Sunday, September 30, 2007

Nailing my colors to the mast

Or, no, nailing my--hm. I'm actually really not sure what the metaphor is. I think that's right, unless it's supposed to be flying your colors, and I'm getting it mixed up with Martin Luther nailing his theses to the church door. Who knows?

Anyway, this is my manifesto. I will not deviate from it in any way. I am not going to be manipulated in the same way twice. I went through it once before, and for what? Nothing! For lots of intense hugging (Robyn sees where this is going) and that drug person and a gun man (who I forgot about until just this second. Hey, Robyn, remember that drug girl and the gun man?)

I like Noel. I don't like Ben. Ben is a big jerk. Noel is nice and has the cutest fucking eyebrow tic in the whole world. Ben is mean and made Felicity cut off her dramatic and beautiful hair. The writers can try as they might, but it just won't work this time. I know what I like, and it IS NOT BEN. I assure you. I just cannot emphasize this point strongly enough. I do not like Ben. The writers of Felicity can never make me like Ben. Don't think that they can. I am saying this with complete mindfulness of all the nice things that Ben does later, and even taking all of those things into consideration, and even remembering that Noel later on changes his name to Leon (why the hell? I can't even remember why that happens) and gets crazy, STILL I say to you that I will never ever ever like Ben better than Noel. Ever. Won't happen, nope.

Colors now officially nailed. Or whatever. And now on to my work.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Paper towels

The paper towel dispenser in the bathroom at work is totally entrancing. It is electronic in nature, so all you have to do is wave your hand around in front of it, and a length of paper towel automatically dispenses from it. Now, this would be a little cooler if it also tore off the paper towel for you, but I guess that would give rise to problems like if you weren't prepared and the paper towel fell on the floor and was wasted, but they could get around that by doing like receipts do and only tearing off most of the way, but I guess that would be pointless.

Anyway, the paper towel dispenser has not been doing so well of late. Hitherto it would flash a red light while dispensing paper towels, a reassuring red light that flashed steadily and reminded you that you needn't fear, the paper towel dispenser was on the job, automatically dispensing paper towels, all would be ready in a jiffy, and there was a nice humming noise to reinforce the point. In the past week or so, the paper towel dispenser's light has been a little more spasmodic (or I could be imagining that it's spasmodic because of how scary it sounds), and instead of humming calmly, it made this dreadful grinding noise. Grind, grind. Paper towels! Grind, grind. More paper towels!

Not very nice.

And today it was broken. Long live the king. (Not really. There is no replacement. We must just tear paper towels with our bare hands now. I mean, I've practically forgotten how, what with all these weeks of pampering and automatic dispensing.)

This reminds me of these two high school girls I heard talking in the bathroom at Bongs & Noodles a little while ago. They were fussing because the B&N loos were apparently not living up to their high high expectations of public bathrooms. One girl was whining to the other one, "They don't have automatic paper towel things!" and the other one said, "Yeah, I know. I love those automatic things at school. I always try and get the stalls with the automatic flush toilets."

Uh-huh. All I can say is that, wow, did we ever go to different high schools. I always tried to get the stalls with doors.

(Obviously I always succeeded, or else waited. It was parallelism, I couldn't say it any other way.)

Spoiled rich kids. What's the world coming to? Kids these days don't know how good they've got it. In my day we had to dig holes for our poop and set fire to it when we were finished so the cats wouldn't dig it up again. In my day we didn't have running water, we had to get our own hydrogen and oxygen and bang 'em together. And I had to walk to school, uphill both ways, in the snow, with stapled-together matchboxes for shoes. So.

Monday, September 24, 2007


Ruh-roh, everyone watch out, I'm writing about work! Soon I will be fired!

Not really. All I'm going to say about work is that it is totally cool being someone's assistant because, here's why, I get the exact right amount of email. I am not a Boss Person who gets obscene quantities of email and has to do very arduous things in order to deal with all of their email, and I am not a, I don't know, receptionist person who doesn't get any email at all (I have never been a receptionist, so I don't know how much email they get actually), but instead I get just the perfect amount.

My motto, of course, is moderation in all things. Too much of something can be overwhelming, like when you are enjoying driving with your window down and then you go faster and there is far too much wind and it gets all in your hair and makes a tremendous mess of whatever thing you have taken pains to do to your hair that day. And too little is depressing and it leaves you sort of forlorn, like when they sing the Hallelujah bit in Mass and the vowels are so much fun and then all too soon they stop singing and you're all like hey, I was still into the Hallelujahs, DON'T START UP WITH THAT WORD ACCORDING TO MATTHEW BUSINESS, which, believe me, is a losing battle, because they will carry on with the word according to Matthew no matter how many subtle signs you give them that you would prefer to carry on singing Hallelujahs.

