to surf 'net. (Alt-tab?)
Dilemma 5: Should stay till 4:30 or 5 to make up time lost because damn shuttle was late this morning. Don't want to. Staying late would mean taking T instead of 4:15 shuttle. (Say screw it? Hmm...think I will.)
Tuesday, October 15, 2002
Saturday, October 12, 2002
i wish i could post to this more often, but i don't have internet at work, but i feel like i'm missing out on stuff.
oh anna, i'm still not able to post to your blog. i don't know what the problem is with it, but i never got an invitation. later yos.
Thursday, October 10, 2002
i can't even believe the story you posted yesterday. i just got back from a particularly filling lunch (singapore style noodles at shanghai near school) and was getting a case of the post-lunch sleepies, when i decided to be unproductive for a moment and see if anyone posted a blog. my giggling fit was noticed by others in the office who drifted over to my cube to find out why i was laughing out loud. there were muffled "ha ha"'s, but i don't think anyone truly appreciated the story as much as i. only because my dad is a freak about mowing the lawn on his little riding mower and i swear the other retired neighbors have a secret contest to see who can keep theirs the shiniest. anyhow, muchas gracias!
Wednesday, October 09, 2002
My job, for all its intrinsic shittiness, it not without occasional moments of mirth. This made me laugh so hard that coworkers in neighboring cubicles commented to my boss in hushed voices that they "think Amanda was crying."
Hell, yeah, I was crying! I was laughing so hard (and trying NOT to guffaw outright in the office) that tears were streaming down my cheeks. Here's the story:
Here in my department at Blue Cross, we send out questionnaires to people who have sustained injuries that seem like they could be accident-related. Basically, if it was a car or work-related accident, it's someone else's job to pay the claim; so we don't have to. Really, that's all we're concerned about--is someone else going to pay for this or do we have to? But people get nervous when they get these questionnaires, so they tend to write out lengthy answers about how they were throwing a frisbee for the dog and accidentally kicked it in the mouth, requiring a number of sutures. I got one the other day saying that they had been "dancing at Fleet Center and fell over".
But this one was the best yet. It was 2 questionnaires together, from a couple that lives "down the Cape". Enclosed was a copy of a newspaper article that related the story of how they got their injuries (this isn't unusual--people sometimes even send snapshots of their injuries--I just "file" it all).
Well, I decided to skim the article. This couple had been assaulted (no, that's not the funny part! I'm not that much of a sicko!) and had their faces "cut and bruised". So, they're Ok. I'll just relate an excerpt from the newspaper article to you:
"...The couple told police they were attacked after confronting a young man who had come into their yard on a riding lawn mower and damaged some bushes. The couple told police that in addition to attacking them, the young man pulled down his pants and showed his buttocks before riding away on the lawn mower..."
Oh. My. God.
Can't you just picture it? This guy putts into the yard at 2 mph, smacks these people around when they ask what the hell he's doing, moons them, and putts off at 2 mph.
"Hey, someone is approaching." (*3 full minutes pass*) "Hey, someone is STILL approaching. I believe they're on a lawn mower, as evidenced by the loud lawn mower moter-esque sound I hear."
*attack and mooning occur*
"Hey, he is getting away! On his lawn mower!" (*3 more full minutes pass amidst a loud PUTTPUTTPUTTPUTTTPUTTPUTT* The lawn mower is still in the yard.) "Hey, he is still getting away!"
Ok, maybe it's just funny to ME. But I still can't stop laughing over that mental picture. Hey, thanks for making my day, assaulted couple!
Tuesday, October 08, 2002
During a social marketing lecture one night; the infamous Dr.Cho was emphasizing to us the importance of "knowing our audience" in developing a successful marketing campaign. She cited her friend's definition of love:
"Love is complete understanding." (Dr. Cho's Friend, 2002).
I don't know that I'd agree with that statement. Certainly, I don't think you could help but love someone you "completely understand". But as for the reverse? Well, I disagree. Maybe it just has something to do with fancying myself as too enigmatic to be "completely understood" by anyone foolish enough to love me, but I just don't think it's as simple as all that.
My undergrad course of study centered around a good deal of biological anthropology (e.g. evolutionary science) at its end. My fave professor, the hilarious and Santa-esque Dr. Bob, often engaged us in debates and discussions regarding the evolution of "romantic love". Why was such a thing adaptive, and when and why did it originate? Dr. Bob and many of his colleagues describe romantic love, or "pair bonding" if you're referring to early hominids, as a phenomenon that came about in order to assure the continuation of the species. You see, hominid young require so much attention that little time is left for such dalliances as hunting, eating, and protecting oneself from predators. Thus, it was important to have an extra pair of hands (and teeth) around for these activities. One parent cared for the young, the other focused on "chores". Voila! Romantic love is born. Ya gotta have a "reason" to stick around your australopithicine female once her teats start to droop and her (bipedally muscled) rump starts to sag.
