31 December 2007

Wrapping up 2007

Wrapping up 2006

1. What did you do in 2007 that you'd never done before?

I rode my bike 50 miles for charity (I bought a bike), rented a zipcar, and asked for help. I bought a grown up bed, and a real Christmas tree.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions and will you make more for next year?
From last year:
This year, I want to work out more (HA), be a nicer person (at least outwardly), and definitely be more patient (both inside and out). And drink more water.
This year I just want to be happy. Happy and dehydrated.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
A co-worker and his wife had a baby. She is the cutest baby in the whole. world. THE WORLD.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No

5. What countries did you visit?
Bermuda

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
A pair of sensible shoes

7. What date from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory and why?
July 17th. It was the first time J told me he loved me.
November 21st. When my surgeon's office called me and told me they wouldn't be able to perform the surgery on our scheduled date.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Pulling myself up and out of a giant hole.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Not being close enough to people who care about me. Losing hope.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
I was diagnosed with disthymia (depression), and my jaw has gotten progressively worse.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
I bought J rims for his bike. Also, my bed and artwork to go above my bed.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
J has been completely amazing. He's a great guy, he works hard, and (YES, Justin) he has a cute butt.
Laura is also completely amazing. She bought a house this year, and she's one of the strongest, most amazing women that I am blessed to have in my life.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
I'm pretty sure that I can't write that here because there are certain things one should avoid blogging about. But some of you know who I'm talking about.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Rent, shoes, and a new bed.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Tokyo Police club concerts, going to Coney Island with J, the new Harry Potter book and movie. Meeting J's family (wait, excited or nervous?)

16. What song will always remind you of 2007?
Your English is Good by Tokyo Police Club

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: happier or sadder?
Much, much happier. And more whole.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
I wish I had ridden my bike more.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Less pity parties.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
With my family.

21. How will you be spending New Years?
That is a good question. I know I have invited many people to do something with me and J, but it is yet to be determined.

22. Did you fall in love in 2007?
Yes.

23. How many one-night stands?
None worth mentioning.

24. What was your favorite TV program?
Battlestar Galactica, The Office, Futurama, Planet Earth, 24 (more for the social aspect than the show. I mean... No. I mean that), Meerkat Manor (The OC of Animal Planet).

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Yes, see number 13, above.

26. What was the best book you read?
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, The Boleyn Inheritance

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Love is All. Even though I had some of their songs last year, I ended up getting the whole album recently, and I heart it.

28. What did you want that you also ended up getting?
A Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi for Christmas/our one year anniversary. I honestly didn't deserve it. It's pretty much the most amazing thing I own.

29. What did you want that you did not end up getting?
My jaw surgery. I really really wanted my jaw surgery.
Also, I hoped against hope that J would be in town for our anniversary, and my birthday, but it didn't turn out that way. Actually, I just found out that he will be in town for my birthday. Yey!

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
I think it will be Lars and the Real Girl. If we ever get around to seeing it. But until then, King of Kong was pretty awesome.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 23, and we went to Border Cafe for some margaritas. Alisa also hosted a brunch for me.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
I honestly can't think of a single thing (ask me again when I'm feeling malcontent)

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
Lots of converse, stiletto heels, indie t-shirts, and boots. Also, lots of dresses, many of them far too low cut.

34. What kept you sane?
Medication. And therapy.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
John Krasinski (and not because he looks even the slightest bit like J...)

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Women's rights, gay marriage, religion in general, and abstinence education...it was a distressing year. I'm looking at you, Romney.

37. Who did you miss?
I missed J terribly when he went to Arizona a few weeks ago and I miss him terribly now. I missed my co-worker, Neil, a lot when he left. I miss Jordan and David, and even though I talk to her every day, I miss Laura. Well, damnit - I miss all of you - why don't we all live in the same state, anymore?!

38. Who was the best new person you met?
I suppose although I met Jordan, David, and Sarah last year, we didn't really get to know each other until this year. Also, a lot of the new interns at work are the awesome.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006.
"Love is an unreleased Pixies album in a world before file sharing"

Also, learning how to trust again can be a wonderful thing.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
"No, this is how it works
You peer inside yourself
You take the things you like
And try to love the things you took
And then you take that love you made
And stick it into some
Someone else's heart
Pumping someone else's blood
And walking arm in arm
You hope it don't get harmed
But even if it does
You'll just do it all again"
-Regina Spektor, On the Radio

20 December 2007

As a Corollary to Heather's Post

Just in case there was some interest in Heather's post that I linked to a few days back, her husband Jon responded with his perspective on what it's like to live with someone with chronic depression.

Since there are varying levels of depression I won't pretend I know what it's like to live with it all the time, but there's something to be said about partners and friends who are open and kind when you finally admit that you need help. There are wonderful people who have allowed me to begin to heal and learn how to manage this in a safe environment - who don't judge me and who make sure I know that they think that I am a wonderful person even when I refuse to believe it. I know it's hard to be on the other side of that - mostly I'd imagine that it's hard to know what to do.

I'm sure I'm being all kinds of melodramatic, here. But thanks, anyway.

14 December 2007

A Better Life

I read dooce.com on a daily basis because Heather is an incredibly smart, insightful, witty and beautiful person - and frankly she is one of my heroes. She isn't scared to talk about subjects that many people avoid, and it is exactly this aspect of her blog that helped me figure some things out after facing being afraid to face a few very dark times in my life.

Because I couldn't say it on the phone

10 December 2007

Christmas Tree!

Every year since I went away to college, I have decorated my own Christmas tree. Until last year, it has always been a three foot "Canadian Pine" that I found at Walgreens, with some ornaments that I have accumulated over the years.

This year, I was going to buy a real tree - and by that, I meant a six foot "Canadian Pine" from the hardware store. Something more realistic than my three foot table-top tree.

Well...I ended up going with something even more realistic, instead.

IMG_0427


On Sunday, J and I went to Crane Neck Christmas Tree Farm with some friends and hauled a nice eight foot tree back with us.

IMG_0436

IMG_0451


Oh, and for the record, we were this tall in Christmas 2007:

IMG_0419

IMG_0416

05 December 2007

Daft Punk Are Brilliant, I Love Daft Punk.

Daft Punk just released a new live album, Alive 2007, and I have streamed it a few times now. I am thoroughly addicted, and will be purchasing it today so that I can listen myself sick.