Anyway, the best email thing is when I get to arrange meetings. Then it's a veritable email extravaganza (but within carefully delineated boundaries, so that it doesn't become too much). Iemail people about the meetings, and then everyone emails me back, but their emails are easily dealt with and then I can return to whatever else I have to do. And everyone is pleased! I swear! All I have to do in order to ensure that everyone is pleased is send a bunch of emails! Which I love doing, and I especially love it when I am in the middle of something and suddenly! suddenly! up pops a little Outlook window in order to say that someone has emailed me, and then I get to take a short break from my current task (because enthralling though my tasks invariably are, one needs a break from everything occasionally, even very pleasant things like a steady diet of hashbrowns and Oreos; cf. above business about moderation) and sort out arranging the meeting.

I had a list of a bunch of other things (I mean, at least two) that I wanted to remark upon, but I left it at work. Oh well. There was something to do with chasms, I think. Or holes. Something that gave me a mental image of the cover of the movie Holes, though I guess that could have been anything really.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Silly things that I feel vaguely guilty about, Part II

I got back to my flat today, and the hall light was on, even though the light switch on my side of the hall was in the OFF position. Of course all this means is that Marie turned on the hall light this morning using the light switch on her side, as she is perfectly entitled to do. But I wanted to turn the hall light off, so as not to waste energy, since I didn't need the hall light to be on, except that I could not use my switch because if I did then my light switch would go to the ON position even though the hall light would be OFF. So I used Marie's switch instead, and now it's her switch that's wrong, and mine that's right.

This seems selfish, like if I were a truly good flatmate, I wouldn't mess with her switch, and would be content to let her switch be the accurate one. But then mine would be inaccurate. Inaccurate! I hate for my light switch to be inaccurate! Why doesn't anyone ever install light switches that have the capacity to be right at the same time? Why does one of them always have to be mistaken? Why? Why?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

It's International Talk Like a Pirate Day, matey!


Silly things that I feel vaguely guilty about

Just now I was driving around hunting for a spot, and I knew that it was ten o'clock on a weekday, and it would not be very likely that I would get much of a spot, if any spot at all, and I would probably have to drive very far away and park in a sketchy place that I could not walk to at night even if I were so inclined (which I am not). And I was feeling cheery, and it was a nice day, so I started to sing "Morning Has Broken", which is one of the nicest hymns (I just wrote "humns". I am Winnie the Religious Pooh.) I know, and then I was already singing church songs, so I sang a few more, and then AMAZINGLY a spot was there. Really close to my flat. Improbably close to my flat. Not sketchy at all. Eminently walkeable-to in the dark night-time. Miraculously close to my flat and convenient.

Okay, I know this is not a big call-the-Pope miracle, but it felt like one because of the closeness to my flat and the coincidental timing with the church-song singing, and now I feel like I was giving God a hint by singing church songs: "Um, well, I'm not going to bother You by asking You for a spot, but I'll just be here, Ya know, driving around, looking for a spot, singing songs to praise Your name. Don't mind me."

But I swear, I wasn't doing that! I swear! I'm not trying to manipulate God! I mean, I wouldn't! How totally hellbound would I be then?

I now return ye to yer regularly scheduled pirate day talking, matey. ARRRRR.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Talking of Wishbone (or, I still don't want to study Christian and Byzantine art)

Another Tuesday/Thursday, another blog post. I don't enjoy memorizing images for my Christian and Byzantine art class; it is much more fun to contemplate joyful things like umbrellas and television shows I used to watch when I was a child, which I have been thinking about since last night when I watched good old Wishbone, which oh my God comes on LPB every night at 8:30 PM. God arranges this. There is no other explanation.

Now, of course, I was a hardcore Sesame Street girl. I liked Bert and Ernie and the Two-Headed Monster the best when I was a little girl (I've since come to be very fond of Grover), which I think is because I could really empathize with them, what will all the room-sharing and that game that Anna and I used to play in the grocery store where we'd turn ourselves into the Two-Headed Monster and growl "Dis way!" "No, dis way!" until we could reach a compromise. (That's right, we played compromise games. Got a problem?) I was mildly distressed at the way Bert used to sleep, though. I mean, he puts his face straight down into the pillow. I know he's just a puppet, but THAT WOULD SUFFOCATE HIM. I know because I tried it, to check if I was wrong about the dangers of sleeping that way, and after a while I couldn't breathe and I had to emerge. I eventually came to the conclusion that Bert didn't really sleep that way, but he was just using that as a rhetorical method to make a point to Ernie about the dancing sheep and the late-night trumpet practice; i.e., that it was so trying to room with Ernie that he'd rather suffocate.

