Thursday, December 30, 2004

OK so I've avoided posting on here for awhile, but I have a good excuse! Here at home (in Oregon) the computer is in the laundry room, and when that washer goes on spin cycle it feels like a 5.5 earthquake! Here's what I've been up to:


I did indeed finish all my work, and I didn't give up sleeping. The last English class was fun, and I turned in all my Spanish work. I started feeling sick I think on Tuesday, so Weds. I just met with Prof. Moran, slept, and got a little work done. I made a 2.5 page outline for a 5 page paper -- I think it went OK... Thursday I felt better, which was lucky, because the Winter Social was that evening. The ESB arrived early to decorate and set up the refreshments (which were yummy), and we hauled an old bookcase down into the Cassani Room to serve as a podium (we forgot to order one). It was so lovely... Jaime helped me introduce people (thank God), and Prof. Davis read from Sedaris and Louise Erdrich. Prof. Hill read something from Thomas Mann involving icesicles, and Prof. Stephens read selections of poetry. Prof. Berek talked to us later about a course he's teaching next semester, and Prof. Stephens's daughter was so so adorable while running about. Maryanne said the next day that things came together well, so I'm happy! I went back to my room and was a tad bit sad about that being my last winter social at MHC.

Anyway, I wrote the criminology paper, and studied for the American Lit. exam. Friday I took the early test, turned everything in, wrote thank-you cards for my profs, endured a tense lunch at Wilder, and then packed that afternoon. D. Becky was able to bring me to the bus station, so we had a good chat and I realized I'm not very good at getting out of my routines and just traveling and living by the moment! This was prompted by talking about Becky's plans for travel, and of course the things she's already done which scare me (especially the mice in the tent part). Said goodbye to Becky and it finally sank in that I was done with the semester... ack. Hopped on the bus to Boston, dragged my luggage from the terminal to the T, and then met up with Andrew at the Porter T stop, where he patiently waited for me while my bus was late! That evening we ate a real dinner (yay no more dining hall food for awhile!) and relaxed. We watched Elf, which was awesome. Saturday Andrew's father arrived fairly early, and we went with Jon and Jen to the aquarium for the afternoon. Saw Myrtle the turtle again, and the puffer fish. Then we wandered around in Quincy Market, and searched the North End for this particular Italian restaurant that Jon had been to before. I had chicken and pasta and artichokes and veggies in some sort of chicken and wine sauce... yums. Very relaxing and wonderful, esp. after finals and turning in 5 grad school apps!

Afterwards we went to Mike's for pastries, which we later devoured at Jon & Jen's apartment. Chocolate cake with cheesecake... sooo good. We were really tired that evening... The next morning we woke up fairly early to meet up with Andrew's dad at the Neighborhood for breakfast. It's this cool place that serves American/ Portuguese breakfast -- the cream of wheat was AMAZING. Creamy and with cinnamon... I could eat that every morning.

Back home I napped and Andrew finished another application. Then I worked on my applications while he went off to buy sushi supplies to use with his new rice cooker (from his dad for Hanukkah). The first roll was a little sloppy, but the second was professional looking -- even Kory thought so. We tried to keep up the theme with miso soup and salad with rice vinegar. Some difficulty over the avocados -- we ended up with a "slimcado" which was huge and with like 40% less fat than a normal avocado. Yums =)

That Monday was consumed with grad school applications and packing. Early Tuesday morning I dropped off three applications at the post office and we were on our merry way to the airport. Luckily we got a ride there, it was so much less stressful than taking the T would have been. We played travel scrabble, watched an episode of the OC, napped, watched some SNL, watched A Shark Tale, and relaxed... best plane ride ever!

At the airport we met up with Mum & Mer, and stopped by at Grammy's on the way home. Arriving at the new house was amazing... And exploring it! Last time I was here it was just a framework. Everything was perfect...I love it! My room has a skylight, the living room windows capture a great view of Mt Hood... ahh!

So since Andrew has been here, we've been trying to keep busy. That night I remember eating enchiladas and unpacking a bit after exploring the house. The next day I got the metal bar in my mouth removed (8 years I wore that after my braces were removed!) and Mer took Andrew on a hike while I had my teeth cleaned. Hmm. I think Mer's blog is probably more accurate at this point, but I remember we went shopping in the Dalles one day before Christmas, and I wrapped a bunch of stuff. We trimmed the tree to Amahl and the Night Visitors (see Mer's blog -- Licorice! Licorice!), went to Arlene's for Christmas Eve (MacKenzie was adorable dancing to her singing guitar), had a quiet Christmas here at home and dinner with Grammy, visited my Dad, went up to Timberline Lodge and had hot cider, etc... Two days ago we went on a hike up at Laurance Lake, watched Dodgeball... hmmm I hope I'm not mixing up my days... The day before yesterday Mer had friends over, and we all went on a walk, had bbq-ed hamburgers, played games, and roasted marshmallows over the bonfire... Yesterday was our big Portland trip... Andrew drove, which was funny... We went to the zoo in Portland which wasn't too crowded since it was a pretty dismal day, saw tigers, elk, jaguars, hippos, owls... Saw some of the "zoo lights" before we left. Then we stopped at Powell's where Mer had a rendezvous with Alex, and we sat in the cafe drinking odwallas and coffee. Next stop was Buffalo Exchange, where I found cool jeans and Mer found 3 pairs of pants in like ten minutes. Our parking time was running out, so we just ran into the same big dressing room and threw jeans at each other to try on while frantically looking in the mirror to see if the jeans made our butts look baggy or OK. Fastest shopping trip ever!

Next we really really needed to eat something (we hadn't eaten since breakfast). Andrew & I flipped through the remnants of the restaurants section in the yellow pages at a pay phone booth, and saw half an ad for Thai Orchid. I really wanted mango fried rice and/or pad thai, and this place was just 12 blocks up. Luckily we squeezed into a parking spot, and the restaurant looked nice, so we settled on that place quickly. No mango fried rice, but everything was great, and we introduced Mer to Thai food (and tea!!) She liked it, yay =)

After dinner we waddled down to a Goodwill that was right next door, and Mer found ANOTHER two pair of pants, one a retro style pair of Gap jeans that I wish I could squeeze into.

On the ride home we got stuck at the same weird alley-looking area that points to I-84, and then I had the bright idea to stop at Multnomah Falls. Pretty even though it was dark out... Back in Hood River we split a PB cup blizzard and got high on sugar. Last night we played another game of Scrabble in which I lost (boo!)

OK now must go eat! (I know, it's the common theme in my blogs.)

Monday, December 13, 2004

It's been awhile... Short story of why: Grad school applications and the end of the semester.

Andrew and I have had two super productive weekends here at MHC, while still managing to have fun. Last weekend I think we worked Friday night, most of Saturday (until we went to dinner at a Korean restaurant & got ice cream at Herrell's), and most of Sunday (until we went to Vespers). I loved Vespers, and we sang Mum's favorite "O Come all Ye Faithful." When the lights were out and the choir walked up the aisle holding candles, Andrew turned to ask: "Are we getting inducted into a cult?" It was a funny moment. And I wasn't bored during the boring parts (ie, songs without words in English or Spanish). Handbells were great!

The past week was crazy with grad school applications. 5 down, 5 to go. Oh yeah, and between last Thursday and last Tuesday, I wrote 29 pages of my thesis!!

This weekend we had more fun -- Friday we played Balderdash (I'm never going to live down the Scottish landlord's infamous eviction notices) with Emily & Julia & Korisha, Saturday we did a little mall shopping (so many crying children and irritated parents) & went to Karuna's very fun birthday party, Sunday we slept in and did a little more shopping, had dinner at Judie's. It took me 20 minutes to decide what to order.

More on Karuna's birthday --
At one point, D Becky carried me back into the sun room. Andrew didn't know where Shakespeare was born. I was very loud (I hope not too annoying). Claudia & Kim will never again be on the same Trivial Pursuit team. Very fun! =)

OK now back to the essay for class tomorrow. Here's the countdown: this essay, memorize a poem, write a 5 pager for Criminology, take the English self-scheduled exam, turn in my 395 progress report, and write thank-you's for my recommenders. I'm hoping to make my grand exit on Friday night.

Friday, November 26, 2004

First off: Happy Birthday, Mum!!
Secondly: Happy (belated) Thanksgiving!
The NYT again pointed out things that I am mad about. First, Maureen Dowd wrote a great op-ed piece on why airline security is getting out of hand, embarrassing, and even starting to look like sexual harrassment. And why we should be angry: It does sh*t. Yes, believe it or not, making women drink their own breast milk and feeling up 70 year old women's breasts is not, somehow, preventing terrorism. Hard to believe isn't it? I mean with a game plan like that, how could anything slip through? If you want to learn more, check out the NYT for Nov. 25th. It's worth it.
And most importantly, Republicans are trying to push through a bill that would entirely cut the Pell grant program. Because obviously education isn't important, nor is helping to level the playing field so that people like me can go to college, and not just the Bush family kids (who, if they are anything like W, are not very smart). Now I'm going to cite some of the editorial "Undermining the Pell Grants" in case you don't believe me:
"The pending cut could cause as many as 1.2 million low-income students to have their grants reduced - and as many as 100,000 could lose their grants altogether...The Pell program, which is meant to help students pay for tuition and other expenses, like books and housing, has been gravely underfinanced for a long time. Congress has tried to mask the problem by tricky bookkeeping. In particular, Congress failed to revise the maximum grant to keep pace with rising costs. Left untouched for a decade, the aid formula is still capped at around $4,000 a year - far less than what it takes to support a college student...the Republican leadership has advanced a proposal that could slash the roughly $300 million. Eliminating the resources to help needy and qualified students go to college will not even put a dent in the nation's growing deficit, but it will greatly diminish opportunities for upward mobility for the nation's youth."
For the article, go to Definitely worth reading. I am completely shocked that first abortion rights are being threatened, and now Pell grants. And we're still in November of the first month of Bush's second term! Can't this administration do anything right? If we're going to dump billions of dollars into a waste of a war, can't we at least reserve a few million to educate our own bright youth? The program was designed to help students with the grades to do well in college to go, despite economic disadvantages. This cut would clearly hurt the working class and lower middle class by preventing their children from having the chance to make a better life for themselves. Wtf is wrong with this administration??

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Because it's funny and it's Brownlow and it's on our daily jolt page:
"If you take a porpentine [porcupine] and get it really mad, its hairs will separate like it had washed its hair with no conditioner, you know?"- Professor Brownlow, discussing Hamlet, Shakespeare

Also: went to Variasians for the first time Saturday. Good Thai iced tea, but that warm coconut drink I couldn't drink (it reminded me of soap or something that I didn't feel like I should be drinking). The food was good besides that though, and it was great fun to sit with Kathleen and Heather and watch the show. The Chinese ribbon dance was gorgeous. And the dance involving a brass plate. Made me wish I could dance. Watched SNL at D Becky's. I don't think people really got The Falconer. I don't like U2's new song. Becky's bunny was as cute as ever!

OK, back to the Spanish paper...

