Monday, April 30, 2007

A Day of Fun at the UA Library

I have been at the library all day long (11-4, anyway)...

... working on finishing my art history paper, putting together a 15-minute Powerpoint presentation to accompany it for class tomorrow, and then triple-checking my thesis before finally finally turning in the real, final version this afternoon.

While trapped in the basement's computer center, I watched a series of individuals come and go around me. First, there was a total stoner kid who either had terrible allergies or a cold. He kept sniffling loads of mucus in his nose and then he would sneeze right onto his hands and then touch the keyboard. It made me wonder who had been at the computer I was using before I got there. I yelled at myself for not having any anti-bacterial hand cleaner with me.

Note: I would have liked to have been at home, but I had to print four copies of my 70-page paper, plus my 20-page art history paper (entitled "The Commercialization of the Persian Carpet Industry: From Hot Commodity to Has Been," if you care), and I didn't want to use my home printer because I think it would have exploded from that much printing. Plus my home computer doesn't have Powerpoint so I really had no choice...

Anyway, the stoner kid had Jeff Spicoli-like long hair and a Garfield the Cat t-shirt...

I guess stoners like Garfield... and snacking.

He started talking on his phone, and it was a most interesting conversation. Something about "a lot of weed," "stealing the keg from Carrie's party" and "Did I call you this morning? Sorry, dude. I was wasted. It was a wacky night."

A little bit later, an older Chinese man came and sat next to me. He fell asleep at the computer with his head on the desk, and when he shook awake (literally), he had the biggest mark from the table on his forehead I've ever seen. He seemed very stressed out after his nap, which made me think he probably had shit to do that wasn't getting done.

Then a fraternity looking kid with very obvious ADD arrived. He must have stood up and stretched every three minutes of the hour he was there. And he stared at every single person that walked by. Especially women. And he spent most of the time text messaging and just looking around. I finally just stopped typing and stared right at him when I felt his gaze move my direction for the 800th time, and then he stopped looking over at me, thankfully.

But my favorite character showed up the last hour I was there. He was an older guy, who looked around 50 years old with a black silk dress shirt and black leather pants paired with socks and brown Birkenstocks. He also had a guitar in a case, which made me wonder if he was going to start busking in the middle of the library. His hair was a long, greasy, brassy blonde, his face was really craggy, he had on wrap-around reflector sunglasses, and he appeared to be wasted. Awesome!

I love the UA Library.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Future Plans

I've gotten about a million e-mails over the past two weeks from friends asking me the obvious question in light of my upcoming graduation: "So... what are you doing next? When are you moving back to D.C.? Are you moving back to D.C.?"

So here's your answer... I haven't a clue.

Isn't that sad? Or maybe it's not. Maybe it's liberating. Maybe it's good not to have a plan for a change.

Even here, back in the days of total hedonistic tomfoolery (which frankly doesn't look that much different from my last year here, except that I look -- sigh -- a bit older now)...

... I had at least some semblance of a plan. And I'm not talking about a short-term plan, which is obvious from this photo (idiocy & debauchery)... I'm talking about a life plan.

(Sidenote: Holy shit! This picture is 14 years old! OMG! Where does time go?)

I was 19 in that photo. I'm pretty sure I assumed I'd be settled down, married, and probably with a kid or two by now.*

And look at me in real life... in what appears to be a clear cut case of arrested development, I'm drinking "Sexy Blue Jesus Pants" cocktails on weeknights, babysitting to earn some cash, eating Cheerios for dinner, and am sleeping on a futon bed.

I think this is what I will be doing in the coming months as well. At least till I get a job. I have applications in to several government and private sector jobs, most of which are in DC, and one of which is in NYC. (I got the NATO rejection e-mail last week... boo hoo!). And I'm waiting to hear from one of them, some of them, any of them.

To be honest, I'm kind of happy to have this mini-break. And I'm not just saying that to make myself feel better. Really! No school, no real work. Just chilling out for a couple of months. But it will be nice to have some money again. And not babysitting money, but a real paycheck.

I'm going back to DC for ten days in May and hope to meet up with some people and get the word out that I'm back on the job market. I also plan to spend the next month here in AZ doing some serious job searching and application filling-out. I've just been way too busy with my thesis this past month to do it earlier.