I know that Around The World is everyone's favorite song, so hey, how about an .mp3? Around The World/Harder Better Faster Stronger will be on constant repeat in my iTunes today - now doesn't it make you want to get up and dance?

Daft Punk's Myspace Page
Buy the album at Amazon
Download the album on iTunes


Speaking of Daft Punk, have any of you seen the Dom and Elijah Interview Easter Egg on Return of the King?



If you have (and if you haven't, feel free to watch. I'll wait), you'll realize why I had a conniption and couldn't stop laughing for about five minutes after I had this conversation:
me: okay, for real, do you like daft punk? (i just made myself laugh)
me: (i can't stop)
laura: daft punk are brilliant
me: *deep breaths*
me: so daft punk just released a new live album
me: it's the awesome
laura: oh. you really were for real.
laura: now I'm laughing even harder.
I really am for real. This album is the awesome.

27 November 2007

The Jaw Surgery That Wasn't

I was supposed to be getting jaw surgery today. A LeFort I Osteotomy, which would correct my upper jaw, and (hopefully) relieve me of jaw pain that gets so bad sometimes that I'm afraid my head will just explode right then and there out of sheer agony. I am obviously not getting the surgery today due to a number of reasons that are entirely not my fault, but for reasons that I keep blaming on myself, anyway.

My insurance didn't come through, which isn't a huge surprise given that my surgeon's office sent the request in right before a holiday. We planned this surgical date on October 18th, though. After years of waiting for this, I scheduled this date in good faith that a month and a half would be enough time for them to secure the operating room, contact my insurance, jump through hoops the insurance would probably put us through, and then I thought we would finally get this DONE.

So, to be exact, I have been waiting for the go ahead to get this done for two years. I have been through no less than three insurance providers in the course of my waiting. Unfortunately, fate timed this date such that when it was scheduled I would be covered by an insurance company that is not local, and thus does not operate under Massachusetts code, and thus has been a huge pain in my ass - repeatedly and for every variety of medical care I've ever needed. In the meantime, my jaw pain has progressed, and sometimes I wake up and it's locked up so tightly that I have to use a heating pack on my face. So that I can eat. Or, you know, function.

I have been in braces for almost three years now. The braces haven't really been doing much; my teeth haven't moved in the last two years. The worst part about having braces as an adult is...well, having braces as an adult. I know I'm the only one who matters that even notices them as a negative thing. Both my boyfriend and my best friend have repeatedly told me that the braces aren't even a fraction of a thought on people's minds, but they are still all I can think about when I'm meeting someone for the first time, or smiling, or laughing. Or looking into a mirror.

I am fine, really. I was fine in Minnesota, when I didn't have to think about it, and I'm fine now, even though I am so ridiculously confused and sad and disoriented. I hate whoever it was, whatever collection of events it was, that caused me to have to take back all of the paperwork only to have to do it again sometime soon. Whatever caused me to have to cancel my mother's $800 flight and several hundred dollar rental car because I will need her here when I get my surgery and we can't just spend $1000 every time we get dicked around. I hate that I was forced to rent a zipcar for the purpose of rushing some dental molds to an office in another city, only to find out that it didn't matter, anymore - and then get an icing-on-the-cake parking ticket from the good old city of Somerville.

I am so bummed. And queasy, and tired. I don't know why I'm queasy, but I am. I have been since I found out that my surgery date was going to come and go, and I wasn't going to be able to do a thing about it. It's hard to take out anger on the source when there really isn't one.

I think it's about time to finally start throwing bricks at cars that don't stop at stop lights or yield to my bike when I have the right of way. I mean, the anger has to go somewhere. I can't just keep it inside!

22 November 2007

Woo, Turkey!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am off to Minnesota to (hopefully, if the skies are on my side) spend dinner with my sister, and Laura and her family. For now, I'm leaving a link to a blog post I found on digg that was pretty interesting. I'd like to live my life with a little bit less cynicism, but that's another topic for another time, I suppose. Right now, I have to pack.

http://thinksimplenow.com/happiness/how-to-be-naked-like-a-baby/

19 November 2007

I am fairly sure that if they took porn off the internet, there would only be one website left and it would be called "bring back the porn"

I am busy as all holy hell and will stay that way until I leave for Minnesota. Updates, although there are probably many, will be scarce -- as they have been.

Until then, you, who found this blog via google.co.uk (and not only that, but I am the number one hit...What the...?):

http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=flickr.panties.&btnG=Search&meta=

You are disgusting. That is not what the Internet is for.

11 November 2007

Fiery Bolero



I finished the fiery bolero last night. Even though it doesn't fit me, I'm still pretty happy with the way it turned out. The seaming was a little bit touch and go, and was maybe a bit messy in places, but after I got the hang of picking up stitches for the collar, I realized that this knitting thing...it isn't so hard with enough practice.

So now I need to find someone just a little bit bigger than me to wear it. I want one for myself oh so badly...but not badly enough to rip this one out.

07 November 2007

Mulesing and Circumcision

I was reading up on mulesing on Wikipedia today because I keep hearing about it in the knitting and animal rights worlds. There was an interesting thread on ravelry, so I decided to do a little research (emphasis on a little).

My first thought was that it sounds absolutely horrible. Then again, so can circumcision and it sounded a little bit like circumcision.
The non-wooled skin which is around the anus (and vulva in ewes) is pulled tight as the cut heals and results in a smooth area that does not get fouled by fæces or urine.

When managed according to the standards, policies and procedures developed by the CSIRO, lambs are normally mulesed a few weeks after birth. The operation takes one to two minutes. Standard practice is to do this operation simultaneously with other procedures such as ear marking, tail docking, and vaccination. Because the procedure removes skin, not any underlying flesh or structure, there is little blood loss from the cut other than a minor oozing on the edges of the cut skin.
but I hadn't seen it paralleled to circumcision anywhere, yet. I wondered if that was incredibly ignorant of me.

I wrote a paper in college that began as an FGM paper, but by the time I researched and edited, and re-researched and re-edited, it had turned into a paper about male circumcision: the unknown horrors. In all of the cases I have been familiar with, circumcision didn't leave a physical impact or, to my knowledge, an emotional one, but I have to admit that my sample size is small. Very small. Is it really a matter of hygeine? Or is it about cosmetics, or Victorian views on masturbation? Can it traumatize the baby? Is it worth it? The research I did raised more questions than it answered, and I could only address so many in the paper -- I wasn't answering them, anyway, I was so confused.