Friday, November 19, 2004

Last weekend: The GREs. Yes, the trivia and "fun facts" for English majors. A little under half is straight identification of passages (matching up authors and titles, authors and passages, you get the idea), and then there's the multiple choice literary analysis sections. So, yeah, it basically is totally useless. Despite this fact, while I was going through it I can honestly say I was rather enjoying myself. I did the best I could, although I guessed more than I should have. Definitely some familiar territory after all my own reading and my studying. Odd coincidence: Thomas Pynchon made an "appearance" on The Simpsons in a paper bag. Yes, in disguise, even as a cartoon.

After the test, I found Andrew in the library and we went to Amherst for some of the homecoming game. The main attraction was the reception afterwards, where there were cookies to be had. Also, went to a book signing for some Amherst profs and their new (very funny) book. At one point they had a joke about how profs. should retain a class's attention by hiring a work study student with a particularly loud or inviting laugh, and the prof. pointed at me right afterwards and said "you'd do well." Andrew laughed at me =)

Also had a celebratory (in my mind it was very much a celebration, anyways!) dinner in Noho, with sushi. And then I had a very large Herrell's ice cream (burnt sugar and butter with fudge on top. Sooo good. If there's a heaven it should involve eating Herrell's ice cream).

Sunday we worked quite a bit, moving from study area to study area. I finished one book, started another I think... Introduced Andrew to Pratt library (a new favorite).

On the application front, I have sent out my general GRE scores and transcripts.

I have a new and I think better idea for my final Spanish essay, involving Cabeza de Vaca (yes, you heard right, good ole Head of Cow himself) and Hans Staden. Andrew, with his vocabulary of maybe 200 Spanish words, was very worried about that name. Apparently, Cabeza de Vaca's father or grandfather or some male ancestor plopped a cow skeleton on a plot of land to claim it, and from then on, they were known as the Cabeza de Vacas. Profesora seemed interested, I believe her exact words were: "That could be interesting," so I'm plunging ahead.

This evening I went to Falling Bodies (Mary Jo Salter's play) with the Across The Lake crew, and I think we were rather evently split on who did/ didn't enjoy it. Jaime and I were laughing at some points, I remember specifically when we both were like "Comus!" when Milton mentioned the masque he wrote. And the Andrew Marvell and Donne allusions...And the nun in a box...


Further news: Merrie's on facebook, and she revealed a post-makeover photo to me.

Pink Poodledog: haha! mer!
Pink Poodledog: that's a cute picture there
Pink Poodledog: wow, it looks like mascara and eyeliner and shadow...
muskrateer86: yeah, the whole works
Pink Poodledog: and your hair! so cute --
muskrateer86: I decided to preserve the moment because it'll probably never happen again
Pink Poodledog: pretty eyes mer -- see, you should always wear that stuff when you dress up
Pink Poodledog: hahahahaha

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Oh wow it's been a long, long time since my last post... OK, quick sum up!

Halloween weekend: dog-sitting. Phantom of the Opera = very cool, loved it, the music was amazing, and the singing... ahh. Dale's party was fun and I wish I could have stayed longer... but as it was I was seeing shadows all the way home after the scary movie!

The following weekend: Andrew came out, we studied at the Thirsty Mind, in the Stimson Room, etc. Breakfast at the cute Roadside Cafe was yummy. Taboo with Katie and Karuna and Jasmine very fun (and funny). I got my letter of rec materials together. We had dinner Sunday at Fresh Side (very good). We stayed up late editing my personal statement.

This week: Lots o' the busies. I got my GRE scores back, 5.5 on the writing... I guess that's OK, but I felt like I deserved a 6! I wrote so much, and I thought it was coherent (at least at the time). Prof. Moran scared the heck out of our whole class about our midterm, but me and Sheyda were sitting together and were like "what's going on? we did well..." And I think I should have gotten an A, but I believe my test was the first one he graded (ie, before he read all the other papers, which he called the "worst batch he's ever gotten"). Because the only things he didn't like were that I didn't explicitely use the term "scientific method," and that I repeated myself a bit in the conclusion (well, duh). Blah!

Lovely dinner with Dale, Nora, Liz, Erin, Jaime, & Laura tonight. Oh and the cookies at the Stimson Room tea today were amazing. And the berry tea. Yums. What else... Oh yes, it's bitterly cold out. And my heater is a beast, it's constantly pumping out heat. Everyone says my room feels like a sauna. YES! I love it. This is the first year I've had a room that was actually well heated. So I'm enjoying it to the fullest, delighting in the luxury of leaving my window wide open and still feeling comfortably warm. GO FM!! For one the inaccuracies in the heating system are working to my benefit...

OH YES. And the F*CKING FIRE DRILL last night at 3 in the MORNING! What the hell use is a fire drill at 3 am when no one takes roll, checks in people's rooms, etc.? Except for breeding apathy? THE BOY WHO CRIED WOLF, MHC, REMEMBER THE BOY!! Stop the insanity!! There is no EARTHLY reason why I need to be woken up at 3 in the morning to go up and down the freaking stairs. All it teaches me is that, when I hear the fire alarm, it is JUST A DRILL, so I may as well take my TIME and find my coat and put on socks and shoes before I go outside. PRETTY COUNTERPRODUCTIVE!!!!!! And to all those who say it's the law or some such nonsense: Some laws really need to be re-evaluated by semi-intelligent people, because these fire drills are not in the least little bit helpful. GROWL!!!! Add that to the list of things I definitely WON'T be missing next May!

And the other angry thing that has happened since I last posted: Bush. What the hell, America, were you thinking? Yes, it's a good idea to ignore the environment, with our high cancer rates, why should we worry about the environment we exist in? And I totally agree that we should spend 200 billion dollars in Iraq instead of educating our children, providing our citizens with affordable healthcare, or balancing the budget. Oh yeah, so there weren't WMD? And S.H. never threatened us or our liberties? Who cares! Let's just make even MORE people mad at us, because that will really help in lessening the number of people that hate America so much they start terrorizing us. ARGH! GROWL!!!!! And I won't even get started on gay marriage or abortion rights!

Life is so depressing sometimes!

OK, now back to work, no more ranting (till tomorrow).

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Here's our pumpkin!! Happy Halloween!! Posted by Hello
Tengo muchas noticias!

Let's start with last Weds...

Weds: Watched super disturbing movie "How Tasty Was My Frenchman." No, it was not a bad porno, it was a 1971 film about cannibalism and colonialism in Brazil back in the 16th century. Then I went to dinner. Had a lovely dinner with Kathleen and Dale (and looked over Dale's E.D. paper). Did much homework before bed, and much packing...

Thurs: Got my ass on a bus to Boston. Unfortunately had to miss both my American Lit class and my Criminology class, but what better excuse than the GREs? Of course, I ended up behind The Screaming Baby and in front of The Snoring Frat Pigboy. Was it a pleasant trip, Peter Pan? I'll be honest: NO. Why do babies ride for free? They've got to be the most annoying fellow passengers possible: they scream, cry, lick the windows (yes, I swear to God, they lick the windows), they can't control their bodily functions (ie, always vomiting, need diapers, etc.) If babies were adults, we'd totally not want to sit next to them on a bus!

Anyway. After we landed I found my way through the tortuous labyrinth that is the bus terminal/ T station. Could they make the path between the bus stop and the T entrance any LESS direct? I'm thinking no. Unless the people I was following over were just dumb and didn't know the fastest way to go...

So I got to the apartment at a decent hour, took care of some random stuff, maybe I did some homework or something... I don't really remember, to be honest. Andrew got home, we ate (paprika chicken night -- I remember days by what I ate), studied some vocab, worried about the next morning, etc. Andrew INSISTED upon going over essay forms. Got to bed at a decent hour, and I didn't feel too nervous.

Friday: 6:30 am. Damned early. I still wasn't too too nervous. Just a tad. Had breakfast with Andrew and drank some tea for the caffeine. Found our way to the testing center which was near large mall complex. At first we thought it was IN the mall. Friendly people at the test center, strict rules, horrid guide to using a mouse and keyboard, etc. Test went well, I was so excited after my essays were written. And then I was shaking when I saw my score (EXACTLY the same as my final SAT scores. People seem very secretive about this stuff but I'm not. 760 on verbal, 700 on math. I think that's a pretty mediocre math score, but Andrew and I were surprised I even got that so I'm not complaining!) I felt like I was beaming when I came out of the test room, although Andrew claims he couldn't tell how I was feeling. So glad to be done with that!! PS, Andrew did great on the math, and I beat him on the verbal (which is as it should be!)

After, we had a rather stressful lunch (because I couldn't decide what I wanted to eat, beyond knowing that it wasn't in that food court). Went shopping. Bought a skirt. Much happier after that. Then we headed home, bought green beans at Pemberton, coffee at the Someday, I called Mum, etc. Andrew made a truly curious dinner involving sausage and stovetop (to Andrew's credit, Kory said it was the best smelling recipe off a Stovetop box, ever. Take that as you will). Watched Mean Girls in the evening. Why did it have to end so nicely? And I thought middle school was the truly horrid social scene, not high school.

Andrew found the most amazing sorbet, ever, at Trader Joe's. I think it's Sharon's something or other. The raspberry kind has berries from the Pacific Northwest (yay!) and tastes like heaven. YUM! And the ingredients ? water, berries, cane sugar, lemon juice, pectin. WOW!

Saturday: Truly a lounge around day. Slept in till like, after noon (Kory was surprised, we never sleep in like that!) I did tons of Spanish reading. Watched the game in the evening. Andrew tried to explain things and eventually gave up. I watched some of SNL in the other room to entertain myself. Highlights:

"A pet turtle in China fell from a 10 story tall building, onto a taxi, and survived. The turtle claims it was an accident, but then why did he leave a note?"

"T Bone, I don't mean to embarrass you, but it's pronounce NUC-U-LURE." [HILARIOUS because Bush really does pronounce it that way...]

We also finally carved the pumpkin. I cut into it and gutted it while Andrew made dinner (porcupine meatballs). I love the feel of pumpkin mush. I separated all the seeds out and baked them, too... Andrew carved the face, so it turned out really well.

Baked brownies and watched some of Spinal Tap in the evening...

Sunday: Watched some bad movies on TV -- Mr. Mom and Say It Isn't So -- and ate cornmeal mush for breakfast (better than cream of wheat). Shopping at Target, dinner, packing... My ride ended up having an accident in the parking lot and couldn't drive me... Luckily her gf was able to drive us back! Gf being Emily from delles first year, so it was awesome seeing her -- I loved first year... we had the bestest floor ever. Anyway, got home a bit late and since then... lots o' work.

Today AL3 was canceled, so I luckily had more time... Kathleen's gonna be my Spanish tutor!!

And the avocados at dinner tonight --- YUCK. It's cool to put the cut up pieces in lemon juice so they don't turn brown, but not so long that they start to pickle. YUCK.

Important issues on the Oregon ballot -- besides the president (which anyone reading this who knows me, you already know how strongly I feel about THAT):

Imp. State Measures:
32: Amendment to Medical Marijuana Act -- creates dispensaries and allows sales to patients, increases how much marijuana patients may possess. [I'm voting yes, I want a slippery slope to make marijuana legal. Because come on, which is more destructive to anyone who's been around both: pot or alcohol?]