Oh, and I'm staying in AZ till I find a job because the cost of living is ridiculous here, and I already have my place set up and it's just way less disruptive. Have I mentioned that after moving seven times in the past 11 years, I am exhausted from it? My dad even told me that he has an entire page in his address book devoted just to my changing homes of record.

And that's my story. I will be babysitting in the mornings M-F, may get a retail or secretarial job in the afternoons, and I will be job searching the rest of the time.

So, what am I doing next? Good question, friends. I ask myself that on a daily basis.

* = This reminds me that my brother called me this Saturday morning at 8am. I heard his ringer and knew it was him. I thought, "Why on God's green earth would he call me at 8am on a weekend morning?"

I didn't get the phone but continued to lay there pretending to sleep, even though it totally woke me up for good.

I called him back later in the day and said, "You know, I was hoping to get eight hours of sleep for a change, and thanks to you, I didn't get it because you woke me up at the ridiculous hour of 8am on a Saturday."

He replied, "I can't wait till you have kids."

My response: "This is exactly why I don't."

Saturday, April 28, 2007


A great big HAPPY number 3-2 to the best friend a girl could ever have...

I miss you, JoJo and hope you're having a wonderful day...

I hope you have an even better year ahead of you!!!

The In-n-Out Experience

In case anyone is dying for an In-n-Out Burger update... here it is:

This is the new Tucson store...

Note: When Gerry and I arrived at In-n-Out, it was still light out around 6:45pm. Luckily, the restaurant had set up an outdoor trailer, which is located to the right (out of sight) in the parking lot, where half the line queued. This made the wait about half of what it had been... meaning we got out of there at around 7:40pm.

To my annoyance, we were in line in front of two unruly 7- or 8-year old girls and their parents, who didn't appear to believe in the art of discipline. I have zero tolerance for ill-behaved children. After one of the girls bumped/smashed into me for the 100th time, I turned around with my eyes narrowed and my mouth twisted into a half-snarl, and I glowered at her for a good three seconds, trying to scare her into submission. I think the dad saw me do it because then he finally started yelling at them, and they didn't touch me the rest of the time in line.

Here's the line weaving into the restaurant to order...

I observed that about half the line was made up of fatties, which is totally unsurprising. When I told Gerry it reminded me of the Moscow McDonald's, he responded with something like, "Yeah, except that we're a bunch of fat pigs who can get fast food anytime we want."

After about 40 minutes in line, we finally got to order our food (5 cheeseburgers, 5 hamburgers, 2 double cheeseburgers, and a milkshake)...

I really appreciated the simple menu. I'm so often paralyzed by the abundance of choices in modern society that I can't make a decision. However, this made it easy.

Unfortunately after ordering though, we had to wait for another 15-20 minutes for the meal to arrive...

It looked like organized chaos back in the nether regions. And that poor girl in the front and center totally got chewed out by the chunky supervisor partially hidden to the left (named "Jazmine"), who yelled at her right in front of me for accidentally throwing away my receipt when she needed it to make my milkshake. It was a rather awkward moment. In fact, it kind of looks like she's getting yelled at again here.

When at last we got our food, we brought it back to Jordy's, where everyone oinked out. Speaking of oinking, I'm proud to say that I put away a double cheeseburger, a tray of fries, and a chocolate milkshake. I felt moderately sick for the rest of the evening, but it was worth it because truth be known, it was very possibly the best fast food burger I've ever eaten. Lots of lettuce, thick slices of tomato, grilled onions, and a very delicious sauce. I'm not a big fan of red meat, but even the burger was pretty tasty.

To sum it up... it was worth the wait.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Best Day EVER!

Isn't it great to have a good day?!?

I've had the best day I've had in a long long time. It actually started late last night when, after flummoxing around slightly buzzed from the "Sexy Blue Jesus Pants," (thank you, Brandon) I discovered an e-mail in my inbox from one of my thesis committee members (Dr. L for those you familiar with my department).

It read, and I quote:

"This is really, really great. (And then some technical mumbo jumbo.) You will be happy to know that I think that the paper is excellent in terms of content and structure. Great work!"

OK, I was so happy I pulled one of my trademark jumping around my apartment antics. (Although that could also have been the alcohol.) I think I also screeched -- a happy screech-- a few times and then laid my head on my pillow and had a most lovely, peaceful slumber.

Today, now that I know I don't have that much to worry about (besides my art paper, which should be peanuts in comparison), I have totally goofed around.