I guess my question was, am I crazy for comparing mulesing to circumcision, and going further, is either one inhumane enough to call for the eradication of the practice?

It seems that there is a resounding assertion that museling is just plain wrong. However, after doing a quick Google search on circumcision and museling, I found that I just haven't been reading closely enough, because a lot of people seem to draw on the parallel.

I haven't come to a conclusion on either topic at the moment. More research than I genuinely care to do right now would be required, but I think both are interesting.

I also wanted to post this comment found at treehugger.com:
I believe Ethan [a previous poster] is comparing muesling to his own circumcision... I wonder if [he] realizes that lambs are born far more physically advanced than humans - that is to say baby sheep are at par developmentally with beginning school aged children (I know that sheep don't do the whole spoken language thing, so spare me. I mean that they walk, explore, have the capacity to learn, etc. - something which took Ethan a year or three to warm up to). So, Ethan, if your first day of school commenced with being circumcised sans anaesthesia, would you still have graduated?

All of the above aside, here's a bit of background not covered by the wiki link:
1.) Sheep's posteriors have been covered with wool for thousands of years.
2.) Feces and urine have probably been getting stuck there for just as long.
3.) Flies have been around for even longer than that.
4.) Two world wars in the first half of the last century, and the amassing of armies to fight them, created an unprecedented demand for wool for uniforms. This demand led to a new manner of raising livestock, and the acceptance of the practice of mulesing.

The issue isn't so much flystrike, it's that the animals are now raised in conditions which cause it. All you have to do is keep their bums clean! With one ranch-hand per hundred sheep this was not a problem, but with one per a thousand you have a bunch of dirty animals... If you take out the animal equation, mulesing is to wool what pesticides and preservatives are to food. Do you only buy organic vegetables? Then do the same with your next sweater and support companies like SmartWool.
Maybe no more educational than everything else I've read today, but I thought it was interesting.

06 November 2007

I only have so much to give, too

I am so tired of being angry all the time.

I feel like every step in this recovery has been slow and painful; every time I look ahead to see how far I have to go, I feel like I am staring down an endless highway, and when I look back to see how far I've come, I've traveled an inch.

I feel so helpless and frustrated and clumsy, like I'm stuck being insecure and inept and completely hopeless while I wait to become someone better.

I feel like no one is listening to me, and by the time I demand to be heard, by the time I want to scream at people to look at me, pay attention to me -- tell me everything is going to be okay -- all I do is push people away. I have absolutely no idea how to ask for what I need, and how can I blame people for not meeting expectations I don't even know I have?

My world is falling so short of what I have hoped for right now, and I have no idea how to reconcile that.

05 November 2007

Recipe for a not so bad day, after all

To cure an insanely bad day at work, take this zucchini bread recipe, some bad TV, and a sweet boyfriend. Mix thoroughly.




04 November 2007

Luckiest Girl in the World

Last night I had the most wonderful dream.

I was at "work," and had run downstairs to go grab lunch. On my way out, I asked my boyfriend -- this beefy Irish guy that I worked with -- what he wanted for lunch. He was feeling sick, so he wanted a very specific soup. When I ran downstairs to grab it for him, I bumped into another co-worker, my best friend J. I had just grabbed a semi-viable substitution for the soup that they did not have, but J asked if I wanted to join him for lunch in the park, and I completely forgot about my sick boyfriend waiting upstairs.

We walked across the street and sat near some flowers under a tree. I was having such a good time, and he was so beautiful and sweet and funny. I had had the biggest crush on him for the longest time and it was so painful because I had this really sweet mild mannered boyfriend, but I was in love with J. He was so perfect and we were so wonderful together - I mean, we were best friends. I was torn up inside and I had no idea what I was going to do.

I woke up and looked around -- I was already dating J. He mumbled something in his sleep and scratched his nose. I settled back down into the covers, feeling warm and happy. I was already with my best friend. He was laying right there next to me.

01 November 2007

Blogging because I have too much time on my hands

Okay, I'm going to do what I do best and turn this Nov. 1st blog post into a bitch fest (I'm participating in NaBloPoMo), because today I have a rant.

I've been fielding comments over on flickr due to J's recent Internet fame. I shouldn't. Field the comments, I mean. Especially after we Googled it and had a riotous laugh about some of the comments on other blogs that I have zero control over:
I think its unique even though its ugly.

Is it me or wearing a social site costume is the best way to tell everybody around that you don't have a social life ?

Photoshop.

Where are the ads?
Obviously, the party has Firefox with Adblock.
Yes. HILARIOUS. And somewhat ironically hilarious given the spoof comments J came up with.

The vast majority of the comments have been nice. Some guy on digg was tickled by the "easter eggs," and the gearfuse guy was the first to point out that J didn't have enough stars.

Some people were just downright OFFENDED that they came up with the idea first but weren't plastered all over the Internet. I'm sorry that just because he didn't do it first, J happened to do it right. I'm sorry your fragile little egos were so bruised you had to be offended at all (although some of you were just sharing for sharing's sake, so I'm not speaking at y'all). I mean honestly, guys. I just posted a picture I took to flickr. Panties, unbunch.

Then, along the same vein, there are the people who felt compelled to link to their similar, yet less creative, costumes that "only took 15 minutes to make and were better." Seriously? It's not a contest. But if it were, shouldn't you have a little bit more pride in your work? First of all, don't tell me it took 15 minutes because I saw the link you posted and I know roughly how long it takes to make poster boards. You, unfortunately, invested more than 15 minutes in that. Add time for not actually thinking of witty comments, but instead just printing your costume off the Internet. Awesome! You can use a glue stick! Don't you have more dignity than that? Are you twelve?*

But there's one that really burns my butt, and it has come up with regards to my knitting so I felt it deserved an entry because it makes me want to stab people in the eye. This is the, "You must have so much time on your hands," comment.

Too. Much. Time. On my hands. On the Internet, I am incapable of giving the withering stare that I have perfected for just such occasions. Are you seriously telling me that because I made time to do something that makes me happy, that it is more frivolous than the time you spend farting around doing whatever it is that you do that does not interest me at all? Next time it happens I'm going to say something about the new 26 hour day I've converted to, and how they should try it.

I know that I am judgmental, but christ. Do people even think when they open their mouths anymore?