34: Balancing timber resources -- requires half restoration (preservation and conservation), half for production. [I'm voting yes because I'm all for keeping our forests instead of cutting them down. Trees don't grow back that quickly.]

35: Limits how much you can sue people for in noneconomic damages in the event of an injury caused by a healthcare provider. Doesn't apply to wrongful death claims. In other words, if something doesn't go well in surgery, getting stitches, whatever, you can't ask for more than $500,000 in pain and suffering. [Voted yes because health insurance is getting so expensive due to people suing for insane amounts of money.]

36: Amendment to constitution so that it reads that marriage is ONLY between a man and a woman. [I voted NO because I'd rather keep it how it is -- without gendered terms. Plus it sounds like a way to ban gay marriage, and I'm not into this whole movement of using the Bible to define marriage. It reeks of using religion in state business. So much for separation of church and state under this administration!]

37 & 38: I didn't know what to do beyond that I wanted to save our state some money, so that's how I voted.

Local Hood River issues --- I had to vote no on the proposal to increase our property taxes to keep school programs. We're over taxed as it is. PS: Oregon's economy is horrible under Bush. School year is being cut short, 16 teachers in our district have been fired. But increasing the tax burden isn't going to solve the problem... we need more funding on the national and state levels, not the county level. I'm kind of confused as to how Bush is helping our nation's education system. From what I've seen, he's only made things much, much worse.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

I hear screaming. That must mean that the Red Sox just won. Yay for beating the Yankees!!

Monday, October 18, 2004

So last Tuesday went as I predicted. Took a nice ride home with Erica and talked about pets, boyfriends, rides to Boston, MHC, etc. The short week was WONDERFUL and MUCH APPRECIATED! I had my first ESB meeting (very short) and another Verbosity meeting (which was "crashed," you might say). And then Andrew was here!

Friday we weren't too active, just GRE studying in the evening (it was raining). Fell asleep without brushing and all the lights on (oops, that's what happens when your eyes are burning from lack of sleep!)

Saturday we got a slow start... headed out to Rao's for coffee and study, but unfortunately it was parent's weekend at one of the other colleges and Amherst was overrun with people. It turned out OK, however, as Andrew found us a table with a view to the outside world. I read my criminology for the week, and some KM. Man next to us noticed the KM and knew who she is. Wow! Told me "The Garden Party" is her best. I disagree, I think "Bliss." But whatever!

Afterwards we headed to Fresh Side for dinner. Andrew had the satay (pretty good) and I tried the 8 Treasures Rice (pretty good except for the gluten, what an odd concept... very mushy). Also had Black Sheep for dessert. Yums... Back in my room I immediately started getting ready for Las Vegas Night. Had to wear my pink and black tube dress again, as after I graduate I will have no place to wear it! Attended Emily & Korisha's preparty which was fun and probably a better place to socialize than any other of the evening... so crowded at Chapin and in Blanchard! They had boys, too, so it seemed like a more normal environment. Andrew and I stuck together, and luckily Julia and I had the same views on dancing (ie, we didn't). The boys seemed quite impressed with the MHC dorms. Initially they thought Emily and Korisha's room was a quadruple. Right... When Korisha launched into why she needs a Buddhist fisherman, I almost lost it. And the Hampshire boy she was telling all this to was completely flabbergasted and tried to reason with her (which made him look a bit silly. PS, Andrew spotted him dancing with this girl later at Chapin. But they didn't look good together).

Then, in Blanchard, we met up with Karuna, her sister, D. Becky, Kathleen, etc. Andrew was set upon the Ipod and gambled while we socialized and ate the fondue. Then D Becky and I decided that the music was better in Blanchard than in Chapin, so we danced there. I stole some of the snacks and put them in my coat pocket (but one of my trail mix packages somehow was lost -- very unfortunate). I'm going to turn into one of those old ladies who steals salt shakers at restaurants.

Finally we found that -- big surprise -- we hadn't won anything. Party in Chapin super sketch. Very crowded and sweaty. Was glad I warned Andrew that we'd need to shower post-dance. Yuck! Good night though overall. Didn't get to bed till around 4 am though!

Somewhere between 4 am and 10 am someone STOLE MY DOORMAT. Who does that? I sent my floor an email alerting them to this fact, and Andrew later found it in our kitchenette. VERY CURIOUS. I called Public Safety to ask if perhaps FacMan had done it, and the woman said she didn't know anything about it, but that if I wanted to report it missing, I was welcome to do so. Tempting -- I'd enjoy being in the Public Safety log for "Student reported doormat missing after LVN debauchery."

Sunday we got a slow start. Studied in our sunroom for awhile. Very pretty and peaceful and quiet. Decided we'd go to Noho with Karuna and her sister for dinner.

In the later afternoon Andrew found the perfect place to get a pumpkin. We drove five minutes to a farm -- McClury's or something like that? Petting zoo (lots of white geese like our one strange bully goose at Lower Lake, very big horse, pony, sheep, rabbits, chickens, goats, etc.) and ice cream and hayrides and pumpkins. It took us a long time to pick out the perfect pumpkin (no surprise there! throw two indecisive people together and tell them to pick the best possible pumpkin for carving and baking seeds... ack).

The pumpkin rolled a bit in the trunk on the way home, but we managed. Then we headed to Noho for dinner at the Indian House. Very beautifully decorated -- low lighting, deep colored woods, candles, metal statues...Our table had a glass top with elephants carved in relief on metal beneath it. I had Masala curry... sooo good. Andrew's buriyani (I think?) wasn't as much my favorite. But the Masala... yum. Apparently I'm the mild spice sort.

Had a fun ride home, and a quick stop to Rao's for the coffee addicts (Andrew and Karuna's sister!) Studied some more words with Andrew, had M&C's and my leftover cake, and then we launched into practice GRE tests. I got a 690 on the verbal and a 710 on the quantitative. WTF! I've studied verbal all summer and no math till like, last week, and I still get a better score on that section. CRAZY!! Andrew did slightly worse on the verbal and aced the math.

Saw Andrew off this morning and was lucky to catch a very pretty, very pink sunrise. Then I slept till class =)

Today I was sitting about in my room, working on my personal statement, when I received an email and a phone call alerting me that there were flowers ready for pick up at Blanchard. I was like "what? who's sending me flowers? did dad randomly send flowers? who doesn't know my address and would send them to blanchard?" etc. etc. So I walked over, and realized on my way, duh, it's our one year anniversary tomorrow, maybe Andrew really DID keep a secret from me! So in Blanchard I saw this pretty bouquet with roses and baby's breath, and I walked up to get it. Then Rhea reached behind the desk and was like, no, you get the BIG one, and pulled out this huge bouquet of roses and ferns and baby's breath and, yes, the big red bow. I was like, shoot, I need to clean my room in order to bring these home! Everyone I knew had something to say when they saw me walking back to the Delles... Andrew was very clever and ordered a bouquet with a vase (last time I remember trying to put flowers in a big plastic cup...) So I had to call him right away and tell him how surprised I was and how pretty they are =) They're doing a marvelous job at making my room smell nice (instead of the smell of my icky radiator paint).

Ran down the hill to meet Dale for dinner, which was lovely. Salmon and Caesar salad and Thanksgiving food. Yay! So tonight I sent suggestions to Dining Services: 1. I threw up a week and a half ago, do something about that salad at Blanchard. 2. Dinner at Prospect = amazing. 3. Must do something to address poor student sanitation in the dining halls. NOTE: Do not use the same place twice -- you get your saliva-y germs all over the serving utensils. Get a NEW plate instead and save us all from eating your germs!

That pretty much catches us up...

As many of you know, our country is, yet again, experiencing a flu vaccination shortage. No big surprise there, right? I mean our priorities are in the right place, right? You can get a botox injection anytime you want, Viagra pills on demand, but flu vaccinations? Nah, not a public health issue. No, 36,000 people didn't die last year, did they? Oops, maybe they did... Oh well! How many millions of dollars were lost in productivity due to the flu? How many people suffered through fevers, pains, cramps, vomiting, etc.? COME ON PEOPLE! Let's learn something from Britain and not put all our eggs in one basket next year. Like any good investor, DIVERSIFY! Let's get some domestic companies making flu vaccines, get the government to step up and make some wise decisions for a change (wait, I'm asking too much, the gov. can't even do that when it comes to wars!) ARGH! I'm an English major at a liberal arts college and I STILL feel better qualified to order flu vaccinations than our FDA. Shouldn't this be a priority? We worry about biological warfare and order smallpox vaccinations, but what about known killers? 36,000 people in one year, that's nothing to sneeze at (no pun intended). Why can't we even harness the basic medical expertise that could keep people well and healthy through the flu season? I'm feeling no trust in our government... if we're going to have a huge gov., can't we at least have one that can do something useful??

To read about the chaos and problems this shortage is causing, here's one article out of dozens of examples:

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

From Mer's profile -- this made my night:

"I call them up everyday and yell at 'em. It's the only way to get anything done in this world."-Tim
I'm on my last day of the best October Break EVER... so i'm going to write out my blog now to prevent nostalgia and melancholy later.

Thursday: Mock interviewed Karuna and worked on something that I can't really remember now. Packed for the weekend. Oh yes, and had a great lunch with Kathleen, Dale, and Kiara. Talked of relationships and striving for a "healthy dependency."

Friday: Criminology class was about deserted, so Prof. Moran told us about the history of Oct. break (we didn't always have it, he claims a couple of women in the English department originally suggested having a break in Oct. instead of a full week off in November). He then got into an argument with Sheyda and her friend over the effect of Ritalin on kids with ADD. After class I ran some errands and finished packing. Had a hell of a time finding my ride -- I was imagining the wrong parking lot! Luckily Elizabeth walked by and saved me.

Very pretty ride into Boston. Leaves turning colors and I napped a bit. I took the T to Porter Square and got on Andrew's computer. I had the afternoon to do some practice GRE tests and spend a FULL HOUR looking for jet black size A nylons. I settled on off black size B nylons. ARGH!

Andrew got home around 6:30 (it was such fun to see him in his puffy vest after waiting all day) and we had dinner, packed, and headed out to pick up Jon and Jen. The ride down to Andrew's father's house in NY was pretty long and a bit cramped in the back seat with the guys' clothes, which needed to be hung up. We stopped for the regular bathroom break, and got back on the road. We listened to the debates on the radio, and we all agreed that Bush sounded kind of whiney while Kerry sounded calm and deliberate.

We got there pretty late -- and didn't get to sleep till about 2 am. Andrew & I endured the flip out bed from the couch although we realized later that we didn't have to. But probably better that we did... Woke up a bit after 8 am and got ready for the morning services. Inevitably, out of any group of people, I am always the last one to get ready. There wasn't anything in the house to eat, so we stopped off on the way (but still arrived on time!) Met up with Andrew's dad and Ann. This was the first time either Jen or myself had been to a synagogue and it WAS rather disorienting. The rabbi said something in Hebrew to me as I came in and I just kind of smiled obliviously and proceeded in. Then the bat mitzvah - specific yarmulkes, and the talits, and I was rather confused and just followed Andrew. (He looked awfully cute, despite the fact that his yarmulke would NOT stay on).