After Arabic class, I went directly to the pedicurist, where I proceeded to get "dulce de leche" pink on my toe nails...

Then I hit the pool, and after swimming a mile, I pulled out my baseball hat and my I-Pod and laid on a chaise lounge in the partial-shade for a good hour and a half, soaking up some rays and feeling, well, fantastic.

And now this evening... Jordy is hosting a Big Lebowski viewing party at his house, complete with White Russians (the drink, of course) and a bunch of guys who actually know quotes to the movie.

In preparation for the evening, I'm picking up Gerry, and we're going to In-n-Out Burger (new in Tucson!!!) to get carry-out burgers for everyone.

Get this, according to Gerry (who tried to go yesterday), it's an HOUR long wait at In-n-Out, at a minimum, because it just opened this week, and people in Tucson are acting like people in Moscow did when McDonald's opened up there in 1989.

I find it hard to believe I am succumbing to the desire to try a fast food burger since I've not eaten at any fast food restaurant in about three years (after I was totally grossed out and horrified by Super Size Me), but I figure my swim today will counteract the vulgarity of the burger...

... I can't decide if this looks repulsive or lip-smackingly delicious. I'm leaning actually toward the latter.

OK, I have to get ready now and go pick up Gerry for our marathon wait in line.

Today is a great day!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Sipping on Gin & Juice...

I have just returned from cocktails with my friends this evening at Plush. I drank one raspberry vodka and ginger ale, and one sweet blue drink that had quite a bit of rum and coconut in it. Then I drank two waters and came home.

The last time I drank a blue drink like that was in Turkey, when I ruined my British friend John's chances of scoring with a Finnish girl named Nina because I had so many blue drinks I fell off my bar stool, then wiped out in the middle of the street, and he had to find me a taxi cab and get me home, and by then she had left the bar, and I never heard the end of it from him. Yes, indeed, I'm the girl who he shall always remember as the chick who blocked his one opportunity to nail a Scandinavian bird. Sorry, John!

This weekend is going to stink. I will be writing my art history paper and fixing up the draft of my thesis (hopefully, if my advisors ever give me comments on it).

Thus, this evening I believed I would take advantage of my one "down night" (as opposed to "Down's night"... which involves Corky-like characters) and go out for a drink(s) and relax.

I never drink and blog. Although it might be too late for that. So goodnight!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Another Trip Down Memory Lane

So yesterday's post (about "The Great Space Coaster") unleashed a litany of childhood television music memories that I found could only be sated by finding You Tube clips of what I consider to be the 1970's most amazing educational programming.

I only intended to watch the opening sequence from "The Electric Company," just to remember what it sounded like, but I ended up finding some of my favorite childhood songs of all time.

Watching these video clips makes me feel a bit sorry for the kids today, with their lame, milk toast Barney and Blue's Clues and Dora. The 70's were about a million times cooler, as you will see...

First -- from "The Electric Company," here's "The Short Circus" singing "Knock Knock Rock." Please note the utter hipness of host DJ Mel Mounds (who is Morgan Freeman in disguise, in case you were wondering.) The white boy is my favorite member of the group, mostly because he's just soooo into it...

And then... my favorite favorite educational singing group from elementary school and junior high... does anyone else remember "Mulligan Stew"?!?

They showed this movie (yes, a real movie on the movie projector) every single year as part of our health and nutrition education. I absolutely loved this particular song (4-4-3-2!) and remember singing it on my own for days after watching it. I can still sing along to about half the words. Needless to say, "Mulligan Stew" made a big impact on me -- although not my eating habits. Perhaps this can be attributed to the fact that the food chart they show is just a camera pan onto a sheet of paper tacked up to a post... some high-tech graphics!

And finally, who can forget "Free to Be... You and Me"? I have no idea when they finally stopped showing this in schools, but I would look forward every single year to "Free to Be You and Me" day. Personally, my favorite segment was always Rosie Grier's tear jerking "It's All Right To Cry" to which I also knew/know a lot of the words... and I have to say, even for a cheesy/sappy song, it's still got some serious 70's panache. I mean, check out Rosie's super-retro outfit, his rose-tinted glasses, and his semi-afro. (And, please, try not to focus on the fact that he's holding the guitar and not even trying to really strum it. It's just a prop after all... the man was a football player, not a musician!)