*There's no piggy-backing on my flickr page. If your comment was deleted, it was because you're a dick, because you had the audacity to post a link to your costume while calling someone who had the EXACT SAME IDEA AS YOU lame (you want some of those hits? Stop being a dick and maybe I'd allow the referral from my page), or because you annoyed me. It's my photo, my paid space on flickr, my rules. Post your links elsewhere. Be idiots elsewhere. Digg might be a good place for that.

30 October 2007

I Feel Like I'm Dating A Rock Star

So just in case you hadn't heard, my boyfriend is famous.

Well...Internet famous. His face is ALL. OVER. THE. INTERNET. This is because he is super awesome and creative.

Here's the photo that started it all.

19 October 2007

Our Love of Pizza...and Not Wearing Pants

J and I had a hankering for pizza last night (okay, in all reality, we had a hankering for "food," and as I had started to pull pajama pants on, I no longer had any desire to wear real pants just to go to a restaurant), and so we sauntered over to the Papa John's website to order pizza without any human interaction at all! Or pants! (Just how I like my pizza!) There was a special involving free cheese sticks with an order of any large 3 topping pizza. We usually get the cheese sticks, anyway, with a bacon pizza, but with this deal we could spent the same amount of money and get two extra toppings. What a steal! I was feeling creative, and so our three toppings were bacon, extra cheese...and bacon.

Also, we may like Papa John's a little too much...Sometimes we order pizza through my account and request it be delivered to J's apartment. We've done this a few times too many, it seems, because he's started getting Papa John's coupons sent to his apartment, all addressed to me.

18 October 2007

Yarn I stole doesn't count towards the budget, right?

I bought some knitpicks yarn recently; I sincerely needed one more skein of the Iris Alpaca Cloud to finish Muir, and while I was there...



knitpicks alpaca cloud in peppermint

So last night, due to my recent (just prior to this order, but I want to point out that I qualified this order!) promise to J not to buy any more yarn, at least until all of the projects currently on my needles have been completed:
"Look at this yarn! I want to sleep in a bed of this yarn. Isn't it beautiful?"
"...Did you buy that yarn in the past few days?"
"Well, yes, but...

...No, I stole it."

15 October 2007

Loving Frank

I went to Western Pennsylvania this weekend because two of J's childhood friends were getting married. Going on plane rides means that I need a new book or two, and this trip was no exception. I picked up Loving Frank and The Boleyn Inheritance.

I haven't started reading the Boleyn Inheritance, but I finished Loving Frank this morning. I am a sucker for historical fiction; this trip felt like the perfect time to indulge that urge. Plus, the other book I had really wanted to bring was the Half Blood Prince, but I could hear J groaning when I picked it up, and he wasn't even there.

Loving Frank follows the life of Martha "Mamah" Borthwick, Frank Lloyd Wright's mistress, from around 1903 until her death in 1914. This oft overlooked woman is usually "a footnote in the life of America's greatest architect," but in this book she shines. We finally learn a little bit more about Mamah (pronounced 'May-mah') Borthwick Cheney and her role in the American feminist movement (which is slight but notable), and the book even seems to treat her as Wright's first real love. The book ends with the tragic and untimely death of Mamah and her children in Taliesin, the house Wright designed for Mamah and himself after he deserted his first wife, Catherine, and their six children.

I have always wanted to know more about this mistress that Frank Lloyd Wright had, mostly because I crave details about tragic and clandestine love affairs of most famous people, especially ones that I admire. It's hard to find information about Mamah, aside from summaries of her murder which are usually just in the details about the demise of Taliesin. She obviously meant a lot to Wright, but on the other hand they only knew each other for a grand total of nine years, and the affair coincides suspiciously with a huge artistic/mid-life crisis on Wright's part. Even Mamah, through the voice of Nancy Horan admits that Frank was already and always a shining star in this world, and would have been even without her in his life. This is not to discount her, but she certainly wasn't his first mistress, and even though it's very possible that they may have been happy together if she had survived, he didn't seem to have a habit of staying faithful to any one woman (which reminds me of Roman Polanski in some ways).

I was angered throughout the book by Frank and Mamah, two incredibly selfish people who destroyed the lives of their families in the pursuit of their own happiness, but I have a soft spot for FLW's architecture, which helps me overlook his shortcomings as a father. In Mamah's case, the destruction was quite literal, since both of her children died with her that day at Taliesin, but many other accounts seem to say that Frank Lloyd Wright's children did not appreciate their father's desertion very much. While I tend to agree with most of Mamah's feminist views, on principle, she seemed to be living a social experiment with Wright simply to push her own feminist agenda -- one that seems sad when you take into account her children.

In the end, it was a beautifully written book, even though I felt that it romanticizes the relationship to the point of making it seem silly. Mamah's obsession with Frank sounded very much like my high school crushes: childish fantasies where I could not see anything outside of my desire. The biggest difference is that I was a child, myself, and she was a woman with children. I have some sympathy for her because she grew up in a different time, but much of her relationship with Frank seemed unstable to me, and if she hadn't perished in that fire, I sincerely doubt they would have made it to the end. Still, this is conjecture based on pure (albeit thoroughly researched) fiction since much of her correspondence was burned with her in Taliesin. The book was thoughtfully written and felt true to the characters, but it was pieced together using Frank's life and a meager ten letters from Mamah to Ellen Key.

If your things are architecture, feminism, and historical fiction, I highly recommend this book, although I would also recommend it if you like Cosmo, Glamour, or Chick-lit. There's a lot more "Bridges of Madison County" in this book than there are accounts of Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural influence on anyone but Mamah Borthwick Cheney.

11 October 2007

America's Next Top Model: The Girl Who Goes Bald

Last night the girls on America's Next Top Model were dressed as flowers, and Tyra took the flower metaphor waaay to far. Tyra's crazy, and I love her for it, but sometimes she just needs to quit it -- last night was one of those times. Get ready to be "deflowered"??? Are you serious, Tyra? And then the girls who all thought deflowered --> being nude? Jesus God, people. Mary and I looked at each other and immediately burst into laughter.

Last week I told someone I was having trouble doing these ANTM recaps without using the word "bitch," so this week I'm going to try really hard to keep the use of the word bitch to this paragraph explaining how, no matter how much I may want to, I can't use...that word. (One more time to get it out of my system: ...bitch)

This week was the most glorious week in ANTM: Makeover week! Mostly, I like to see girls cry when Tyra hacks off all their hair or gives them weaves. It's so predictable. Also, as a professional who uses rendering software to get that photo-realistic look for important presentations, I especially appreciated the digitized photos of the girls' makeovers. Way to use MS Paint, guys! Can I outsource my next presentation board to you all?