The whole room reminded me of churches I've been in, as there were the pews and the books in the back and all that. But the whole ark thing, that's different. And everything being in Hebrew, that's really different. I pretty much just sat and periodically whispered with Andrew. It was chilly! (air conditioning) Andrew's cousin did great, she kept rushing through things but she seemed to have everything down. It was the very very beginning of the Torah -- the creation. So that was familiar. Maggie elaborated on what God said was "good." Everything seemed to take so looongg... (also like going to church).

The rabbi had a great service/sermon though, that would never fly in a church back home (and esp. not in a Catholic church). He was basically encouraging people to vote for Kerry since he would protect abortion rights, which should be protected according to his reading of the Torah and Judaism... That already present life is more important than potential life, and that we've "forgotten the time of coat hangers and back alleys." So I was pretty interested throughout that.

The reception afterwards for the two kids was pretty elaborate and VERY crowded. We had a hell of a time finding a place to sit, and this woman kept chair hopping to prevent Jonathon from sitting down. I gorged myself on chocolate cake things with cream. YUM. And tea. Around 1 pm we headed home. We explored the yard sales and flea market right near Andrew's house, and I found a great purse. That reminded Andrew and I (independently) of the floral patterned arm chair that we sold over the summer. I napped, curled my hair, and started getting ready early (but still was last to be ready!) We took pictures and then headed out to the party for Maggie.

Everything was ice cream shop themed -- from the catered food to the labels on the salad dressing to the flashing signs and table decorations. Beautiful place to hold it, and everything was amazingly well-coordinated and charming. The girls all had gorgeous dresses on, and tuxes on the guys... We ate the hor'deurves and I had a very strong chocolate martini (good though, just made my mouth burn). The doors eventually opened to go into the seating area, and Andrew's whole family had a table. Lots of music, drinks, and Maggie's candle lightings... Andrew's family got called up and Buster got a mention =)

We finally danced a little which was the most fun I've ever had, ever, in a dancing situation. I wish we had pictures, I think we must have been rather funny and cute =) Dinner was good (tv dinner themed -- I had salmon), and the desserts were amazing: chocolate fondue (which I skipiped), fruit, brownies, bananas foster with sundaes... We finally left around midnight, but it was definitely one of the most wonderful evenings.

At home we decided to crack out Andrew and Jon's bar mitzvah videos. Hilarious! Unfortunately Andrew's didn't have sound. We saw all the same relatives we'd seen that evening, and laughed at old hairstyles and teeth, and the retro outfits. Finally got to bed around 3 am.

In the morning we went out to brunch for Andrew's father's birthday. Maud's -- and I had my first mimosa. Andrew and I shared some chocolate brownie cake for dessert. I talked mainly with Andrew's grandma and Aunt Stella (great!) Finally met Grandma Hilda, who calls Andrew on Friday nights on his cell phone and insists she doesn't have his number. She seems endearing and sweet. Also had the nickname "Andpew" explained to me.

The drive back didn't seem too long. I dozed in the backseat. Pretty leaves although it was overcast most of the way up. Stopped for a snack towards Boston, dropped off Jon and Jen, and headed home. We went food shopping out of necessity, and had a nice quiet dinner. Finally finished watching The Terminal. Lovely evening... =)

Monday morning Andrew was off to work, and I did schoolwork most of the day and caught up on sleep. In the evening we went to Harvard Square for dinner (9 Tastes, mango fried rice, yum). Home at a decent hour to do some grad school work. Watched a little Jack Black and had a quiet evening (romantic after our busy weekend!)

Today I did some more work -- finished reading for Thursday and did another practice GRE test. Tonight we're probably going to Porter Exchange for sushi and then I'm off to MHC -- whether I want to be or not!

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Teaching Mer the really important things about college life:
muskrateer86: one question..what is beer pong?
Pink Poodledog: well they were actually probably playing beirut, another drinking game
muskrateer86: I just thought "beer pong" sounded funny
Pink Poodledog: which is basically where you have two teams on different sides of a long table, and you try to get a pingpong ball or other object into the other team's cups of beer. if you succeed, they have to drink the beer, so they get drunker and less able to get a pingpong ball into YOUR beer, so that you can retain your motor skills
Pink Poodledog: an ingenious game invented by half drunk frat boys, no doubt
muskrateer86: haha
muskrateer86: that's hilarious

OK so for those of you who have not heard me whining about this already, here's the sordid tale of Weds:
Noonish: I order a scallop coconut salad (the weekly special) at Blanchard
3 pm: Severe stomach pains. I leave class.
3:05 pm: Vomiting in bathroom. Loudly. First time to regurgitate contents of stomach in 3 years or so.
3:15 pm: Frantic check-in to the health center. I accidentally fill out a survey instead of an admittence form.
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm: Apparently no one thinks it's food poisoning, the counselor is in there ASAP. I try to explain I've been anxious lately, but not today, and I really think it has something to do with what I had for lunch. After all, I was in a class I am not even actually taking, and afterwards I was planning to meet Rachel's puppy and have a relaxing evening. Triage counselor refers me to counselors across the street for long term therapy.
4:30 pm: I am given buttered toast and sprite (as that's what my mum always gave me for an upset stomach).
4:45 pm: I head home. Run across Gus and Goose Patrol clearing the lake of the Canadian geese. Question: Where will the white bully goose go if he gets chased off? Or is that impossible?

So there you go. Do not eat seafood at Blanchard. BAD FOR YOU!!!!! Rest of my day was shot. Thanks a lot, Dining Services!!!!!!

Later, whining on the phone with Mum:

Mum: "Well, you never did like scallops."
Me: "I don't really remember ever eating them before this past year."

Mum: "We're going to put the cougar in the house. Tim's going to vacuum it tonight."
Me: "Is it dusty?" [cougar = stuffed cougar]

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

It's been awhile (of course) so here we go!

Friday: I think I ended up watching some Friends with Karuna and talking in the evening, then going to bed... very hazy. I guess that's the trouble with updating so far in the future!

Saturday: Worked on homework during the day, headed out in the evening with D. Becky and Karuna for dinner in Amherst. We had Fresh Side (yay for introducing people to Fresh Side), stopped by the library, and then went out to the bars with Katie. I wasn't feeling the whole bar hopping scene... but yeah it was fun anyways =) We had horrible music at the ABC, and stopped in at the Irish pub (which was better entertainment-wise). Hung out in Blanchard for awhile afterwards.

Sunday: Don't really remember... I think I sat out in the garden all afternoon and worked on an English Lit. practice test. Very pretty, that garden. An older couple walked by and a few MHC students, but it was overall quite quiet!

The week... went by slowly... normal routine I think, the weekdays all blur into one another.

Friday: Highlight: Drinking chai with Quillian, Jaime, Laura, and Marjorie. Lovely!! I wish we always had little meetings together. With any luck, the English Student Board will now include all of us =) Then we went to dinner at Wilder which was definitely fun -- and I brought large amounts of hallah back to my room.

Andrew came in the evening and we had our reunion (felt like forever since 2 weeks ago). Also got more of the good cookies at Big Y (used my last silver coin, woe is me!)

Saturday: After a late breakfast, Andrew and I headed to Amherst to get coffee at Rao's and study. Did a GRE practice test, some review reading...Fresh Side for dinner in the rain. I had the pad thai (it's good, but different than what you might expect). We studied in the evening back in my room, despite the parties on the 3rd and first floors. Poor South Delle HP... our living space now smells like stale beer. Come on, people, let's not spill beer while playing beer pong on the freaking mahogany furniture. They just redid that room like two years ago and it's gorgeous, heaven forbid we keep it looking like a living room and not like a bar room.

Sunday: Visited Rao's in our library after breakfast, talked to Annie about how the west coast is going to blow up with this volcano (Mt. St. Helen, why do you do it?) Then Andrew & I studied in the garden during the afternoon. Dinner at La Cazuela (yummy burritos and such a pretty space!) and ice cream at Herrell's... ahh the fudge sauce! But Andrew & I were confused as to why fudge sauce is $1 extra =( muy triste!

In the evening we started watching The Terminal. It's a very comical "version." As in, you can see people sitting down in the theater seats.

Monday: Andrew left =(

Tuesday: Busy day with wonderful Spanish table session!

Weds: Violently sick post-scallion salad at Blanchard. Just say no!!!

Friday, September 24, 2004

Finally updating! OK -- here goes:

Last Friday: I had pretty much made up my mind to take the class that would finish my minor. I was all ready to go to Boston -- Andrew's friend from Amherst who graduated last spring is also dating an MHC-er, and she was heading up for the weekend. Both of us met the boyfriends Amherst's Homecoming Weekend, so it was kinda weird to have the same 11 month anniversary! We had a hard time following the directions once we reached Boston, and had to wait for her bf to come point us in the right direction. Some kind souls got me into the T stop even though I didn't have a token or pass at a token/pass only entrance. Oops. I beat Andrew home and surprised him (not much, but it was still entertaining for me!)

In the evening we went to the mall for the food court's version of thai and japanese food. The Thai tea was really TOO sweet... At home we watched the season finale of Six Feet Under. Great show! Going to miss it =(

Saturday: It felt like freaking winter. Cold, cold -- I was wearing layers of sweaters -- and raining ALL DAY. GROSS!!! We stayed in, had pancakes, watched Envy, went on a shopping trip to target (because that's what I do when the weather sucks -- go shopping)...We had dinner at the Asian food court in Porter Exchange (much more authentic). I finally tried the seaweed salad. Chewy, very chewy... And I had my usual avocado rolls and such. Yums. In the evening we went to the Someday Cafe for chai/coffee and GRE studying. It was nice except that the chair was too low for the table and I kept having to sit on my foot in order to get a good view of my papers. Hmm... what else. I think we watched another movie... oh yeah, Zoolander. Hilarious! Now I'll finally get all the jokes people make in reference to that movie.

Sunday: Much better weather today. We had brunch at Johnny D's (I couldn't finish, way too full of pumpkin pancakes) and then tried to figure out what to do with the sunny weather. Chilly, but sunny. We ended up trying to go to this wildlife refuge out towards Concord. We got lost and ended up going raspberry picking first. It was idyllic -- bucolic -- halcyon -- trying to remember all those pastoral GRE words. Yes, I AM a dork. Anyways, it was a beautiful day to pick raspberries. Andrew had no idea as to what he was doing. =)

Afterwards we headed out to the refuge. It was a lovely walk, lots of birds and cat tails and a slow moving river. Finally warmed up a bit, too. Had to stop by the river and sit a few minutes. It felt like summer -- it could have been any of our weekends in summer... ahh! On the way back we went by Pemberton Farms (like old times) for the string beans. Had dinner out on the porch. Very sad to go =( Stephanie and I commiserated on the way home. Suddenly it felt like a weekday night again, didn't seem quite so bad.

Monday: The craziness started, with mentoring appointments and classes and reading for my Spanish class.