So when did the "complete understanding" begin? Is the love felt by those earlier compadres of ours lessened by their potential inability to completely understand each other? Or was it much easier to do so in "those days"?
God knows I don't completely understand everyone I love, have loved, or will love. In fact, I'm not sure I'd feel safe saying I "completely understand" anyone. Hell, my cat doesn't even make sense to me most days.
If you ask me (and, by virtue of reading this, I'd say you're doing so), love is more about the desire for complete understanding. About "understanding" and recognizing the bad along with the good; and accepting, even embracing, it all--instead of trying to tease apart the pieces of someone; devouring only those you like or that meet your approval--like picking the carrots out of a bowl of lamb stew so you can eat the meat instead.
In my life, I've been more of the carrots and I've been more of the lamb. And I've flung aside the most important parts of someone-- pretending not to see the carrots because the lamb seemed so good at the time.
I've learned since then. Hell, the stew's just not as good without the carrots.
So, "complete understanding"? I think not. But suffice to say I think that loving anyone or anything (including yourself) does require a certain level of understanding, and an inquenchable desire for more. Not to mention the ability to see it through when the predators are nipping at your heels.
Monday, October 07, 2002
I love me some Steve Krug! Wow, a book with lots of pictures that even I can understand; unlike some others (*ahem* CMB *ahem*)...
I found quite a few parallels between Krug's style and that in PIA. Both books seem to have the same focus of designing not just "pretty", but practical and easily utilized websites. This is most definitely the kind of info I need, since if I were to design a site in the "real world", my target audience would likely be frazzled and desperate for information.
I also greatly appreciate the light-hearted approach. After all the time I spend perusing scholarly articles (and *ahem* CMB *ahem*), it's nice to see that not everyone takes his work so seriously.
I found myself relating to a lot of his comments. For instance, I hate wasting valuable seconds of my time scrolling around a site desperately searching for something on which to click. (C'mon, I'm going to get caught surfing the 'net at work if your site isn't well-designed!)
The common-sense approach works for me--this book is making me take a closer look at stuff that I usually just skim with my peripheral vision.
How did ya'll like it?
Andrea--I think we're living parallel lives. Did you eat about 7 pounds of steak tips this weekend, too?
Anna--you can be the treasurer since you have so much experience in the "financial" world! :)_!
Sunday, October 06, 2002
amanda, we should start a club for the over-worked, under-paid, and over-educated-for-the-position-they-hold. we could be co-presidents and tell all those employers where to go. but we won't. we'll just keep trudging on, hoping that one day life will be better and we will make enough money to raise us above the poverty-line and be at least acknowledged, if not appreciated, for our dedication and hard work. Rock on, sis
I tend to buy what Dave Barry has to say about tabacco stuff. There's a pathetic symbiosis going on between state governments and tabacco companies: governments receive settlement money (though not in this case obviously, since it was a private suit) but they don't use it for anti-smoking campaigns. So tabacco companies continue to make huge profits, which the governments slightly strip through taxes and future lawsuits. Anyway, read the Barry article, it's better put there than I can say it.
Friday, October 04, 2002
We're gonna kick Big Tobacco's pimply, hairy ASS!
This is only the beginning. Next up, ETS "clean air" statutes! They may have all the money, but we're angrier. Public health will prevail! *dons superhero outfit with underwear on outside*
"You get your PhD
How happy you will be
When you get a job at Wendy's and are honored with 'Employee of the Month'..."
from "Never is Enough"
*Sigh*...you would think that two-thirds of a Master's degree would make me useful for more than sorting paperwork, doing data entry, and removing wayward staples for paperwork meant for the "higher-ups" (who are ridiculously less educated than I...).
Especially at the bargain price these folks have me, and for a limited time, too...
Oh well, their loss, right? Right?
Thursday, October 03, 2002
Thanks to Sean for the linkage (say in Pauly Shore voice).
What do ya'll think? Are blogs diluting web-based content? Are they ruining publishing in general? So many points to ponder...
Hey, take 'em out of context if you will. ;)!
"You're mad. You're throwing things and slapping your butt!"