Lamb Chop was also good, and I was extremely outraged when Barney got that time slot. I was not a fan of Barney. My sisters and I watched it when it came on, but we were not disposed to like it because we initially believed that they had cancelled Lamb Chop in order to put on Barney, and we definitely all agreed that it was drastically subpar (that word again!). I liked Baby Bop the least, although Ralph with his idiotic baseball cap annoyed me a lot too. Why did they exist? Where did they come from? Did Barney's transformation from stuffed animal to extremely large stuffed animal somehow make it possible for all other stuffed animals everywhere to grow very enormous and move around and talk in stupid voices too? And why, why, why? Why? Why? The only thing that I understand is that time they had lots of bubbles or something! I don't really remember but there were lots of bubbles! Bubbles, bubbles! The only thing Barney is good for: BUBBLES.

Mr. Roger's Neighborhood had nifty bits where they went to crayon factories (that episode seems to have made a deep impression on everyone who saw it), but I didn't understand what was so important about changing his sweater thing, mainly I think because the concept of a cardigan was lost on me at that time. The most best thing of all was when he would go to the Land of Make-Believe and the puppets would be there and KING FRIDAY, my most favorite character of all, because you know, every time he said something, the other puppets would say, "Correct as usual, King Friday!" and that is basically exactly how I wish my life would go. Take note, everyone I know.

I have saved Square One for last because it was so sick-ass awesome. At the end of every show, there was this fantastic and wondrous show called Mathnet, which upon reflection is probably a parody of Dragnet, but I didn't know that at the time. Anyway, it was great, and each show would have part of one little series of Mathnet in which the brilliant mathematicians Kate and, um, Kate and whatshisface (George, says Wikipedia) would solve mysteries using only their math skills! They were so brilliant! They, they, they went scuba-diving, and they captured a criminal by like having him chase a diamond as they pulled it along the beach with a fishing line (why did he fall for that? Am I remembering this wrong?) after he had stolen the diamond from a boat they were traveling on, and this one time, this one golden time, there was a gorilla. A gorilla! A gorilla! That had escaped from the zoo, or maybe been kidnapped, but anyway Kate and George had to track it down and it went up a pole! Climbed all the way up to the top of this extremely high pole and Kate and George had to, you know, sort everything out and make it okay. The names were made up, but the problems were real. (Said the show. I can't believe I remember that.) I was in love with Mathnet like nobody's business. If they released it on DVD, I would buy the hell out of it. And watch it every day.

Okay. On to the Christian and Byzantine art. This message brought to you by my little sister had to do breathing treatments when she was little and we got to watch TV while she did them.

Monday, September 17, 2007

A quick remark about perfect happiness

I got home and hooked up my DVD player, so that now my whole flat can joyously watch movies together, and at first it didn't work, so I flipped channels on the TV in order to find something to watch whilst I played with the various connecting bits to figure out which one had gone wrong. And do you know, Wishbone was on! And it was Don Quixote! And I quickly fixed my DVD player (I had just switched around the white plug and the yellow plug), and then I had all the rest of the time to watch Wishbone! I watched it, and I alphabetized my DVDs and then organized them neatly, and then I ate delicious leftover hashbrowns with cheese that is still not as good as British cheddar cheese but to which I am readapting fairly quickly. Oh, the joy. Life offers nothing more pleasant than an easily fixed problem and nostalgia and hashbrowns.

On a side note, I hate it in movies when people say, "I think I have an idea." You think you have an idea? You think you have an idea? We're going to depend on you to solve our incredibly difficult problem when you're not even certain if there's an idea in your head? Right.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Oh ha, ha, ha, very funny, subconscious

So a while ago I posted about how much I have always wanted to dream that I meet characters in stories I am writing, and it never happens. And I guess my subconscious paid attention, because you know what I dreamed last night?