Tuesday: First Spanish class, Nina had a great class and brought us cookies and soda =) Felt better about taking a 300 level Spanish course. Longest day ever, with a small group meeting, the Spanish table, a CDC workshop, etc.

Weds: Busy with mentoring and reading.

Thursday: MOUNTAIN DAY!! I was getting sick on Weds, so I wasn't totally thrilled. Plus I had to walk Kobe for Dale, and go to Treasurer's Training in the later afternoon. So I had some restraints, and only missed one class that I really like. Oh well. D Becky, Karuna, Liz, Rachel, and myself all went hiking. Becky took us on a leisurely trail to the halfway mark, then we scaled the mountain for the last half. Ice cream! Saw Windy with Prof. Barry, and sat in the sun. Also ate a fudgsicle after my popsicle (the popsicle was much better, even though it dyed my mouth green). We all agreed that Jo Jo really scaled back on the frozen confections this year. Bad idea!

It was a lovely hike though, and great company. Only missed the rest of our first year crew =(

Today... Not seeing Andrew this weekend, and it feels so odd... Doesn't feel like a Friday!

Thursday, September 16, 2004

It's been awhile... but for good reasons. I got through Thursday and Friday (the first days of classes) quite easily. The weekend was great. Andrew came out, and Friday night we played tipsy Taboo with friends in Abbey. Took some really embarrassing pictures, and couldn't stop laughing. Ahh if only all of college was like that (wait, it could be, too bad I'm at MHC instead. No, I'm just kidding, I love MHC. Or at least, sometimes I do...)

Saturday was the big senior carrel day. I woke up damned early after our late night, procured food for Andrew, and then sat in line for awhile. Something of a bonding experience for all us seniors, standing out on a Saturday morning to get a desk in the library. Woo-hoo! Crazy times at college! I didn't get quite the desk I wanted, but it's pretty good nonetheless. Sixth floor, one window to myself, one row west from the row Katherine Mansfield's books live down. Pretty good placement!!

So anyways, we soon headed out to Amherst for lunch (Bub's BBQ, fun "truck stop" sort of place and good food). Did some shopping -- had indecision over which kind of mixed drink to make at some point later -- decided to get ice cubes for my fridge -- etc. On the way out we went to Puffer's Pond and had a cool nature walk. Idyllic looking place. I saw some big frogs, turtles, and a crawdad. We walked around half the lake and then scaled down a gully to wade in the stream. Very pretty... such a nice break from being on campus!!

In the evening we had dinner at Blanchard and then watched Along Came Polly with the new drink service. Don't worry Mum, I still have never been really drunk. I don't seem to ever drink fast enough, and since I don't exactly practice a lot, I don't think there's much danger of my getting sick from it! We had some sort of pina colada mix thing with coconut rum. Doesn't taste good without ice -- discovered that that's a necessary part.

Sunday we had brunch at Abbey with everyone (went table hopping to do all the visiting!) Visited the carnival, discovered that Oregon does all voting by mail, ate cotton candy, and a snow cone (for free! thanks MHC, you kill me, but I appreciate the free sugary confections that remind me of fairs at home!) In the afternoon Andrew had a soccer game to go to in Amherst, and I did some vocab words out on the blanket on the lawn. Very nice. Killed a couple of mosquitoes (yay me! on my quest to purge the world of mosquitoes, we've got two less to worry about!) Then I had a Verbosity meeting, and soon Andrew was back.

For dinner we wandered around Noho comparing various places. Decided on the Northampton Brewing Company. It was lovely...sat by a window inside with cool fans. Low lights, not too busy, with a kind of midsummer night feeling. Great food, too... I had some sort of blackened cod with mashed potatoes and veggies, and Andrew had spicy jambalaya. Yum =)

On the way back to my room we encountered my floor's first meeting. Oops. I sat in on the last part of it. Had a quiet rest of the evening. Sad to see Andrew leave in the morning =(

The rest of the week since then... CRAZY. Spanish class fiascos, entire days spent wandering around campus, waking up feeling sick to my stomach every morning from worrying, UGH!

Today, for example: Woke up an hour before my alarm went off and felt worried about things. Checked email to see if a professor got back to me yet on possible classes to take. Left early, visited the registrar's office, went to Am. Lit. III, ate lunch at the Rockies with Karuna, Claudia, and Jasmine, then scooted off to Carr for an Intro to Old English class (awesome, by the way, even if I don't get to actually take it), went to Nina's office and talked to her (very reassuring and helpful), went to the library to do some errands, then went to Corinne's office for my meeting. Thank God for Corinne. We talked for like over an hour and a half about my thesis, grad school, life, the summer, critical schools... ahh! I left feeling SO MUCH BETTER. The sick feeling in my stomach? Gone! Noticed again how beautiful today was, warm and sunny and summery. Walked to dinner, and enjoyed talking with Katherina and some new friends. Then I had an Org meeting, which was boring. Went to Pearson's to sell my flip and fold, and then to the library for more errands. Then to the Delles, where I sat in on some of Karuna's hall activity (magician, I hid the green cork!) and ate cake. And now I'm here!

Dilemma: Choice One -- Take Old English this semester and skip out on Spanish seminar on Latin American colonial studies with Nina, and then take Spanish seminar on cinema in the spring with Justin? Choice Two -- Take Nina's class and save the extra spot in the spring for another English course or anything else that strikes my fancy.

Note: Sorry for any typos. I found some but don't have time to proofread lately.

PS. We covered TS Eliot today in AL3 (funny how Brits and Americans alike claim him). Tonight I was in N. Delle's living room for Karuna's activity. Connection? TS Eliot visited the Blackstick Society (literary magazine that was very exclusive -- by invitation only) here on campus in 1933. They met in North Mandelle!

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Saturday: Andrew & I drove out to MHC with his car packed with stuff. We had some worries about my papasan chair on the top of the car, but it ended up working. We stopped briefly at this lookout point over the Quabbin Reservoir, it was pretty much unchanged from our last visit (besides the new foliage!) That was something of a transition point, going from our apartment in Somerville to this place we had only visited while I was in school last year. We kept driving -- going through familiar places was kind of disorienting -- we went through Granby at one point and everything was so tranquil and country like out there. At MHC (it was very weird being back, by the way) I got my keys and we started the lengthy process of moving all my stuff in. We got my room situated after much deliberation (the furniture placement is so important, you know!) and started hauling in all my things from the car. After unloading all that, we were rather hungry and went to Tailgate.

The second round of moving in was getting all my stuff out of Pearson's trunk room and over to the Delles. It took two trips! Andrew was amazing -- he did a lot of the stuff I wasn't looking forward to while I started organizing stuff and getting it out of boxes. We took a trip to Amherst, where we had Fresh Side (but no Black Sheep as they mysteriously closed early). The Wal-Mart stop was stressful -- they had run out of most things and were closing as we were going around browsing. I got most of the stuff we'd set out for, and we headed back with a movie to watch and things to help my room get on track. We were up pretty late...

Sunday: The unpacking continued, but soon reached a very livable level. Showed Andrew the Delles trunk room (much better from when I was a first year, when stuff was strewn everywhere, there was broken glass on the floor, retro tvs...) More trips to Wal-Mart for organizing stuff and more electrical outlets, and then home again late in the afternoon. Andrew slept, I organized till my head was a little sore, and then we ate soup and leftover Fresh Side and headed out to Hartford for a concert. The concert itself was great -- I hadn't expected to like the Disco Biscuits, either. But we left after the first set because I couldn't stand everyone smoking in a closed space, the heat, or the beer being spilled on me. Yuck! Andrew rescued me and we left early (which was still pretty late into the night). Had a late night food stop, and then home finally to sleep.

Monday: I grabbed stuff for Andrew's breakfast, and then left for my training. SAW training was pleasant --- we had Black Sheep (complete with desserts) for lunch, and got out an hour early! Very different from Res Life training... Afterwards Andrew & I went to Amherst for more Fresh Side for dinner (we ate out on the Amherst green, rather romantic and picnic-like...), and then Flayvors for ice cream. It's kind of unappetizing sometimes when you're eating ice cream and you can smell the noxious manure... Back at school we visited Dale (she gave us lots of gummy bears!) and then headed to see if Kathleen was back (she wasn't). Back to my room, and we attempted to get tipsy (I succeeded, couldn't stop laughing) and find pictures for a collage. Funny!

Tuesday: In the morning we all went to breakfast at Prospect (with Dale and Jaime) which was VERY lackluster. Plus the line for hot breakfast was just not moving. Afterwards we napped a bit, and then headed to Amherst for Andrew's grad school appointments. Amherst is nice, P.S., esp. Converse Hall. Ate our bagged lunch on the Amherst green, I hung out in the library while he was at a meeting, and then we went to Rao's (yum chai). We wandered around in Amherst for awhile, and Andrew got his hair cut! Sad!

For dinner we ended up going to Wilder with Karuna. Andrew liked the food (yay!) We started watching City of God, got more of my room put together, pasted up the collage (had an emergency trip to Big Y for more glue, and a visit to Dale). Karuna visited and made us less sad about the whole last night together thing. Very sad though still =(

Weds: It was horribly sad seeing Andrew off, and then I kind of lounged around before convocation. Got green with Karuna, and then headed over to brunch. So exciting to see everyone, and Kathleen was there!! Crazy day, skipping lunch for our class picture, running around in the soggy rain, meeting with my mentoring class professor (ack speaking intensive class!), going to the CDC, etc. Karuna rescued me with food and Friends episodes. Dinner and the Odyssey, got caught up with Karuna and Kathleen over dinner and in the evening. Lots of fun! I'm glad they're back =) (but I still miss Andrew!)

More later...

Saturday, September 04, 2004

OK so once again I haven't posted in days.

Weds before last: After work Andrew & I went to KFC for a bad-for-you-dinner. Once a year I feel like eating their fried chicken and mashed potatoes. It was good -- but it's too bad that fast food places don't have very nice seating areas. Rather depressing looking place. And I checked the nutrtional chart again, and it STILL lists "macaroni and cheese" as a VEGETABLE. Some people have scoffed when I've related this story to them, but now I have further proof -- it's not just the KFCs in Oregon, it's KFCs EVERYWHERE. What really befuddles me is how anyone could even pretend for one moment that macaroni and cheese is a vegetable. Pasta is a starch and cheese is a dairy product. We don't call starches like wheat bread "vegetables" just because wheat grows in the ground -- same goes for pasta! No wonder Americans are the most overweight group ever -- fast food chains put misleading info. out there (just classifying it as a vegetable has probably inclined rather too many people toward the idea that it must be more healthful than if it were under "fatty stuff") and the people devising nutrtional info. for the US have sugar interests preventing them from coming out and saying "cut excess sugars" (The New York Times recently ran an editorial about this problem, which has been around since the US food pyramid's creation -- the people creating the pyramid have financial interests in promoting products. Ever wonder why grains make up the base of the pyramid? Check out this website:

Anyway, after we ate we went fabric shopping (re-covering stuff I bought) and then to JP for more of Andrew's stuff. Finally met Arlene, a friend of Jon & Jen's.