"That's what's great about my job. I get to say things like filibuster, caucus, and cock."
"Make sure you remove the staples from the mail. You don't want to hurt your hand."
"What do you mean? 36 feet isn't that big."
"I'm just trying to make sure you haven't completely given in to insanity yet."
"What do I look like, the toilet paper baroness?!?"
"All good superheroes wear their underwear on the outside."
(*in thick Russian accent*) "She fart all the time. She just sit there and fart, all the day. She eat too much food, that why. I can't take it, sitting there listening to her fart. I going to quit my job if she don't stop it with the fart all day. Too damn much fart!"
(In response to the staple injury story:) "You laugh, but your job is dangerous! Indiana Amanda, skirting death at every turn! Dodging staples and punji sticks with ease! Very exciting!"
"YOU 'need' boots?!? Litte Guadulope in the sweatshop needs to eat tonight..."
Hey, it may be odd, but my life is all mine. :)!
Wednesday, October 02, 2002
"My gym has this butt exercise class. But who the hell would want to go to a 'Butt Exercise Class'?!? So they call it 'Rear Attitude'! Now that's what I'm talking about!"
Tuesday, October 01, 2002
Monday, September 30, 2002
so i'm ranting. okay, i'm over it.
Undergrads are strange creatures. At least, that is, Emerson undergrads are strange creatures. They can usually be seen in their natural habitat--that is, loitering outside the Little Building smoking up a storm. I know what you're going to say--"Smoking?!? Are you mad? Certainly Emerson undergrads are bright enough to have read the surgeon general's warnings as to the danger of such behavior!" Well, I know this'll come as a shock; ladies and gents; but apparently they have NOT received this information.
So, yes, they all seem to smoke. And all of them, each and every one, is that weird kid you went to high school with.
Hey, I'm not knocking individuality. I went through a goth phase, a pink-punk-hair phase, a grungy-hippie-I-want-to-drop-everything-sell-grilled-cheese-and-follow-Phish phase. But here at Emerson, they're all in that phase now.
Anyway, I'm not complaining per se; just observing. I guess they just seem worlds away from the students in my program; who spend their days working full-time (as nurses, physicians, cubicle monkeys like me...) and their nights sitting in four-hour classes discussing the implications of a newly published JAMA article. Geez, what I wouldn't give to be able to have that pink hair again...
So, the PIA readings this time were rather scintillating, were they not? I thought that some cool concepts that can be put to use in the professional world were mentioned--although some of them may "seem" like common sense, it's those little details that can make or break a project. For instance, chapter 4's description of "role-playing" is something I think a LOT of websites I've visited have overlooked. How many times have you found a company's website hard to negotiate, or just plain confusing?
Both chapters 4 and 5 seemed to cross-reference concepts I've learned in some of my more marketing-focused classes (*shudder*)--such as "knowing your audience" (we just did an exercise on that in Social Marketing the other day...), utilizing the site in the process of brand-building, etc.etc. etc. So, anyway; long story short I think some of these concepts are beginning to fall into place in my scattered brain, so to speak.
Friday, September 27, 2002
ok wait. so maybe i won't be adding a link, since the page i'm typing on doesn't have the little world link button. so here's the address instead. deal. :)
Wednesday, September 25, 2002
Social Lubrication (that means Party this Friday, and you're invited)
Ha, so yeah, I'm exploiting your blog. My Cambridge friends and I are bringing people together from our grad programs/jobs/neighborhoods this Friday night to destroy this horrible myth that grad students are somehow unsocial or too busy to meet people. So we're having this BYOwhatever party (whatever can mean drinks, friends, yeah, whatever). The goal is to get out on a Friday night, get tipsy just enough to say hi to somebody cute, and do it all somewhere comfortable (i.e., our apartment, which I usually precede with the word "kickass").
Come as early as you want, but we expect most to come between 8:00 and 9:00 and to stay late (or until you need to catch the last T). I suppose it's best if you call for more info/directions if you need to (617-306-4776). We live at the corner of Garden St. and Huron in Cambridge, and we're in the little row of short red brick buildings (building #7, apt. 1) to the left of the firehouse . It's a 10-15 minute walk from both Harvard and Porter Squares (if you like the red line), and if you're out in Allston/Brookline, you can take the 66 bus to Harvard Sq. And if you're brave and you want to mapquest the directions yourself, our "official" address is 7 Garden Court.
I don't have to remind you that you owe it to yourself to come ;-)
Tuesday, September 24, 2002
I was emailing this to Sean earlier, and I was so amused by my own amusingness that I just had to share.
