Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Lessons in Survival and Ingenuity

You would think that after living in the North for going on nine years now, I would be prepared for the onset of winter. You would think that. But no. I emerged from the library last night around 11pm to find the landscape transformed before my very eyes into frozen tundra. And there I was standing in a spring jacket, scarf and fingerless gloves. Granted, you have to give me credit for even remembering those as that --in and of itself-- is something I usually forget.

So, I brave the walk (two city blocks or so: not much) to my car to find my windows have frosted over. And not only have they been frosted over, apparently it rained earlier, so my windows are covered in frost and a layer of ICE! This is October!

Never fear! As a semi-native Michigander, I always have a window scraper in my car. Until now. I cannot find that darn scraper anywhere. (I'm still looking for it as a matter of fact).

Oh well. Always the inventive one (and as I've had to resort to this sort of thing before), I turn on my defroster full blast and reach inside my wallet for... dum-da-dum-dum... The old library card! Yes, folks, it's true. The best replacement for a misplaced scraper is none other than your little inoccuous, expired library card tucked in the deep recesses of your wallet. Cuidado, this method does have a slight inclination toward frozen, frostbitten fingers, but it gets the job done.

And it did. Here are some pictures that I took to document my lack of preparedness. It's more fun to laugh at yourself if people are laughing with you, I think.



The frozen windsheild --I'm just glad that I didn't have 6" of snow to add to the mix.



Finding the ever-trusty library card


Scraping. And scraping. And scraping some more.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Just one of those days

It has definitely been one of those days. Can't think straight. Can't get anything right. Even my English has gone haywire. How's that for crazy?

Nothing much happening here. Just very cold. It was in the 20s last night. It's going to be so cold on the walk out to the car tonight. I think I need to buy a parka. My jacket just is not cutting it. We shall see.

Had a good day yesterday. Off of school and work, so I drove out and surprised H for her birthday. We went to Bravo's (Yay for good pasta and incredible bruschetta!), got some ice cream and then hung around talking for a while. You never appreciate people fully until they're gone or you haven't seen them for a while. And then I had my lovely drive home. I kept stalling as I was walking out the door. Was going to leave at ten. That didn't work. Got up to go at 11pm and stood talking for another half hour. Then went in search of caffeine which took another twenty minutes. I ended up leaving around 12:50am. So worth it though. I got home around 1am tired, but happy.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hmph.

As you can see from my title, I'm feeling particularly eloquent and articulate today. Just got out of my appointment with my advisor and am sorely tempted to throw a mini hissy fit. I won't, though. I'm sitting here calmly typing away (when I should be reading about Late Colonial Artifacts), trying to process what is going through my head. It's really not that big of a surprise, and it's actually not as bad as it could be, but it is a let down. I'm not graduating in May. Well, I'm walking in May, but have to take two more classes in Spring. Phooey. So close. Apparently, I have fulfilled (or will have fulfilled by May '09) every general education requirement, every department requirement and even my residency (which is usually particularly annoying to transfer students). But I somehow missed the 300-level rule. I am short by two measly classes at the 300-level or higher. I completely understand the requirements and I am not complaining about the rules/requirements by any means. I am whinging over my own incompetency.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Monday, Monday

Beginning of yet another week. Trying to do some research here at the library and coming up empty. I was actually pretty excited about literature reviews this semester and thought I came up with some pretty good ideas. Apparently, I need to rethink them, widen them and/or go back to the drawing board.

Still fighting that nasty cold which has progessed splendidly (note the heavy sarcasm) and is now wreaking havoc on my ears. Scary prospect as last time this happened, I lost my hearing in my left ear for three weeks. That definitely made life interesting. ;o) On that note, I have found my new best friend: C.O. Bigelow Cold & Flu Soak. Amazing stuff. Really. Granted, it is much more amazing than it normally would be when you get it 90% off.

Still waiting on grades from Paper #1 and Exam #2 this semester. Ick. It really throws everyone for a loop when the department changes their requirements. Here we are, last year of school and they switch formats. Bah.

On a different note: Yesterday, for the first time I can remember, I heard a leader at a church give a political plug. Seriously. Isn't that against the law...? I mean, they would get their not-for-profit status taken away, yes? Anyway, I thought it was very strange. Quite stunned actually. Sat there for a full five minutes wondering if I actually heard what I thought I just heard.

Completely Random: Gas was $2.62 today!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Life is like chocolate mousse...

I was trying to think of a really insightful allegory to go with my lovely title, but for that's all it will be. I just thought it sounded cool. I'm sure I could find some way to work that out... Hm... give me a few. I'll get back to you on that.


Anyway... the source of the title comes from my most recent accomplishment. I made homemade chocolate mousse! And it was edible! Okay, so I had a few problems at first (I had to start over with the eggs...) and I let the chocolate cool a little bit too longer, but it was good! I was so excited. It was a little lumpy... but it tasted like chocolate mousse, so that's what counts. I was just glad it was recognizable. Picture's not very good though... Can I blame that on the camera?