Most of the makeovers were not good. Saleisha got this bob that...might be cute? In certain lighting? The other makeovers were drastic, yet tired. Bianca's hair was so fried they had to shave it all off. She was a good sport about it, and I get why she was crying, but I have very little sympathy for someone who fries their hair out so badly it needs to be shaved off. It was pink for crying out loud. She should have known better -- this is high fashion, as Tyra pointed out, not Queens. Heather got the best makeover of all: a trim and some highlights.

This week's challenge was "the Cover Girl challenge" (the tables of make-up, etc). Sarah won, and the other girls were just glad it wasn't Saleisha again. I just remembered a tiny unrelated detail that blew my mind...When Niles introduced his wife?! I never thought, with all the womanizing he clearly does, that Niles might be married! Wow. Just wow.

The photo shoot, as previously mentioned, was flower themed. The girls were dressed up as follows:
Ambreal - Rose
Bianca - Sunflower
Chantal - Baby's Breath
Ebony - Bird of Paradise
Heather - Weeds
Janet - Hydrangea
Jenah - Moss
Lisa - Bamboo
Saleisha - Tulip
Sarah - Ivy
Victoria - Cactus
I liked the concept, and the look on Heather's face when she found out she was a weed was priceless. Victoria simply doesn't get it -- being a flower?...Is dumb. She comes at it from the perspective of a student, though. She weighs the pros and cons and seems to come to the visible conclusion that her heart is not in it. To the cameras, though, she states that she's going to try harder because she can win this; probably because she's never gotten less than an A- in her life, and like all other things she must not fail at this (I have a bad habit of projecting, but something in that last sentence makes so much sense that I feel like I get Victoria).

The elimination round: Victoria and Saleisha are in the bottom. Victoria totally got that she was a cactus because she has a prickly personality, but she mouths off to Twiggy during the panel, and Tyra tells her that top models are gracious and sans attitude. Saleisha is told that she isn't photographing as well as she should, and that her eyes have no emotion - there's nothing behind them (like a brain).

Eventually the chip on Victoria's shoulder does her in, and she is eliminated. As she leaves the house, she admits that it's better this way so that she doesn't steal some girl's dream. Ultimately, I did like Victoria, even though she came off as very condescending -- probably because I can relate. I think the cutting room floor was not kind to her, so maybe her clips were...manipulated - and if anyone's going to be okay after elimination, it's her. Now that Victoria's gone, though, I can focus all of my attention on Heather. Beautiful, wonderful, unaffected Heather -- who is very much going to be America's Next Top Model unless she completely blows the commercial competition..

10 October 2007

Dashing to the finish line

Last night, I finally finished J's pair of Dashing fingerless mitts. A few months ago, I started making him socks, which any knitter in a "new" relationship will tell you, is a big gamble (he seemed "excited" about my knitting...but how far does the boyfriend sweater curse extend?...and by "excited" I mean teases me mercilessly and continuously about what he refers to as my yarn "problem," and conjecturing that every time he goes out of town, I find ways to hide yarn under the floorboards and in the attic. I would never hide yarn in the attic).

In the end my concerns were moot because he was excited! And then the first sock didn't fit! So, mostly out of frustration and disappointment, I decided to put the socks on the shelf for a bit. As a consolation prize for being such a Rockstar Boyfriend, I decided I would make these fingerless mitts since mine turned out so well (ha!). I ended up tearing his back a few times because they had to be absolutely perfect, but it was worth it in the end. Two perfect fingerless mitts. The first project I've ever taken off the needles without worrying where I would find those hidden mistakes I didn't catch the first time.

Besides, with some manipulation (like J losing five pounds in one of his legs), the first sock may fit - albeit tightly. I made the second sock bigger by six more stitches a round, so that should fix things, right?

Swatch? What's that?

Anyway...Without further ado, here they are!

08 October 2007

MIT Glass Pumpkin Sale

For the past three years, I have vowed that I was going to wake up extra early on the day of the MIT Glass Pumpkin sale so that I could document the pumpkins and the madness with my camera.

This year I finally made it to the sale. It wasn't at the break of dawn, though, and instead of merely documenting the madness, I became part of it. A friend of ours had asked us to buy a pumpkin for her because she would be unable to make it, and once I was in there, it was hard not to adopt every pumpkin in sight.



I had finally settled on a blue one that was a little more pricey than intended, when another woman started setting down a pretty green flecked pumpkin -- my eyes zoned in on the price tag, and it was exactly in the budget! I practically snatched the pumpkin from this poor woman's hands. Even J left with some gift pumpkins.



It was a good haul this year. Just in time for autumn.

06 October 2007

It may come to a point where this should just be called "Briar's Tokyo Police Club Blog"

I am a card carrying member of the FNX (101.7 Boston) radio station network. The theory is that there are a bunch of privileges that come with this card -- pre-sale concert tickets, free FNX events, and the FNX Card Concert series, but in reality, I only got the card because TOKYO POLICE CLUB were playing. And it was free.

Sapporo sponsored this crazy awesome concert, so on top of being at a Super Intimate Show, I got all sorts of tacky Sapporo swag (I mean...I ♥ you Sapporo! Not tacky! Awesome!) (No, but seriously...there were (XL) T-shirts with kanji characters and a written English translation of "Yankee Haters." My roommate, who is semi-fluent in Japanese laughed when I brought the shirt home because apparently it says something closer to "Fuck the Yankees."). I got a few of those paper fans...you know the ones you can buy for $0.50, but I can never seem to find them, and I want one to carry on the T. Yeah, so I grabbed about four of them.

But what I really got that night was the chance to finally meet the band without making a total ass out of myself. Sure, we didn't have intimate conversations about life or anything, but we talked about my shirt, and even though I know they do say it to everyone, they personally thanked me for coming out to see them and since I was the only one there at the time, I like to pretend that they'll remember me forever. Graham, the keyboardist, was jealous because he'd actually tried to buy the shirt I was wearing from Threadless, but they were out of his size. I got a picture with (bassist) Dave Monks and (keyboardist) Graham Wright:


It was brief and fleeting, but it was also supremely awesome, and I didn't even volunteer to have their babies or anything. I also got some pretty good rocking out shots, because I was in the front row and about three feet away from the band:




The rest of the shots from that night are Here, in a flickr set.