Friday: After work we ate dinner and had a little time before heading over to Carlo's for Andrew's friend's (Roger) welcome back party. So that was fun -- watched everyone play that game involving throwing stuff into cups of beer (I didn't partake in that game, I couldn't even finish one beer in 2 hours) and caught some of the Olympics (side note: did anyone catch the US pole vaulter who always wore a helmet? Andrew made the astute observation that it is probably used to prevent his long hair from knocking the pole over. Also the I think Jamaican relay team? Forget which team it was -- but anyways, they were running in trendy one shoulder strap outfits. When form beats function even at the Olympics...) Kiwi the pug was absent, unfortunately.

Sat: We went yardsaling early -- I got SO many books!! Also a Norton American lit anthology for 50 cents. Also a seat cushion. Then we went to Walden Pond as it we were sweltering in the heat. The park was full so we parked across from Rt. 2 and walked in like everybody else. Swam in a shady spot, but soon moved into the sun. We had just cracked out our books when a noisy family with small kids asked to sit between us and another quiet couple. Cute little girl on a floatie, though. She kept biting it. As I was swimming I saw a turtle's head out of the water and I paddled over in time to watch it swim deeper. So cute! We saw it again -- it made Andrew want to catch one or buy one for a pet. I told Kate about it, as she lives in the area and goes swimming there often -- and she said it was odd because she'd never seen a turtle there.

Headed homewards -- Pemberton Farms for food, dinner, and then a walk to Harvard Square. Looked at the Coop and Andrew got a cool shaggy rug (that he's now very glad I talked him into getting) for $10 at Urban Outfitters. It's like 5 by 8 feet or something and looks awesome in our (now his!) room. I found red and white astronaut panties for $1. Love the bargain basement!! Oh, and I got eaten alive by the freaking mosquitoes. Can we please get rid of those things? Launch an attack? YUCK. Die bloodsuckers, die!!

Exciting Saturday news was ... making cookies and cream jello! YUM.

At like, 11 PM, we watched The Butterfly Effect. We were both pretty tired but it was such a good movie that we stayed awake for the whole thing. Disturbing and violent...

Sunday -- went to more yardsales -- I found an old fashioned vanity mirror for $1 and a cool bulletin board for $2. Yay yardsaling! Then we went to the zoo, which was empty -- probably due to the unrelenting hot temperatures. Saw cool animals! Andrew complained that they were all "mini": an ocelot instead of jaguars, a pygmy hippo in place of a "regular hippo," etc. I liked the little white falcon bully birds. One was all fluffed out and bent over and looked freaking ridiculous. The hippo yawned, that was exciting. Should have taken a picture, in retrospect, although at the time I wanted to just watch and enjoy how silly hippos look. The butterfly exhibit was cool, but the petting zoo was closed by the time we got there. The barn owl was awesome though!

In the evening we had grilled hamburgers and picnic food, and then headed back to Harvard Square fo rhte director's cut of Donnie Darko. Elucidated a lot of points. DEfinitely enjoyed it more upon second viewing with added scenes. So late afterwards!

Monday -- watched 6 Feet Under in the evening (going to miss that at school)

Tuesday: Andrew was moving with Jon and Jen so I got rides with Kate. We took the shortcut on the way home and I was so much earlier than normal! Got some studying done while Andrew put his clothes in his newly arrived dresser. Watched some of "Things I Hate About You" (so funny) and got to bed at a decent hour.

Since then... lots o' packing. Today I go back to MHC! At work yesterday we had cake in celebration =)

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

The Sunday before last Sunday: Didn't do much, except study, cook beef stir fry, and watch classic rock videos while making vocab flashcards.

Monday: Went to work with Kate, caught a ride home with Jeff, and had my Andrew reunion -- he looked defferent! It felt like we hadn't seen each other in FOREVER. Lots to catch up on -- the Phish festival sounded CRAZY... stuck in traffic, only moving 3 miles in over 24 hours, catching a ride with locals to the festival site finally, the mud that sucked off sandals and shoes, the farewell concerts... Sooo glad I didn't attempt that one!

Tuesday: In the evening D. Becky & Louis visited and we had yummy sushi from the food court at Porter exchange. We ate at home -- it was so fun! And we even had little dipping dishes which we borrowed from Kory. Watched "Things I Hate About You" (GREAT show) and 10 Things I Hate About You (gotta love modern Shakespeare adaptations featuring Julia Stiles).

Weds: Watched 6 Feet Under, bought excessive amounts of candy at the dollar store, etc.

Thursday: We took a trip to Jon & Jen's in the evening for dinner and Andrew's continued moving out process. Watched some of the women's gymnastics (so exciting to watch, but I feel like a bum watching them flip around in the air while I sit on my ass eating) and make, you guessed it, more flashcards. Got home rather late...

Friday: Something was up with the weather. Rumors of a tornado (what?) on Route 2, traveling hurricanes... yeah. Got out of work early so I could sit and do flashcards while waiting for Andrew. On a trip to the ATM while waiting, I saw a very large bird in the shallow rivulet by Clocktower Place... It was at least 2 feet tall, skinny, gray, with blue accents around the face. Thin, long beak and long skinny legs. Curious bird. It was hailing for awhile after we got home that night. Reverberating thunder and lightning flashes. After it all calmed down we went on our first papasan adventure. Andrew's butterfly chair was less than satisfactory so he opted to join me in the papasan hunts. He got the comfiest chair EVER ... broken in corduroy papasan chair with footstool. We searched all over the mall for tools and twine. Ended up getting rope at Target instead. We tied the thing to the roof of the car. Got a few strange looks.

Saturday: Second papasan adventure. Got my purple papasan used for $50. Have since gotten a footstool for $5. Must cover the stained cushion. We went on an insane shopping trip in the rain -- Home Depot for tools, all over creation for my dorm rug at Building 19, and all this in flash floods from the insane dumping of rain we were getting. ARGH! Stop already!! It's not freaking January anymore!! Anyways, I got a 4 foot by 6 foot green rug for like, $14, and a pack of two gel pens for only 78 cents. Yes, Building 19 is the place to go. In the evening we watched Kill Bill 2. Not as many great fight scenes, but thoroughly enjoyable nonetheless.

Sunday: Errands and then we were on our way up to Rockport. Had a horrible stressful time finding a place to park, but had an instant euphoria upon hitting the beach. Really gorgeous -- all blue skies and nice sand. Much nicer crowd than the "free" beaches... this one was only accessible by pay parking lots and hotels (ie, no anger management problem fathers with little boys that spit on the beach among crowds of people). Swam around in the ocean, but the waves were soon overpowering... back in Oregon people don't often go swimming in the beach (or at least not in places where I've been at the beach!! Windy, cool temperatures, and strong waves). After swallowing a mouthful of the supersaturated salt water and getting swept up with the waves, I had had enough. I like the ocean and the waves and all, but when it turns into mother nature doing some extreme splashing you in the face manuevers, it's time to call it quits. I enjoyed it for awhile, but soon my shivering and fear of big waves forced me out of the water. Couldn't stop shivering till we left! Watched Andrew "floundering" about in the water. It was pretty funny... got some great action shots of him being dragged into the waves and flopping about. Wandered around in Rockport afterwards, and after much restaurant hunting Andrew found "Fresh Ketch." At first I was a little skeptical of the homemade signs and tiny restaurant-front, but after we went in I was sold. A small intimate setting, made out of an old house. We had a corner nook with two windows looking out to sea. By some trick of directions we were actually facing west -- the sun setting behind hills and reflecting on the water. Creative menu and well prepared -- the most romantic thing ever. Also bought some taffy after watching it being pulled and cut into chunks by the candy machines.

We managed to get home at a decent hour -- weird going back to work after such fun.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Friday: Kate saved me and gave me a ride to work. We took a lovely back route as we were early -- went through Sudbury and all the lush back roads. Work went trudging by... took a long lunch break with everyone, talking about sex ed. and other pertinent WARM subjects... Zach randomly handed out those sour warhead things, and mine was so sour I had to spit it out into my water cup. Yucky.

After work Cheryl brought me home, with a tricky manuever at the Alewife exit to get onto Mass. Ave. without hitting lots of traffic. I was able to give her directions from there, proving that I AM learning SOMETHING about this area!! I pretty much immediately went out to visit the ATM and the supermarket and return 9.5 Weeks. I'm the thriftiest shopper every -- for $3.25 I bought poptart like things, yogurt, & over a pound of grapes (which I discovered I picked out the seeded variety, but I'm dealing, they're such a lovely rosy color, "Christmas grapes" I think they were called, they look like the plastic kinds you buy to put in a bowl and gather dust. Added benefit of being kinda in between the tastes of green and purple grapes. Yes I know people usually call them red grapes, but I prefer purple).

Had a quick dinner involving spinach and rice, and got a little GRE studying squeezed in. Oh! And I saw the opening of the Olympics. Kinda cool, I loved the history floats. Cube man was funny. Enjoyed the dismantling of the Greek statues. The whole future symbolism was a little overkill though -- a pregnant woman (complete with glowing bulbous stomach) and DNL strands swirling about.

I slept waaaaay in this morning. I hate that groggy sick feeling I get from sleeping in. Not going to do it tomorrow! Oh no, I'm over that! The like two or three times I've slept past 10 this summer have killed me...

Anyways, after taking awhile to "pounce" on the day, I eventually got myself out and on a walk to enjoy the sunny portion of the partly cloudy day. (Sunny till about 4 pm when the clouds rolled in.) Had a repeat of the amazingly cheap shopping trip -- I'm going to Pemberton Farms these days for fresh produce. Makes you feel happy to be shopping because it's in a garden/nursery place, with lots of organic stuff and speciality items. About half a pound of string beans, a pound of italian plums, and a head of organic green leaf lettuce = $2.71. Amazing! Well at home it would all be free from neighbors and trees around where we live, but whatever. It's all the stuff that reminds me of home during the summer. (Frank's string beans, Uncle Scott's plum tree, Mum's lettuce.)

At some point while fooling around on the internet, I came across Russian Tortoise info. Must tell Andrew. Buster is supposed to like the color red, green peppers, and cherries. I think his light shell color is due to the fact that Andrew only feeds him lettuce. I took Buster out to scoot around on the floor. How does one clip a tortoise's toenails, by the way? Advice, anyone? Very perplexing. He slides all over the wooden floors. Must fix that, too.

Made dinner without any mishaps -- and my fried rice was not at ALL mushy like when we made it last time. I think it's because I used left over rice that had time to dry out and "unstick."

So many GRE words =( Verbal score hasn't increased according to Kaplan's diagnostic tests. Sh*t. Prolixity means wordiness, by the way.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Sunday: After some shopping and yard saling (yay one dollar lamp!!) we were off to Walden Pond. Luckily there was still parking when we got there. We hiked around half the lake looking for a good spot to sit down. This became a real dilemma...but we eventually found a fairly secluded spot that was getting direct sunlight. Read in the sun for awhile -- it wasn't too hot, a bit cloudy. The water was so warm though that at times it was better to be in the water than on land! I didn't think I'd go swimming at first, but after I started going in I thought I may as well keep going and lure Andrew out, too. Had lots of fun paddling about with Andrew -- I frog swam a lot, accidentally swallowed some lake water, the usual.