So anyway, that's my flashback for today. God bless late 70's & early 80's children's TV programming. Kids today don't know what they're missing!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

No Gnews Like Good Gnews

I was recently reminded of one of the 1980's most ridiculous shows -- "The Great Space Coaster"...

... which I had not thought about in years.

Thinking fondly back upon those wonderful old days of ludicrous children's programming (think "Land of the Lost" and "The Electric Company"), I looked up a picture of Gary Gnu on Google and made a most shocking discovery...

Apolo Ohno is Gary Gnu in human form:

"I'm Gary Gnu! And there's No Gnews Like Good Gnews!"

Monday, April 23, 2007

RIP Boris Yeltsin

Who besides me thought Boris Yeltsin had been dead for years already?

I figured he kicked the bucket from alcohol poisoning years ago, perhaps sometime around the sinking of the Kursk.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Separated at Birth?

A certain friend of mine - who shall remain nameless - informed me Saturday that the photos in which I am wearing a mustache (see blog entry below), apparently bear an uncanny resemblance to:

A. Robert Redford in the 1979 film, The Electric Horseman, and
B. A Muppet (Muppet not specified)

I first scoffed at such an unkind suggestion, but then I Googled the photos to which said hilarious friend referred and found myself laughing so hard I thought I would wet myself.

The first comparison shot...

Yours Truly vs. a Country Western Robert Redford

And the second "separated at birth" comparison...

Me vs. Elmo's Mexican Cousin Pepe, whose bandito mustache is slightly less groomed than my own appropriately named "Bandit" style 'stache.

However, the nose is pretty close.

Since I've come dangerously close to piddling my pants with laughter, I must now get back to work on finishing this damned thesis once and for all... what a buzz kill.

A Disappointing Casino Night

Have you ever noticed that when you build something up too much, it's always a let down? That was my experience yesterday...

Last night was the final night of "Mustache Week" here at UA, and in the spirit of the 'stache...

...we all decided to go to the Desert Diamond Casino about 20 minutes south of Tucson.

I'd not been there before, but I can assure you, I'll probably never go there again. Although I hoped it would be just like Vegas (only situated on an Indian reservation in the middle of nowhere), it was, well, not like Vegas at all.

First of all, the cocktail waitresses didn't even serve drinks at the gambling tables (or at least, no one served me), and they weren't wearing cool outfits. Secondly, the slot machines didn't make any noise, which struck me as kind of wrong, and third, I lost money instead of winning, as I've done in Vegas.

Most disappointing of all, the crowd there did not particularly admire the phony mustache which I had glued upon my face (in honor of the week)...

... although at least Tiffany was amused.

Ingrid and I were the only girls in our group who dared to wear the fake 'staches, and in return we overheard comments from strangers like, "So who do you think is the dyke and who's the tranny?"

(Ingrid had already removed her mustache here, which I guess you can see for yourself.)

My money is on me as the tranny because I'm a heck of a lot taller than Ingrid, and I was apparently wearing a boa to hide my elusive Adam's apple.

In fact, when I look at some of these photos, like this one...

... I am rather repulsed by how real the mustache looks. It was indeed a perfect fit, and it matched the exact color of my hair. The horror!!!

Some guy came up to me and asked if I shaved my pits because he could have sworn he saw a tuft of hair poking out. At this point, I screeched in a very feminine voice something about "Do I really look like a man to you?" And he muttered something about bad eyesight and scampered off.

In fact, these were the only guys who hit on us.

And I think that's because I winked at them.

I told Ingrid we needed to have been much drunker to have really appreciated the experience. She thought perhaps acid would have been a better option.

Ben & Lisa had fun though...

... in their colorful ensemble.*

Needless to say, after I lost my money, walked around bored for another hour with Ingrid, and then could not take one more stare or comment, I ripped off the mustache and we called it a night.

This is the last 'stache photo of the evening...

... with Ingrid & Lisa. AKA: My dykes.

Blah... Casino Night.

* = Sidenote: Ben was wearing a pair of Lisa's lavender hemp pants. They were about two sizes too small. This led to accusations that he was sporting "Mamel Toe." Furthermore, while playing blackjack next to him, I glanced downward and to my right during the game and got an eyeful of lavender ensconced testes, which I made sure to tell him about. Although I certainly was not looking intentionally.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

World Travels Index

I don't have much time to write tonight because I'm doing Arabic homework and have to keep working on my thesis (although my advisor didn't have any major changes to my paper, I need to add in a few bits here and there).