03 October 2007

Little Mountain Sherpas

Every time I have to write a work related e-mail, I work myself into a "state," and every fear I have of being fired comes out from hiding in the dark corners of my mind. I don't know why I do this. It's something I'm aware of, and it's something I've worked on, but while I've mostly gotten it cornered in my personal relationships and sometimes when I'm out in a group, I cannot get a handle on it when work is involved. (And yes, I have talked at length about this with my therapist)

Today, I was an absolute mess for about five minutes while I deliberated with a coworker how I should address an email to a team of consultants, who happen to work out of India. I had only one of their names and didn't want to address the email to one person and ignore the rest. I eventually settled on "hello [name] and team," but not before having this gem of a conversation:
I have no idea who to address it to. [company] team? That sounds so impersonal!

I'm sure they don't care how you address them, as long as it's not how Heather does it. 'Dear mountain sherpas...'
As per usual, my PA found a potential problem (this is why I rarely CC people I work for. Bad habit? Yes. Keeps me from passing out? Yes.), but it was nowhere near as bad as her referring to our consultants as "little mountain sherpas who get the work done while we sleep." And I have to admit, I did feel a little bit better about myself when I thought about it.

02 October 2007

Lazy Sunday

This is one of my favorite pictures of J in the whole world.

For the same reason that I love it when he wears his glasses, I love how this picture makes me feel comfortable and safe in our relationship. He also has a pair of slippers that made me want to date him a year ago, because they remind me of feeling warm and content, the way a cup of hot cocoa and a fire can make me feel. I know -- I'm the world's biggest nerd, but those slippers...

It's this kind of lazy Sunday afternoon, where the sunlight kisses the room while he hacks his own computer and I sit next to him and knit, that I wish I could bottle up and save for later, when our lives get hectic again.

It's pictures like this that make me miss him. Even when he's just two miles away.

01 October 2007

"Why would you pay for candy porn when you can download it for free on the Internet?"

Every year around this time, candy corn hits the aisles again, and it's about at this time every year that I eat myself sick of candy corn. Thankfully, most supermarkets don't stock candy corn year round, and this saves me from eating it until I truly never want to eat it again. J also likes candy corn, which is just another sign from the universe that we were meant to be together, because I have a hard time meeting people who will eat candy corn with me.

The other day, we were in his car after a day of shopping, and we passed a pet grooming store called "Doggie Styles." I was laughing so hard I couldn't get the story out in one breath.J laughed, but also told me I was "terrible."

Later, I heard him say something about "Candy Porn," but he insisted that he had said "Candy corn," and I started to develop a complex. It wasn't until much later, when I was in hysterics about the doggie styles salon yet again, that he admitted he'd said candy porn, after all.

So while I may not be crazy or hard of hearing, we've established that I do have a dirty mind. But so does J. And he also likes candy porn corn. I think he could be the one.

28 September 2007

ANTM: The Girls Go Green

I forgot to post this on Thursday, but this week's ANTM was interesting, if I'm allowed to use the word interesting loosely. What is it with all these "girls from the 'hood" with the chips on their shoulders this year? There was almost a bitch fight between Bianca and Lisa, and eventually Lisa started crying and cursing. Bianca is obviously threatened by Lisa and overcompensated for this by telling her she was a terrible model, and I'm pretty sure that she said something about her being "one step away from a plus size model," whatever that means. I could eat most of these girls. Bianca is not really Top Model material yet, and whether or not she chooses to learn during this competition might have something to do with not worrying about what the other girls are up to more than worrying about her own actions. Still, I have to admire her scheming ways...apologizing to Lisa because she's "strategizing." What a conniving bitch. You know I mean that in the best way: from one conniving bitch to another.

The disappointing lack of courtesy and grace continued when every. single. one of the girls ragged on Heather because of her autism, and I could practically see the thought bubbles that read, "Well, crap -- I can obviously beat this girl because she has a disability. She'll probably get the boot this week" Except Victoria, of course. See, Victoria is "smart enough" to get into Yale, which means she's smart enough to tell the camera things that imply that she's above everyone else, like how she doesn't get involved in the cat-fights. The problem I have with Vicky's tactic is that saying things like that out loud negates the social grace involved in not getting involved, but alas, that is the trap of the reality show cameras. Besides, I kind of like Victoria. Aside from the fact that she's on Top Model, she seems to be pretty down to earth. And Heather is going to bitch slap a lot of these girls week after week because the camera LOVES her, and she has Asperger's which may make her socially awkward, but given the diagnosis, not linguistically or cognitively slow. Other girls? Excuses, please?

The competition this week was a ten-minute shopping spree at Old Navy. The girls had to find something "high-fashion" and piece it together to be judged by Tyra and the panel. Saleisha won the competition, and could very well win the Top Model designation. She's certainly got my tentative early pick.

The theme of this week's photos was smoking's cruel side effects. The girls did one pose in a glam getup, looking into a mirror that was (photoshop) reflecting their second pose, where they were made-up to represent the horrible disease that was caused by their smoking.

Ebony and Mila were the bottom two models this week. Ebony lost her sparkle after being told that all the other girls hate her, and Mila couldn't stop laughing at her post-radiation chemo get-up.

Partially because of her uncontrollable hysteria, and partially because she seems vapid and unable to absorb large words -- forget basic concepts -- Mila gets sent home.

26 September 2007

Casting Calls for the movie of my life

Phil and I used to play a game with Teresa when we were freshmen at MIT, mostly when we should have been doing p-sets. We would ask each other, "Who would play so-and-so if they ever made a movie about your life?"

Sometimes I still try to cast people in the movie of my life. I don't even remember what we decided back then because we were very different people, although I do remember Teresa telling us that if we ever cast Sandra Oh as her character there would be all sorts of hell to pay. For the past two years, I have said that Phil would be played by Adrian Grenier in my movie, but I'm pretty sure he's the only one I've ever nailed down.

For a while now, I had cast John Krasinski as J. He's tall, he's got the right haircut, he's smart and witty...it's a pretty good fit. J's nose is more defined, and his eyebrows are more manageable -- plus he's got the Bon Jovi lips, but both of their eyes are expressive in similar ways, and I could see it happening. At least until a few weeks ago when I saw Death at a Funeral.

I tried to Google Kris Marshall, and none of the photos do this decision justice, with the possible exception of the one to the left. There are obviously some serious problems with this casting decision. First and foremost, he's British, and I'm not convinced he could do the Western PA accent justice. The accent is key to the role. But he's got the wit. He's got the charm. He's got the brains. He's definitely cute. Most of the time. I think he looks more like J than John...most of the time...it could work.