This lovely event came about yesterday because I was home for dinner --a very rare occasion in and of itself. As such, I usually cook when I'm home, so we broke out the good china (seriously), grilled some steaks, lit a few candles and put on some great music. What a way to unwind. Went to work for a few hours and then came home and got to relax with a cup of tea and a movie. (L, thanks for the recommendation oh-so-many months ago of Paris, Je T'aime. The library here just got it!)


As a little something for my fellow would-be foodies: the recipe for chocolate mousse. As a heads up for you non-coffee lovers, I left out the espresso.

And can I say again: THE LIBRARY IS SUPPOSED TO BE QUIET! There is a reason we have study rooms, people! The desks in the middle of the library are not the place to hold your social network summits. Argh.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Liminal

Standing at the crossroads
Haven't I been here before?
Back to this state of transition,
indecision

This way left, that way right
Halfway between here and there
One foot on the water and one
on dry land

Surrounded, suspended by
a curtain of possibility
tears of joy and grief, stepping out
of security

And into the unknown adventure
to see what's waiting on the other side
of the veil that keeps us from
what will be.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

"Ick" or "Why-does-this-always-happen-right-at-the-worst-time?"

My words are coming back to haunt me. I always tell people that I don't usually get sick. And honestly, except for the odd, debilitating mystery illness, I don't. Apparently I need to add on a disclaimer to that now. The common cold has finally caught up with me. How do people deal with this? Something has been going around work, I woke up fuzzy on Friday and then have been getting steadily ickier (if I can be be allowed to coin that word). I need to go track down cold medicine. What do you buy for this? Is it Sudafed or can I not get that anymore because it can be made into meth? Am I terribly confused? Possibly.

Must away. Have a paper to write and a cold to conquer.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ack!

Just a wee bit overwhelmed right now. I have been toying with the idea of grad school for the past couple years and have just started to think about it pretty seriously in the past eight months or so. I really should've talked to an advisor the instant the whim popped into my head. It's not that I feel like I won't be able to do it, but there's just so much to do and so much to think about right now! Granted, there's no way I could get in for Fall, but I have to think about the GRE (a whole can of worms in and of itself), my GPA, recommendation letters, which schools I'm considering, exactly which program I want to go for, whether I want to move cross country (One of her recommendations was University of Denver), etc., etc. Oy vey. Heck, I'm still deciding whether I'm cultural or physical anthropology!

Took the first test for Latin America today. Was quite interesting. One of those where you get through and really have no idea how you did. I answered every question, defined every term and wrote both of the essays, but I can never gauge my performace. Luckily, talking to my classmates confirmed that they were equally unsure as to how they did.

Have to start working on the cemetery project this week. That one will definitely be interesting. First whiskey bottles, now gravestones, next ceramics. So fun!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Tired. Quite tired, but content. School continues to... well, continue. Have actually managed to exceed a few expectations of my own (which weren't very high in the first place, but exciting nonetheless). Had my first real week of work. Definitely interesting. Nothing more needs to be said! ;o)

Been reading John Donne and Sylvia Plath lately. Very different, yet very similar somehow. Enjoying both of them quite a lot.

Finished "Testing Women, Testing the Fetus" for Medical Anthro today. Raises a lot of questions and has me thinking. It will be interesting to see how this paper turns out...

I've also come to a realization that I am quite shallow and unimpressive and no matter how intelligent, unique or interesting I try to make myself, it will never change. I wish I'd come to this revelation sooner. It's one of those admissions which is both terrifying and very freeing at the same time. You potentially lose the stress of keeping up this image of orginality, but now... what do I fall back on? Why would people like me if I'm just... me? For that matter, who the heck is 'me'? Have we been pretending so long that we've lost our true sense of self? I think I might have...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Untitled

Connected
But there’s a disconnect
We fly through
Life. Unconcerned
With the world
Outside our own.

Disconnected
From the past and
From each other
Our history clashes
With indifference and
Breeds, festers into
Ignorance

Horrors then and
Now. We watch
And listen only to just
Keep on moving
Separate ways
Unimpressed

Unknowing, uncaring
Now with knowledge at
Our fingertips
Still scanning over it like
So many numbers, making
Souls only statistics

Millions of numbers
Of people, silhouettes
We refuse them
Their faces, their
Names, so we don’t
Have to think,
Don’t have to feel.

No one talks of
Atrocities committed
Not even a whisper
We can’t acknowledge
The people we’ve lost
And are losing still

Generations of
Silence between us
Hurts too much to
Speak of the things they
Saw and they heard
And so remain unspoken

And here we sit
Unaffected. Blasé about
Sacrifice, massacre and
Struggles fought with greatest price
For the lives of those
Who live yet

Connected, yet not,
We sit in our own
Little place, in
Our own little world
And forget the cost
That others have paid
And pay still.