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: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/10/14/health/14flu.html?th=&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1098148324-6ZGBLQSoK/JbFgAneuivjw

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!!!