I dreamed that I was inside this story I'm writing, and I was all chilling with the characters in it, except instead of the characters that I had invented, you know who they really were? Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher. I swear to God. At first I couldn't figure out where I knew Ashton Kutcher from, so I was going along with it, and then I ran into Demi Moore and realized what was happening, and I got cross and said, Oh NO. NO WAY. I am not hanging out with people who have had sex on pottery wheels and dated people named January; so I woke up, extremely disgruntled. Which was actually fortunate for reasons I won't go into here, so I guess it's another example of my subconscious being ultimately helpful even though if it wanted to wake me up it could have just given me a dream where someone said HEY WAKE UP RIGHT NOW OR ELSE, instead of teasing me in this unkind way. Mean old subconscious.

Friday, September 14, 2007

A curious fact

Raw carrots make me hungrier. They are the subtraction vegetable. I am like Milo.

(Wow, I haven't read that in ages.)

It's mysterious but handy sometimes. Like just now I ate a bunch of yummy crackers and then I wanted more crackers but I was too full because of dinner, so I fetched some carrots and ate them and now I'm starving. Cracker time! Woohoo!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Things I like about umbrellas

I mean, there's not a whole lot about umbrellas to dislike, in my opinion, though I often don't use them when moving from car to building and building to car, because it seems like more effort than it's worth to open them and fold them up again just going from a building to a car. Today is rainy, and I have my nice new red-and-black umbrella, and as a result I have decided to make this blog post. Also I have a break before class so I am in the library, and I do not want to study for my daily art quiz for Christian and Byzantine art, because I am still displeased with my professor for patronizing me about the crucifixion when I was quite right and he was quite wrong.

1) They keep the rain off.

2) Sometimes, if you are very lucky indeed, they have maps of the Tube on them. I wish I had an umbrella with a map of the Tube on it. I love the Tube in my heart, and I love umbrellas, and it almost (but not quite) seems like too much joy to combine umbrellas and the Tube.

3) They are a pleasing shape, and very often a pleasing color and pattern. Furthermore you can twirl them between your fingers if you are resting them against your shoulder, and this is very fun to do and inspires you to hum songs, which puts you in an even better mood than you were in to start off with.

4) They are called "umbrellas", which is an excellent name for something, besides which I guessed the etymology of the name and checked it on the OED website and turned out to be perfectly correct, and it is exciting to be a Latin-remembering genius person. It comes from the Latin word "umbra", which means "shadow" or "shade", so basically "umbrella" means "little shadow", and that is cute.

5) When you are not using them in their capacity as protection against the rain, you can use them as friendly walking sticks. What I really want is an umbrella that is a map of the Tube and is full-sized and not fold-up or miniature, because then it would be an umbrella, and it would be a map of the Tube, and it would be a walking stick. Your umbrella also serves as a dangerous weapon that is pointed and can be wielded fiercely in defense of yourself if you are attacked by a dog or other ferocious but gunless assailant.

6) I am extremely painstaking about rolling up my umbrellas in a tidy fashion when I am not using them (thus preventing the collected rain from all falling willy-nilly onto the floors of whatever building I am entering), and then I enjoy sneering inwardly at people who have rolled their umbrellas up sloppily, so that the folds of the umbrella are all bunching around the snap, and I am sure that this gives me serotonin. Hahahaha, I can see a girl rolling up her umbrella at this very moment! What a poor job she is making of it! Oh, God, it's too good!

I am in the best mood ever. In spite of the fact that there's all this rain and I have lots of work to do and not that much free time and there's earthquakes in Indonesia and Bush is an idiot and I have about twenty books lying around my room that I'm dying to read but I haven't got time for and I miss my sister who is away and I haven't been to London in, my God, like three months, and I miss England and the easy access to the Tate Modern and the National Portrait Gallery and the V&A and my flat and my flatmates and British cheese, and Heinz stopped making the delicious chili ketchup that made my taste buds sing. And whatnot. But I am anyway exceptionally cheerful. God is smiling upon me. It is consolations city over here, man. (Little bit of Catholic humor there.)

Anyway, everyone have a pleasant day, and enjoy your umbrellas. Not everyone in the world is lucky enough to have one.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Seriously, this is the best day ever.

This is the most satisfying day. You wouldn't think it would be, as it's September 11 and it's a sad remembrance day, and also I know three people of whom I am rather fond who were flying today on airplanes, and that was nervous-making, but I've just been having the nicest and most convenient day ever.

Like: My new doctor (I finally caved and got a grown-up GP) is nice and says I'm doing exactly right with my toe and it isn't infected.

And: I couldn't decide whether I was in the mood for The Merlin Conspiracy (which may be my third-to-least favorite of Diana Wynne Jones's books, though I'll decide for sure after rereading Hexwood (dedicated to Neil Gaiman!) and The Spellcoats), so I picked it up and started to read it, and I discovered that I was very, very, very in the mood for it and I couldn't put it down and it was thrilling (though still subpar).