I stole this from Ben's MySpace page... since he shares my love not only for travel but for demotivational quotes as well... and has a common respect for David Hasselhoff.

I'd always felt like I'd done a fair amount of world traveling... until I saw this sad and empty looking little map. Only 16% of the world's countries?!? Jeesh. I guess I have some future trips to take...

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Celeb Mullets Part II: Attempt at a Throw-Down, but Not Very Successful

I promised a mullet follow-up, and here it is...

I got a few more suggestions -- but judging from the miniscule feedback I received, I believe I might be the only person outside of the NASCAR circuit that thinks mullets can be attractive or who has any fond memories of them. Or maybe I just went to a hick high school. On second thought, yes, perhaps that's it.

In any case, Paola, who might be the biggest U2 fan in the entire world, chastised me for forgetting the Bono Live Aid mullet. She even e-mailed me photos.

Here it is in all its glory...

And then JC suggested Billy Ray Cyrus and Joey Lawrence. I am loath to post BRC photos, as in my opinion, he is a redneck (putting him in the "unattractive mullet" category).

However, Joey Lawrence is OK , even if I have always found him a bit irritating...

And the final suggestion (thanks, Miguel) was Nik Kershaw (yes, that's "Nik" without a "c")... who absolutely rocks the mullet.

I can't believe I forgot him!

If you want to watch his mullet in action, here's my favorite song, "The Riddle" from 1984:

Clearly one of the 80's worst EVER videos. I literally cringed at the ending.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

I am Messy Marvin (in white shirts only)

Have you ever noticed that when you wear an all-white shirt, you end up destroying it with stains by the end of the day (or by noon, if you're me)?

Why is it that when I wear any other color, I never spill a thing on myself, but the minute I throw something white over my head, I turn into Messy Marvin?

There seems no doubt about it... if I ever get married, I'm definitely going to have to wear a non-white wedding dress (and that's for more than one reason, ha ha!) just so I don't destroy myself.

Anyway, please look at what I did to myself today between the hours of 8:00am and 12:30pm...

Let me explain...

First, in a huge hurry this morning to not be late for babysitting, I threw this shirt on my Persian rug to iron it. I couldn't be bothered to get my ironing board out, as it just needed a quick press.

Well, after ironing it, I picked it up to put it on, and I discovered that a tiny niblet of chocolate (I was indeed engaged in a chocoholic-a-thon over my horrible writer's weekend recently and apparently was not too neat with the choco-crumbs) had melted into the back of the shirt. I attempted to rub it out with a dish cloth to some small avail. But you can still see the stain slightly. Since it's on the back of the shirt, it remains unmarked in this photo. However, it is there.

Then, I made myself a bagel and threw some blueberry jam upon it. Having no time to eat it from a plate like a civilized person, I whisked it onto a paper towel and ran out the door, chomping on it as I drove to the baby's house in my car. Somewhere between Park and Tucson Avenues, the jam slid off the bagel and drizzled stickily all over my left boob, where it remained throughout the morning.

Having discovered what I pig I had become when I looked at myself in the mirror at the baby's house, I realized that coffee might be just what the doctor ordered. Too bad I missed my mouth with my travel mug of "Porto Rico strudel cake flavored" coffee that I brought with me to the house. No kidding. My mouth was a good half inch to the left of where I threw back the cup. Hello, stain # 3.

And then... and then... the baby woke up from her nap. I was holding her on my lap and playing with her on the sofa. And she reached for my Iraqi Arabic text book that was sitting next to me (lord knows why, it's not good reading) and got a paper cut on her little ring finger.

Now, I know and you know that paper cuts sting. Babies think so too, apparently, for she cried. A lot. And, a paper cut makes a lot of blood on a tiny baby hand. In fact, I went through two full Kleenexes before the thing finally stopped bleeding! I want to say it was like a baby blood bath, but that's rather disturbing (especially in light of yesterday's awful VT events...), but really, it did bleed a lot, the poor little thing. And... of course, it got smeared on my shirt in the process.

My white shirt. Which is going to the cleaners this week.

And just to add some levity to that seemingly dark ending...
Here is Baby S. with the hiccups:

See, I'm a nice babysitter!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Ode to the Mullet

I returned to the land of the living today, and I'm feeling pretty good. My advisor, after skimming over my draft, said it looked "promising" -- but we'll see how I'm feeling on Wednesday after she's looked over it with a finer toothed comb.