First, a bit of background info. I live with 2 female roommates, Jess and Barbara; and all three of us have boyfriends. Jess's Deek is currently living in Lebanon, and the aforementioned and incomparable Sean has his own place, so the only one who is really there a lot (and I do mean A LOT) is Barbara's Coley. Now, that's annoying enough. But, recently Jess and I have, on seperate occasions; happened upon Coley in his underwear. Not boxers, but skimpy little bun-hugging briefs. Ewww!!! I mean, we're not prudes, but put some damn pants on!
So, for your reading enjoyment, here's what I emailed to Sean earlier:
It's Tuesday, so Coley should be over once again. Jess and I have decided that we are going to address the walking around with no pants issue, if it comes up. Which scenario do you prefer?
"THE UNDERWEAR INCIDENT"
COLEY: Annoying Irish guy. Does NOT live in apartment. Six feet tall, red hair.
JESS: Blond girl with short hair. Lives in apartment.
AMANDA: Tall redhead. Lives in apartment.
AMANDA, JESS, and BARBARA'S apartment. It's early morning, and the girls are getting ready for work. Suddenly, COLEY appears in his underwear. Not boxer underwear, which would be forgivable (well, it would be ONCE...); but BREIFS or BOXER BREIFS that leave little to the imagination.
Act I, Scene I:
COLEY walks down the hall clad only in his underwear.
A) JESS or AMANDA walks in. Says: "Whoa, nelly! Put some pants on! I don't need to see that!" COLEY walks away, humiliated. Wears pants from then on.
B) JESS or AMANDA walks in. Says: "Damn, it's true what they say about the Irish." *wiggles little finger*. COLEY shuffles off, humilated. Buys bigger shoes and stuffs sock down pants from then on. Never walks down hall pants-free again.
C) JESS or AMANDA walks by. Says: "Wow, I didn't know today was No Pants Day! I'll take MINE off, too!" *Pulls off own pants and struts about*. COLEY is embarrassed. Wears pants from then on. Or, alternatively, COLEY decrees our place the "No Pants Apartment" and never wears pants again.
D) JESS or AMANDA walks by. Pantses COLEY. (Scenario "B" could potentially be enacted here). COLEY leaps into the air, desperate to cover his meager manhood. Not only wears pants from then on, but clutches them around waist.
Which of these scenarios is preferable? Any comments from the peanut gallery? C'mon guys, someone must have had a situation like this before! :)
When I say I work for "the Man", I mean it. I work for Blue Cross (*cringe*). Or, to be more exact, I work for an agency that pays me to work for Blue Cross. I like to think that in this way, I'm actually beating the Man, in that He pays more for me than I actually get paid. Hmm. Or maybe I'm just getting shafted. Anyway, that's neither here nor there.
One of my duties as a Blue Cross Drone is to go through Workman's comp claims and make sure we (the "we" being Blue Cross--*cringe again*) aren't paying for something someone else is responsible for.
Now, I know that our deal is to SAVE money; that it's GOOD when a workplace takes responsibility for someone's claim and pays it. You hurt your back at Stop n' Shop? Ok, I can see that. You've got carpal tunnel and you work for MBTA? Yeah, every other claim fits that description. Your finger was cut clean off by a wayward sushi chef? Well, that's most unfortunate, but I can see it.
How in the HELL did your place of employ give you herpes?
C'mon, people; gimme a break.
Sunday, September 22, 2002
Saturday, September 21, 2002
Friday, September 20, 2002
Here we go: The Common Dog
Ya know, maybe Friday will be my day to be "thankful" for something. Get into the Turkey Day spirit early.
Thanks to the owner(s) of the Doggie Daycare somewhere in the wilds of Roxbury! The shuttle I take to work every day drives past it, and there's a stoplight conveniently located right beside it. This means that in the midst of my icky pre-work funk, I get an eyeful of happy, frolicking doggies. Scads and scads of them, all running around together with their tongues lolling out and their tails wagging frantically; joyfully. There's a big giant poodle, a couple of weimaraners, some lab puppies, a bassett hound, a jack russell terrier, and an assortment of miscellaneous mongrels that all seem to get along just fabulously.
Now I ask, what kind of monster could watch something like that and NOT smile a big toothy grin? Not me, I say. It's stuff like that that reminds me that life, for all its trials and tribulations; can be incredibly, watermelon-juice-dripping-off-your-chin sweet.
Probably more so if your job is playing with dogs, and not sitting in a cubicle.....