I just had a really hard time typing "subpar". I kept typing "supbar". Supbar makes more sence as a word. Supper bar! A supbar! Why is that not a word? Subpar just looks weird. I enjoy saying it but I don't at all enjoy writing it.

Then on the way back I realized that I desperately needed parmesan cheese if I am going to make delicious stuffed potatoes for myself tomorrow, so I stopped at Albertson's, and while I was there already! Already there! I remembered that I had to deposit a check, which was very handy because I was already there! AND.

Well, wait, this deserves a new paragraph.

There was toilet paper that was 2 for 1! Two enormous things of toilet paper for the price of one! I swear. Now my flatmates and I will never, never run out. Ever. We will pass toilet paper on to the next set of people to live here, that is how much toilet paper there now is. More toilet paper than God.

And - don't read on if you're of a skeptical frame of mind, because this is just too much good fortune to be credited all in one day, and I wouldn't blame you if you refused to believe me - when I drove back to campus, I got a parking spot really close to my flat! So close! Like close enough to where I could carry all my things back to my flat in the hot heat with an injured foot, and bear in mind that my things includes the two massive packets of toilet paper, and also a bunch of paper towels and cereal and schoolbooks. In the middle of the day, this was! Mazing.

Okay, so I guess I can't really convey how good this day was by telling things that happened on it, since on an ordinary day I would be completely unmoved by all these things. I guess it's all in my head, the extreme goodness of this day. In any case, have a happy life. I am as happy as a clam. A very happy clam. A clam who has a pleasant home, and a steady food supply, and substantial and adequate reasons to believe that he or she will never end up as someone's hors d'oeuvres.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Lesson learned today

If you are recording a CD for your beloved aunty of the seventh Harry Potter book, and you require ten takes to not sound completely idiotic going "No! No! No! No! Fred! No!" (which happens, for those of you who haven't read the book, when Ron catches Fred making out with Bellatrix Lestrange and cannot find the appropriate words to warn him that Bellatrix Lestrange is an evil bitch), it is not outside the realm of possibility that your flatmate will come knocking on your door to find out if you are being abducted.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Lessons learned today at the Tanger Outlet Mall

1. On Labor Day weekend, they have Labor Day weekend sales. I mean, I guess some part of my brain knew this, but not the part that made the decision to go shopping today. Or maybe the part of my brain that knew governed the part of my brain that didn't know, and thank God, I say.

2. I should not be allowed inside of leather stores. Ever.

That said, I have the coolest damn coat in the world now.

If I had to choose one place to see before I die

It would be the Taj Mahal. I have seen pictures of the Taj Mahal, and it looks stunningly impressive. It looks to me like one of those things that I would not be disappointed in once I saw them, like I was in the Tower of London, but rather one of those things that never ceases to make me think Oh wow even though I've seen them a dozen times, like when I come up out of the Tube Station and there is Big Ben. The Taj Mahal is magnificent. Every time I see a picture of the interior I want to go and lie down on the floor and just stay there for a while (even though I know it is probably extremely dirty from all the dozens and hundreds of people who come there day after day), which is an impulse I have sometimes when I feel terribly fond of any patch of floor. When I went to Norwich and I was waiting in the church for two hours, after a while I was spending all my energy in stopping myself from lying down on the floor in front of the pews.

Anyway, yes. The Taj Mahal. Before I die. I insist upon it.

My blog is one year old, um, a few days ago

Yay! Happy birthday blog! I forgot to do a one-year anniversary post, because I thought for some reason that I had started this blog in September 2006, so I didn't pay any attention because I thought I was safe until September.

Anyway, my blog is one year old now (and a bit). It is a lovely blog, and many thanks to Steve for urging me to start it. Otherwise where would I have the opportunity to publicly complain about finding black hairs and poorly named paper colors? Besides which it provides me a forum for promoting Jane Eyre and the proper way to slit your wrists! So in spite of my initial reluctance, I have become thoroughly fond of it, and there have even been one or two strangers who said I was funny (yay! although I don't think I am very, but to each his own bizarre and senseless tastes).

Given that my blog is one year old, I shall provide you with a link to a video of a giggling baby, which tim showed me yesterday. Even if you don't like babies, you will inevitably think that this is cute (Saz. seriously. even you.), because oh, he's wearing footie pajamas and he's overcome with mirth.

Baby laughs at paper destruction.