I went to the gym after Arabic class this morning and then stopped by the Modern Languages Building courtyard, where all of my nerdy astrophysicist friends (and the Mexican history buff) hang out for lunch.

In case you were unaware of it... it's "Mustache Week" here on the UA campus (or at least among my friends). Some of them are actually touting it as "International Mustache Week," but after a thorough Google search I could find no evidence of a worldwide mustache growing frenzy. Unless you're in the Middle East, of course, where it's Mustache Week every week.

In any case, my mathematically inclined male friends have all grown 'staches, and a couple have even chopped their locks into mullets as well, to complete the look. See here if you're so inclined.

I believe this is who they seek to emulate...

Tom Selleck, the Ultimate Mustache Icon.

What has surprised me the most is not that the vast majority of them appear to have magically transformed into Magnum P.I., or General Sherman of the Union Cavalry, or my dad in 1983...
it's that the mullets don't actually look that bad to me.

And that got me really thinking about the mullet, and how social norms dictate that I should be horrified by it... and yet I am not.

I determined that there are three types of mullets worn by three different types of people.

The first two types are dastardly and horrifying and have given mullets a bad name...

First -- the redneck mullet (which reminds me of the many losers I went to high school and junior high with in rural northern Maryland AKA Fredneck)

Second -- the femullet, which immediately says dyke.

Now that's bad.

But then... switch gears here... there's the "hottie" mullet of the 80's. This was the mullet made popular by many attractive soccer jocks in the 1980's and subsequently by many other cute high school boys.

And I suppose I must say I have a soft spot for it in my heart because pretty much all of my first crushes at one point sported mullets (including the 6'3" Norwegian exchange student aptly named Christian, who I lusted over from afar my entire freshman year of high school in 1988-9). And so I guess I associate it with unrequited love.

This is a Swedish soccer player...

... who looks almost exactly like my long lost Norwegian love (or at least he could have been my long lost love... if only he'd gotten to know me!)

And here's a tasty little Spanish soccer player...

... who has nicely spiced up the back with some highlights.

Anyhow, I've come up with a collection of some of my most fantasized about 80's heartthrobs (exception being, of course, Jake Ryan, who was far too highbrow to succumb to trendy hairstyles), all of whom at one point in time coiffed their hair into a mullet...

Duran Duran's John Taylor...


Jack Wagner! (sigh...)

Even with a wife beater, the man has style.

Dolph Lundgren...

I loved him so, that Germanic beast.

My main man, MacGyver...

Good looking and smart.

Nick Rhodes (also of Duran Duran, but not as hot as John Taylor)...

... I heart frosted hair & skinny ties!

Karate Hottie Ralph Macchio...

... who actually looks a lot like a woman here.

And finally, Uncle Jesse...

... who had the misfortune of acting in that wretched "Full House" show, but he wasn't so bad on the eyes.

Even today, the mullet is staging a hot comeback.

Please check out Italian Formula One racer Vitantonio Liuzzi...

... who pulls it off pretty well, me thinks. Although, does he have a Marty Feldman eye going on?

So -- ladies (and men, if you don't fear gayness), if I have forgotten anyone of great import and/or you agree that the mullet can in fact bring back fond memories of your high school days, please let me know so I can do a "Hot Mullets Part II" with your inclusions.

Also feel free to share your mullet-crush stories. Misery does love company...

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Just Let Me Graduate So I Never Have To Do This Again

OMG. I just submitted my 60-page rough draft to my advisor tonight.

I swear to you, God (if I believed in you), I will never procrastinate again. Ever.

This is what a person looks like on a Sunday night who has been writing since Friday afternoon and who has not left her home since her foray to the gym on Friday morning...

This is horror (mixed slightly with disgust).

And this is both boredom and exhaustion.

It's 11:30pm, and I still have to do my Arabic homework.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Long Papers SUCK

OK, I'm breaking my rule, but my life has just reached a new low.

It's 9:26pm on a Saturday night, and I'm stuck sitting in front of my computer pretending to read about religious publications in Saudi Arabia and wearing a headband from CVS that looks ridiculous, I have a giant blemish on my right cheek, I have eaten at least 10 chocolate chip cookies that I baked this afternoon, and my bed remains unmade. Furthermore, I have a yoga strap around my sternum to keep my posture straight (I tend to turn into Quasimoto after several hours at a keyboard), and I'm listening to Howard Shore's "The Riders of Rohan" from the Lord of the Rings soundtrack, just to add insult to injury.