We had brought some snacks with us, and when we started eating, the forest creatures started emerging. OK, not exactly the Bambi cast, but a couple of squeaky chipmunks had the guts to steal some apple from us. I kept biting off chunks to feed them, and finally I just put the whole apple core down by us. Sure enough, one of the chipmunks came and dragged it off. Not quite sure how little animals do this -- if I tried to pick something up that weighed nearly as much as I do, with my TEETH no less, I think I'd really ruin the old ortho work (and end up wearing dentures). Hmmm...

On the way home we stopped in Watertown or something like that (which Cheryl and I passed on the detour home from work today) for Andrew's DVD player. Luckily we obtained one that had not been thrown down onto the floor (at least not while we were looking). So that along with Andrew's new chair and the TV he brought over awhile ago has made the room pretty spiffy.

Monday... Finished watching 9 and a Half Weeks. Yeah I didn't really get that movie. Except that the guy was a total nut case and the woman needed to make up her freaking mind.

Tuesday: Got a ride home with Cheryl and took the T alone for the first time, as Andrew was at a Phish concert. Made pizza for dinner and didn't burn the house down.

Weds: Straight from work to the Phish concert. Saved time cutting off traffic to the Fleet Center, lost it when we didn't park in a private yard/ driveway. I will write the expose on this one later, perhaps not on the blog though, not sure yet. Slept on the way home, so I wasn't too tired today. We had ice cream when we got home.

Today: Said good-bye to Andrew over lunch time. Got a ride with Cheryl after work and we couldn't stand the traffic so we got off around Waltham, asked some woman for directions, and luckily ended up on Route 20. We went basically the same way me and Andrew went on Sunday. We squeezed in front of a car at the same intersection where Andrew went into the wrong lane, too. This time we avoided the through-the-parking-lot-with-a-probably-illegal U-turn-at-the-end manuever.

Once again fixed dinner without burning the house down, and even got lunch ready for tomorrow.

Missing Andrew scale: Sad, break in routine, but OK -- so much to do all the time! Karuna's advice: "You are woman! Hear you roar!" Me: "But now I'm going to have to make dinner myself!"

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Like every other work week, this last one wasn't so exciting. Go to work, write, research, fool around on the internet a little, feel dazed and sleepy staring at the computer screen, etc., etc. Dave, the half-crazed high school intern, has left for the summer. John, the reticent intern that we rarely (if ever) heard speak, is gone. That means that the computer shortage crisis is over (or so I hope). Ummm... what did we do after work this week... one night we watched this PBS thing on last year's big Phish show up in Maine. And Friday we got a whole bunch of Ben & Jerry's at the supermarket, as it's on sale for about half price. Also ended up watching Miracle (good movie). One evening, Thursday, we went on a walk to Davis Square for a truly monstrous brownie sundae. Got over the sugar high eventually and went to bed. Weds. Andrew made the best batch of pad thai so far. OK so that was kind of in reverse chronological order, but that's how we remembered it!

Now, Saturday! This morning we slept in a bit and postponed the pond trip again. Went walking all over looking at tag sales. Found cheap hot rollers for my hair. Also "discovered" the food market / plant nursery that we live near. Bought string beans to make up for the fact that I'm not home to eat Mum's garden fresh produce. Later in the afternoon we ate at Fire & Ice again. Exceedingly slow and mediocre service again, although the food was good. We had to wait like half an hour for silverware and water (luckily most of that time we were out getting our food!)

In the evening we headed into Boston for the Modest Mouse concert. One of the opening bands was playing when we arrived. They weren't anything too appealing, except for an anti-Bush tirade and song. Then another band came out -- we assumed it was Modest Mouse. Soon realized (along with the people next to us) that it was not, in fact, MM. Good music though. Some band from Montreal, Quebec -- Parade of Wolves or something like that. So after that band we waited awhile, and then MM came out. We knew it was them as people were clapping and the lead singer matched up with our image of him after watching his MTV interview and the music video for "Float On." The first song they jumped right into was Paper Thin Walls. Then Float On. Also heard: the "Why would you wanna be such an asshole" song that Andrew likes, Pack of Family Dogs, "Are you dead or are you sleeping," the second song on the new CD, the "done done done with all the f f f-ing around" song... mostly stuff from the new CD. Some "jam out" songs, too -- something an old fan called a "cowboy" jam or song (which was lots of songs strung together with a different beat), and an extended version of the Cockroach song. Sorry this is all so incoherent, I'm feeling too lazy to look up exact song titles. Just remember them by lyrics, since we're constantly listening to their CDs in the car...

So yeah, the first concert experience was awesome. =) It was only like 9 pm when they stopped playing, so everyone clapped to get them out again. Around this time we started noticing the smell of pot smoke, and the lead singer came back out with butterfly wings on. Yes, you read right -- butterfly wings. Apparently he found them with some props behind stage somewhere. Looked pretty cool. Wish I had had my camera. Luckily Andrew got pictures with his cell phone camera. The joke before they started playing again: "When I was a larva I thought I knew f-ing everything."

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Friday: The J Crew bottom came!! We got home a bit late, but did end up finishing Hamlet finally. And taking a late night supermarket run…

Saturday: We had hoped to get up really early and get to the beach before the rush, but we didn't get out of the house quite as early as we had hoped. The traffic was disastrous -- I was starting to get worried as to whether or not we'd even find a patch of sand to sit on with all the people headed toward beaches!! It was a pretty hot and humid, and we somehow always managed to be in the slowest lanes of traffic! I kept telling Andrew to switch lanes and he'd say "They're ALL going slow, if we switch it'll just start going slow, too." I kept pestering though, and once we switched lanes he had to admit we had been in the slowest of them all!

Anyway, we finally reached York Beach, and it was swamped with people. The outbound lane was slow moving and bumper to bumper with people looking for the parallel parking spots on that side of the street. We were feeling pretty disheartened -- no places to park, a crowded beach, and lines of traffic. We turned around into the slow lane of traffic looking for parking spots, and miraculously got one when some girl climbed into her car and drove away! It was a great spot by the sandy part of the beach, too.

It was a great day to just relax on the beach. We lazed in the sun, read, and went swimming. It was the first time I really got all the way in ocean water and paddled around. It was funny because we kept getting more and more wet as each wave crashed on us and splashed us. The water was clear and not so cold once you'd gotten all the way in. Lots of fun!! Must obtain floaties for next time we go. I like traveling on the waves best.

Things we saw: a horrible father and little boy who spit on Andrew's chair (Andrew handled it well, in a WARM way, you might say), boys on surf-board-like-things picking up girls, packed beaches, a wandering golden retriever/dachsund mix, etc.

We had lunch on the beach, and I dozed awhile. Toward evening we decided to drive to Rockport for dinner. Saw York Harbor and got the scenic tour as we twisted our way down the backroads to the north shore. We got there pretty late, and didn't make the best choice for dinner... It was nice, with a view out onto the water, but for about the same price we realized that we could have gone to this fancy schmancy sort of place right out near the beach with outside seating and lots of twinkly lights and tablecloths. Next time though! And we had fun wandering around the streets -- violin players, great danes, candy shops...

The ride home was fun, listening to music and keeping Andrew awake. And we had time to watch a little of the rerun of SNL with Al Sharpton (which was not originally aired in Boston).

Sunday: Not the best weather, but we made the best use of the day! While it was overcast and cloudy, we slept in and then headed to the New England Aquarium. We saw EVERYTHING -- the sea lion show (roaring, dancing, waving, saluting, kissing, etc), seals, puffer fish, huge turtles (Myrtle the old turtle), feeding time at the big tank and for the penguins (some of which were molting), the northwest tank, lots of jellies, dragon fish things and sea horses (like at the Oregon aquarium)... We tried to see everything before we left.

We carried dinner over to Boston Common from Fanueil Hall -- found something akin to what Jeanne called "yaki noodles." Yum. We got to the park just in time to get a good spot for the last performance of Much Ado About Nothing. It was soooo lovely ... the weather cleared up marvelously and we had blue skies and sunshine. Gorgeous costumes, plenty of physical comedy to bring out the vulgar parts and the "groundling" humor," and well-practiced actors. Being so close some parts seemed over-acted, but I enjoyed it. And it's so amazing to see Shakespeare's plays acted out, while you're in an outdoors setting, surrounded by other people enjoying the show. Feels more authentic somehow.

Got home not too late, and had time to watch TV a little and eat dessert.

Monday: Busy busy day! Andrew's dentist appointment set everything back a bit, but we ended up watching Six Feet Under with Kory, which was cool.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Just read Mer's blog... must respond:

Merrie do you realize that I already have Simon & Garfunkel's The Graduate soundtrack CD? I hope you do! It's somewhere at home I bet. I agree with you on all your music selections, yay our tastes have merged =) Did you know that Franz Ferdinand was playing in Boston last month for like $15/ticket? And that Andrew was tired so we skipped it? And now I'm kicking myself for not dragging him to the concert? Hell, that's cheaper than when we saw Badley Drawn Boy!! Agree on Bright Eyes... And all I remember of Weezer is that muppet music video... And Mer! Did you know that Andrew, Jon, Jen, and me are going to a Modest Mouse concert next Saturday?? We've all got hooked on them. I love that music video for "Float On"... sheep! Genius! The rest of the CD is not so happy... like the lyrics "Are you dead or are you sleeping... God I sure hope you are dead!"

Ahh... Wahtum Lake and Black Lake in 100 degree weather... wish I had been there. It was so cold today I had to wear pants and a sweater. F*#%ing weather!!!!
Finding myself in one of those rare pockets of free time, I thought I should update the old blog. Beginning with... last Friday!

Friday: We rented Hamlet from the Blockbuster and started watching it -- despite the fact that I haven't actually read the play (gasp! but I've heard the plot line so many times I may as well have read it). I do, however, have a copy of the play (in my 48-cent-at-the-Strand retro '70s Norton). And although this version of Hamlet (with Ethan Hawke, Julia Stiles, Bill Murray, etc.) is set in the modern day US and cuts out chunks of the original and rearranges others, it is all in Shakespeare's words. So I was following along at points in the Norton, and showed Andrew that the movie was being faithful to at least some parts of the play. He got pretty sleepy though so we had to stop the movie. I think we're finally going to finish it tonight (Weds).

Saturday: We slept in, and then had blueberry pancakes =) Blueberries are on sale at the supermarket, buy one get two free (containers, not individual berries!). As of Weds we're just starting on the third container. We got out of the apartment fairly early, and headed over to see the Bourne Supremacy. Unfortunately the night before Blockbuster was fresh out of the Bourne Identity (they really should keep movies a little longer instead of selling all their copies). But we were able to follow along just fine anyways. Pretty exciting stuff. This was at the theater in Harvard Square, which is kind of cool because it's older and unique on the inside, as it used to just have one big room I think, and now there are multiple screens.