Anyway, that was my utterly useless post for today, brought to you by not-enough-coffee.

24 September 2007

Hub on Wheels Ride: Cycling for Technology

On Sunday, J and I rode 50 miles around Boston with a co-worker of mine for the benefit of the Digital Bridge Foundation, a completely nerdy and very worthwhile cause.

I'm not going to lie, 50 miles was painful. At one point, I told J I was holding him personally responsible for any. more. hills. When all was said and done, though, there were several feelings I had, and none of them needed to be iced. First and foremost, I was really proud of myself. I know that I did not keep up with the guys the whole way, and I visibly held them back at least twice, but it was only twice. In 45 miles.J and I even rode there and [part of the way, for me - I live twice as far as he does!] back.

I felt a real sense of accomplishment, and it was very cool to share this with J. I had a lot of fun, I got to see parts of Boston that I never would have seen, otherwise, and I won a $50 zipcar credit at one of the booths. I also finally went out and bought the shorts with the padded butt, and let me tell you -- they may look stupid? But my butt?...It has never been more comfortable. Never again will I laugh at nerdy cyclists in their nerdy cyclist clothes. Now I just need one of those shirts with the pockets on the back (although you will notice I made up for this on Sunday by wearing my Nerds 22 Ever T-Shirt...).

20 September 2007

ANTM - Cycle 9 Premiere

Last night, J suffered through his first episode of America's Next Top Model. He was a good sport, but I don't think he'll be making the mistake of coming over on Wednesdays anymore. I don't know why this show is so addicting for me. I remember exactly when I first started watching it, and it was only because Alisa would have it on the TV every Wednesday. I'm not deliberately being aloof about this -- I honestly only watched when Alisa and Ben did. At first. Now I could make all the excuses in the world, but the truth is that this show has the power to suck me in like no other reality show ever has. I've watched the occasional episode of Project Runway, and from time to time I enjoy Extreme Home Makeover or Trading Spaces, but none of them has the ability to draw me to the TV on a weekly basis.

Last night, 30 girls boarded a cruise for the cycle premiere, and only 13 emerged as contestants for "The Future of Fashion." The winner will receive management and representation from Elite Model Management, a $100,000 CoverGirl contract, and a cover and six-page spread in Seventeen, which seems underwhelming given the winner used to be featured in Elle.

I was, as usual these days, unimpressed by the girls. Sometimes there is something in one or two of them that tugs at me, but this time not a single girl resonated with me off the bat. Hopefully there will be some redeeming qualities as the season progresses, but I'm skeptical. One of the more brilliant moments was when one of the girls stated that she wanted to be on the show to do something that matters...to give back to the community -- by being on America's Next Top Model. What a contribution to society! She is so selfless. I hope she wins.

The final 13 girls:
Ambreal, 19, from Dallas, Texas
Bianca, 18, from Queens, New York
Chantal, 19, from Austin, Texas
Ebony, 20, from Chicago, Illinois
Heather, 21, from Valparaiso, Indiana
Janet Mills, 22, from Bainbridge, Georgia
Jenah, 18, from Farmington, Connecticut
Kimberly Leemans, 20, from Ocala, Florida
Lisa, 20, from Jersey City, New Jersey
Mila, 20, from Boston, Massachusetts
Saleisha, 21, from Los Angeles, California
Sarah Hartshorne, 20, from Heath, Massachusetts
Victoria Marshman, 20, from New Haven, Connecticut
My only regret is that Marvita (the girl with the sweet mohawk) did not make the final cut. True, she did not cry like the other "punk-ass" girls, which made her even more awesome in my book, but they really did a number on us with her story. During her interview, Tyra commented on how "a lot of bad people had done a lot of bad things [to her]," and, on National television, Marvita explained about the sexual abuse, rape, and homelessness. Then she didn't make the cut because they didn't see her as "high-fashion." Way to capitalize on that sob story, Tyra.

And is it just me, or were a lot of the girls whiny little bitches last night? I watched the first three cycles on VH1 a while back, and was astounded by how nice the girls were to each other. Yes, this is a competition, but they were all there for the same reason and there was a mutual respect amongst the contestants; a mutual respect that has been sorely lacking in recent cycles. I think they're just deliberately picking the bitchiest girls they can find these days so that there will be drama in the house.

19 September 2007

lolz^9

Looking through my old emails today, I found this:
From: Briar
Subject: PLASTIC CUPS FOR SAM AND ALLIE'S

>BRING THEM OR DIE
J's response? (At my place, as I was standing over his shoulder watching him type)
let them eat cake ... and plastic cups ... AND DIE ... omg ... lolz^8... better yet, to the NINTH *explosion*
I'm fairly certain we were both tired at the time, but that makes it no less funny.

17 September 2007

Barnes & Noble just doesn't like my face

I ordered this book from Barnes & Noble.com the other day because I had a gift card and it was on sale.

I was given a shipping estimate of October 1st. You can imagine the rageahol that ensued, but fortunately, the package shipped today. I figured their estimate was a little bit generous, but maybe it's kind of like when the hostess tells you it's going to be an hour, just because you're pissing her off and she doesn't like your attitude or your face (why yes, I was a hostess in high school).

I am going to knit so many cables when I get this book. Or I'm going to let it sit on my shelf for a year before I put it to any use. Either way --because it was on sale.

Aside from B&N's LIES, last week was a really rough week for me. Remind me what that was like next time I forget several doses of my meds in one week because the concept of preventative medication, like so many other concepts, has always been a difficult one for me to grasp.

Monday Madness - Week in Review

What was your biggest challenge this past week?

Trying to find balance in an otherwise unbalanced and disorganized place in my life. It was a really tough week, emotionally.

What was your biggest accomplishment this past week?

I finished one of J's Dashing mitts. It has zero mistakes, and aside from the one or two nitpicky things I notice because I'm a perfectionist, I think it's perfect.

What was the most exciting thing that happened in your life this past week?

I got to visit MIT Lincoln Lab, see where J works, plus the machine shop, the airplanes, a "big-ass" radar, and some infrared cameras.

I also went to IHOP.

What one thing made you the happiest this past week?

Spending time with J. Watching King of Kong was pretty happy, too -- it's hilarious and I highly recommend it.