I even took a photo of myself in my horrible misery so you know I'm not kidding...

My hand looks rather palsy-ish, doesn't it?

Last night was no better, especially when I thought of all my friends out having fun and enjoying their weekend. And I'm stuck home with Frodo and Gollum's musical maladies.

The good news is that I have made some progress. I have 18 pages completely finished and have the framework finished for another 20 or so, into which I need to add detail.

And that's it for my break. Ta-ta.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Off to Thesis Land...

I regret to inform you that I am going to have to take a mini-break from blogging for a while.

Something evil, better known as "writing my thesis," is about to take over my life for the next two and a half weeks, and as I have all the self-discipline of, say Britney Spears on crack cocaine, I know I will use this blog as a perfect excuse to waste time and not write about what I should be focusing on, namely the Saudi Arabian religious authorities. (And yes, I'm pretty sure there's a place in hell for the person who uses the phrases "Britney Spears on crack cocaine" and "Saudi Arabian religious authorities" in the same sentence.)

Therefore, I have informed myself that I am no longer permitted to write in this blog every day, and I may only give you a weekly update until this wretched period of my life is over.

And if you're wondering, I am also cutting out all happy hours and dance marathons.

Goodbye Fun Life!!!!

With no further ado... have a lovely week and see you at some point in my future.

Monday, April 09, 2007

For the Love of Turds

I used to have the two most hilarious co-workers in the entire world when I worked at the State Department.

Here's one of them right here... my friend KP...

... who's waving her spider-like little hand with her squished up eyes and frightening, ghoul-like rictus on board some military flight in Kirkusk or Kyrgyzstan or Uzbekistan or Samarkand or some other similar place that has 13 consonants in a 15-letter name. (Photo courtesy of KP, who enjoys all sorts of deprecating humor.)

I don't have any good (and by good, I mean embarrassingly funny) photos of our other hilarious friend, JM, but I bring both of these women up today because every now and then they send me e-mails, and it makes me miss them greatly.

Last month I got an e-mail from JM that said "Hey, KP and I were out to lunch today, and we saw a dwarf on a bike, and it made us think of you!" And I thought... hmmm, isn't that sad that a dwarf on a bike would trigger a memory of me. What does that say about me? And then I remembered that we were all out to lunch one day a few years ago, and I saw the world's tiniest dwarf in a tiny wheelchair, and I barked out, "Oh look! It's a little person... on a little machine!" And now this is how I am remembered by my co-workers.

There are many funny work stories (usually at my expense) that KP and JM still enjoy... such as the time I ate another co-worker's lunch from the refrigerator and didn't realize until halfway through that it didn't taste anything like the casserole I had brought... or the time I accidentally put my wallet in the refrigerator and then went to a doctor's appointment and needed my insurance card and had to have my co-workers find my wallet in the fridge and fax the card information to me.

So... having been branded the office goof, it came as no surprise when I received this note in my inbox last month from KP...
I think that you're the only person I know who will
truly appreciate this little gem that I've run across.

For background, I've been helping a friend remodel
his house (including 3 bathrooms) and I expressed
concern about the cheap, likely not very efficient,
toilets that he intended to purchase. As a result of
this, I did quite a bit of research on toilet flush
capabilities and I found this awesome study on how
much "waste" certain brands of toilets will flush.
She attached a link to a Canadian study that had been conducted on the efficiency of toilets... and here are the most scintillating bits...

... in case you can't read this, it discusses a number of fecal tests done on men and women and says that the average maximum fecal size of a male participant was 250g (with a 95th percentile size at 305g... perhaps after a large meal at Outback Steakhouse?) and a woman's size was only 237g. It therefore recommended that a toilet should be able to flush a minimum of 250g of poop.

Better yet, however, they actually did test studies (and with a great amount of seriousness!) on toilet capacity using soybean paste.

And here's what soybean paste looks like formed into human turds...

So if you're looking for affirmation that your job isn't so bad, just think about the man attached to the fat little hand in the picture above (perhaps he is the 305g specimen maker?) and feel better about yourself.

And ultimately, yes, my old co-workers do know me well, for I laughed out loud in the school library upon viewing these photos. True appreciation indeed!