After the movie we checked out the New Balance sale. It was a TAD crowded... And we were getting hungry. So we went back to Harvard Square and ate brunch at Fire & Ice. It was my first time there -- so exciting!! They have lots of food on ice that you pick from, kind of like a salad bar. You can put whatever kind of meat, pasta, veggies, etc. you want in a bowl, and then you pick out a sauce. It's cooked up right in front of you on a big round stove thingy. Sooo yummy... I had egg noodles (is that what yaki noodles are? they reminded me of the noodles Jeanne called yaki noodles at the bento restaurant back in Mt. Hood) and salmon and veggies first, then pasta and sausage and veggies. Sooo good... and cheap when you go before 4 pm on Saturday!! It's all you can eat for like $8. My new favorite restaurant! Well, that and Fresh Side.

After eating till we could have rolled out of Fire & Ice, we returned to the (less crowded) New Balance sale. We both found tennies for cheap. Now we need to go jogging or something. We picked up more of Andrew's stuff in JP, and he set things up in our apartment. We now have a TV that gets NBC (hey, all you need when SNL and Law & Order are on that channel!!) and a TV cart in the room. It looks nice =)

By about 11:30 PM we got hungry and took a drive in search of fast food. I wanted some really bad for you KFC, but we ended up at "Wingz." So we ate a really unhealthy, greasy snack over a rerun of SNL (seems like I only catch the SNLs I actually saw last season...) And Mary Kate really DID look skinnier than Ashley...

At some point Andrew made some sort of exclamation of surprise, and I glanced toward the kitchen just in time to see something running across the tiles. At first I thought it was a very large house centipede. But no, it was a freaking mouse!! Andrew & I ran off to the 24 hour CVS for traps (this is like 1 in the morning, the cashier was entertained, she'd had mouse problems, too). We did catch that mouse, by the way, as Andrew said: "Andrew: 1, Mouse: 0"! So luckily we won't be finding any nests of mouse crap (I hope). Rather baffling -- we don't leave food out and I'd just swept and cleaned the kitchen a bit the other day.

Sunday: We didn't get up so early, since we'd stayed up till like 3 am. But we got out of the house at a decent hour and headed up toward Maine. We did the whole outlet shopping thing. I saw way too many cute clothes that I liked... made me regret an American Eagle button up shirt I got, because I found one that was better than my striped one... white with blue bunches of flowers. Ahh so cute... Andrew thought it was too little girlish, but I would have gotten it if only I hadn't just bought a button up shirt. Stocked up on some basics for cheap, found cute J Crew shorts and swim top (because of course there were no more matching bottoms, but Andrew ordered it so any day now!!), and a clearance sale black skirt. So... no more clothes for me!! I now will have 3 bikinis (because I got an orange one for $5 at Target, isn't that crazy?) and I need to go swimming!!

After all that shopping we were SO hungry. We ended up at a very local seafood place that served us HUGE portions. It was fun, more greasy food! We vowed to find a beach before going home (or rather I vowed and Andrew drove), since the original plan was to be done with outlet shopping early and beach hop the rest of the afternoon away. So we ended up in York Beach/ York Harbor. The beach was incomparably better than Revere Beach! Clear water, waves, ice cream shops... kind of like Lincoln City's beaches but with less sand and more highway. I splashed around in the water and we walked ... it made my feet smoother! I love beaches! We saw two cute pugs, lots of dogs, and a gal on horseback.

On the way out we drove by the lighthouse, and it was super crowded and people had Christmas decorations out. We were understandably confused, until Andrew asked a policewoman what the fuss was all about. Apparently they were doing "Christmas in July" and lighting the nubble (that's what it sounded like, at least) of the lighthouse. Then I realized it was July 25th. We left before things got too crazy...

So big news of the work week is that Andrew's grill is up and running and he now has DISHES! I like that we don't have to use Kory's kitchen stuff as much now. And the grill has entertained Andrew immensely. He's grilled hot dogs, chicken, and veggies so far. Tres exciting. We tried s'mores last night but the marshmallows don't brown very well that far away from the heat source. We ended up doing it over the stovetop instead... kind of like how me and Mer did it last summer at the Fosters, except with gas this time.

Oh yeah and the whole DNC. Haven't really been following it. The traffic is actually better than normal lately. Sounds like Boston businesses haven't done very well. The manager of the Boston Fire & Ice said they normally have like 250 people in for dinners, and the other night there were like 56 customers. Crazy, huh? Everyone's evacuated the city, afraid of congestion and maybe terrorism or something. I guess we should be out taking advantage of all the famous people sightings (Andrew thinks we saw Al Frankton in Harvard Square the other day on the way to Crate & Barrel). But I don't really feel like it after work... Oh well.

More later!

Friday, July 23, 2004

It's been SUCH a long time since I last posted. But I did write my blog out, longhand:

Thursday (that'd be a week and a day ago): Highlight of the day: watching Living in Oblivion.

Friday: After work Andrew and I drove directly to Jon & Jen's. We walked in the door right on time for dinner, which was good, as always. Around 8 we finally left for the NY weekend adventure. Andrew & Jon dropped me off at Dale's house before continuing on to their father's house.

Dale & I talked for awhile although it was late, and I got reacquainted with the cats. Dunlop and Theseus put on a little show for me -- Theseus hid under a rug while Dunlop attacked him. Eventually Dale went back to her housesitting job about a mile away, and I showered and went to bed. I took over Dale's room -- it was fun =) I like her room's pink and mauve color scheme.

In the morning Dale came to wake me up, and we ended up helping out their neighbors with pool party preparations. They have a big mastiff (200 lbs), and a somewhat senile black lab. After setting up in the hot sun we just had to swim around in Dale's above ground pool -- we sat in the water and talked awhile until Dale's mother warned us that we were going to fry out there!!

I also met Dale's house-sitting pets: Leo the white lion dog, 2 cats, 2 rabbits, 2 aquatic turtles, and a gerbil! Beautiful newly renovated house, lots of gross garbage and crap lying around. Not cool... Dale and I agreed to never treat a nice house like a pig pen!

We snacked on the food Dale's mother was making, and then proceeded to the party. Dale and I swam around for awhile until the "evil kids" started capsizing, splashing, and in general terrorizing us. It was fun though -- we paddled around on "floating noodles" and got some sun. It started thundering later, which prompted everyone to get food and eat! Jenny's hot sauce chicken was good, and I ate a lot! Jenny took pictures of us, too. After Dale and I got tired of hanging out in our damp swimsuits, we went to change and visit the pets again. We of course made it back to the party for dessert!! We stuffed ourselves for a sugar high... cheesecake, Neapolitan cake, chocolate raspberry cake, fruit salad, brownies, and tea. Yummy! Not any one thing was too good (except perhaps for the brownies) but all mixed together it was much improved.

After the party Dale and I showered, and then I went to the house for TV and talking. We caught up on our current issues, watched some "I love the '90s," and planned the next day out. We also watched "Coupling," the British version, and laughed uproariously. Amazing show! "Oh, Jeffrey!"

Sunday: I slept in, as it was an overcast day. Zoo plans and historic house tours were rejected in favor of a movie... I wanted (being me) to see King Arthur despite the bad reviews. Poor Dale... but I liked seeing it, if only to see how it was adapted for the 2004 US audience =) Very different... my short analysis: King Arthur was TRYING to be more historically accurate than the legend (e.g. using the Baldon's Hill battle, the 1st hint of Arthur in English lit.). Considering our society's obsession with science and "the facts," this seemed appropriate. (Although nothing else seemed to be based on fact.) Guenevere (particularly her rather political stances on land and home and her participation in battles) is very much in line with the Power Puff/ girl power/ women's empowerment views. Girls are supposed to be as tough as the boys -- and from those straps on Guenevere's chest, TOUGHER!

P.S. Hadrian's Wall, as a fellow movie-goer pointed out -- was awfully recreated... And at one point was Arthur wearing a black fleece pull-over and leather pants? He looked like he stepped out of a Banana Republic ad! And the question on everyone's mind... who wears next to nothing when going into a hand-to-hand combat situation?

After apologizing for the movie, we headed back to Dale's. We talked some more and I packed... Andrew was a bit late as they made the same wrong turn as the first night!!! On the way back we made the mistake of stopping in Waterbury, hoping for a mall food court. It was closed, so we waited half an hour (after being told ten minutes) at Ruby Tuesday's. And they were out of "chicken tenders" and some type of fish, meaning that half the menu wasn't available. Some people simply got up and left at this news (and rightly so, who runs out of freaking chicken tenders at a chain restaurant? COME ON PEOPLE!) But what I ened up with had a redeeming spicy sauce. Long drive, rather late night... but it was a great weekend!

So this week the big project over at Andrew's office is pretty much over. they have shorter hours and no work to take home (yeah, kind of like a normal job now). So Tuesday night we watched Shattered Glass (about Stephen Glass, the New Republic writer who wrote entirely fictitious articles).

Wed. night was tres exciting. We ate a quick dinner after work, and headed over to the Museum of Fine Arts. Art museums are SO much better post-Art History 100! We saw paintings by Degas, Van Gogh (hold up in the V.G. corner, with the art students meticulously examining every square inch of the canvases and looking as if they were trying to smell the paint), Manet, Monet, Turner ("Slave Ship," Quillian and John Ruskin's fave, I knew I had seen it before...), and Picasso (a mother was asking her little boy: "what's Cubism?" and the boy said "it's when artists use shapes in their paintings!")

We also saw a cool drawing "class" around a couple of models (not nude). We liked the exhibit with the flashing lights (one of a "picture" of a fountain capturing the sleaziness of Las Vegas) and the silhouettes (one of the NY skyline with Coke and beer bottles and cans, another of two people sitting, obtained from an arrangement of random crap). Afterwards we walked to the cheesecake Factory. We ate so much buffalo wrap appetizers that we couldn't finish dessert. Ahh yum... cheesecake... kahlua cocoa coffee cheesecake...

So tired when we got home!

Thursday: I felt kind of nauseous all day (maybe the buffalo wrap/cheesecake combination?), it was distracting and irritating. We pretty much went straight from work to Andrew's "Goodbye, Dave" get together. We went to Red Bones for dinner (they accidentally gave me half a chicken -- too much fowl! I couldn't finish the drumstick and had a guilty moment imagining a ghost chicken asking for his leg back since it was going to waste). They all told funny stories about work, and Dave had plenty of horror stories. Then we went to this freezing bar. I was huddled up by Andrew the whole time, covered in goosebumps and longing for a hot shower and hot chocolate. When we went home I took the hottest shower and boiled myself to a pinkish hue.

Today we had great hopes for a picnic out on the esplanade, but as rain is predicted for EIGHT of the next TEN days (f#*&ing weather!!!!) we have decided against going. As the astute weatherman put it tonight: "The clouds are rolling in for the weekend, and below average temperatures are predicted!" Global warming my ass!

But instead we went to Target and bought a grill (which Andrew is now price comparing and considering returning) and myriad things we didn't particularly plan on buying. Such is the genius of Target: whole lot of junk under one roof, and you've got to pass most of the junk to find the junk you're looking for, resulting in seeing more junk and deciding to buy more junk.