12 September 2007

One Thumb Up



J gave my pair of Dashing mitts one thumb up. He wasn't a fan of the fingers. So I will be making his without fingers.

10 September 2007

My ANTM Submission




I am having the time of my life over at Ravelry. Being the uber-geek I am, I positively DROOL all over things that categorize and organize other things for me. Nevermind that I had to turn my room upside down to take pictures of yarn, or that I haven't really made time to do anything else (hello, laundry?). It is such an inspiration to see all the beautiful knitting other people are doing, and to share my own work in a forum that is designed for just that. Even though I read an article about how bad the Internet is for allowing people to form "friendships" without getting close, rendering our generation incapable of having real friends -- well, I like the community.

The only completed project I hadn't yet photographed was my latest, which is a pair of dashing mitts. I was going to do some fancy Photoshop work, and I used my air conditioner as a tripod (yes, I do have a tripod, but I am also extraordinarily lazy), but I think that the un-Photoshopped photo is just fine (did I mention how I'm extraordinarily lazy?). The photo above is the result, and I'm so proud of the way it shows off my fingerless mitts, my new favorite earrings, and the fact that I am sexy as all hell. Also, that I am a dweeb.

It's really not that bad, guys. Hair grows back.

The other day, my waxer told me that if I wanted to save money, I should shave my legs -- not try to wax my own eyebrows. I'm going to tell myself that every morning for the next month while I pencil in half of my left eyebrow.

07 September 2007

Even the Humpback whales use sippy cups

[From my unpublished archives, dated 31 August, 2007]

Zach, from the archived threads at WhaleASK, asked:
Some friends and I were talking about whales and the subject of drinking came up. People (and I assume other land mammals) have to drink water pretty frequently or they will dehydrate and die. How do marine mammals take in water? Is it absorbed through the skin somehow? Is it ingested and absorbed some other way? Are they "drinking" all the time, or does it only happen part of the time? How do they deal with the salt content of the water?

Thanks in advance,
Zach
It just so happens that J and I were discussing this very topic last night, Zach. Evidently, whales take in water using sippy cups. Not even whale sized ones. Normal sized sippy cups.

Doesn't it blow your mind?

Internet People!

Internet People! - The Meth Minute 39


Found at Pop Candy.

06 September 2007

My Life Was Incomplete Without Tokyo Police Club

I already posted today, but I wanted to post again to talk about how fucking awesome Tokyo Police Club [mp3] are.

I bought their EP almost a year ago, and I still listen to it with as much enthusiasm as I did when it was fresh in my collection. If you have not had a chance to listen to A Lesson in Crime, I highly recommend it. (I'm listening to it now, as a matter of fact)

They are indie rock kids after my heart. Their story is absolutely adorable, also -- only the drummer is old enough to legally imbibe; the lead singer/bassist postponed college after one semester to go full time with the band, but the passion in their music and the raw, driving sound in their songs is enough to convince you that they made the right decision. Besides, how much cuter does it get than childhood friends starting an indie band? Not much cuter.

I remember visiting their webspace last year when I bought the EP, and there was some homemade HTML page that read, "Please buy our album -- we're starving indie kids and we need to eat!" NOW, they are totally web 2.0.

They anticipate releasing an album in February.
“We are hoping to have the album out in February. It would be nice to have it out then, but it’s just a tentative date. If it takes 10 years to write this album, it will take 10 years. We aren’t going to compromise or compensate.”
In the meantime, buy that EP and wait eagerly on the edge of your seat, and if you happen to be in any of these cities, you can catch them on tour. I saw them a few weeks ago for a second time, and I swear they will not disappoint:
Oct. 3, 2007 WaMu Theater at MSG - New York, NY
Oct. 7, 2007 Schubas - Chicago, IL
Oct. 8, 2007 Schubas - Chicago, IL
Oct. 9, 2007 7th St. Entry - Minneapolis, MN
Oct. 11, 2007 Pyramid Cabaret - Winnipeg, MB
Oct. 12, 2007 Louis' Pub @ SU - Saskatoon, SK
Oct. 13, 2007 Starlite Room - Edmonton, AB
Oct. 14, 2007 The Warehouse - Calgary, AB
Oct. 16, 2007 Sugar Nightclub - Victoria, BC
Oct. 17, 2007 The Plaza - Vancouver, BC
Oct. 18, 2007 Neumos - Seattle, WA
Oct. 19, 2007 Doug Fir Lounge - Portland, OR
Oct. 22, 2007 Beauty Bar - Las Vegas, NV
Oct. 23, 2007 The El Rey Theatre - Los Angeles, CA
Oct. 24, 2007 The Glass House - Pomona, CA
Oct. 25, 2007 Popscene - San Francisco, CA

Sock Wars 2007

I have decided to do something utterly nerdy (and awesome) and participate in Sock Wars 2007!

Even though I have a terrible track record when it comes to knitting socks, and tend to be a slow knitter, maybe having a real goal to work towards will give me the oomph I need to finish a pair of socks in a reasonable and timely fashion.

Then again, maybe I'll get shot down in the first round.

05 September 2007

Choose Your Own Adventure: Relationship Edition

This article from Wired posed some interesting questions about the internet and relationship styles. It linked to a study done at the University of Illinois, which claims that "simulated relationships can provide insight into real ones."

Here's a funny excerpt from the Wired article:
I took the study's survey myself and found my fictional partner so immature, and the assumptions the story made about my emotions so inaccurate, that in most cases neither of the options was anything close to what I'd do. Nor did I have the option of "dump his ass and move on," which should have been listed at the end of every scenario.
Like Regina, I was surprised by the outcome of my relationship "adventure," because I also would not have chosen most of the options in real life that I was forced to click in this survey. Not only did I find my fictional partner to be immature, but the responses I leveled at him were also lacking in substance.

In the end, I was given results that have been drilled into me since I started therapy. Does this mean I'll finally listen? Probably not, but it was interesting to see that one random online survey agreed with my therapist.

30 August 2007

Victory!

I'm not at all bothered that I am the kind of person who curses out my computer, software, and the printers, because I also coo to them when they're being helpful.




And sometimes I make out with them so that they'll do what I want, but that's only because I'm manipulative.

28 August 2007

Guster - Satellite

How can I not be totally in love with this guy?:

"This song reminds me of you because I like Science. And I like you."
Shining like a work of art
Hanging on a wall of stars
Are you what I think you are?

You're my satellite
You're riding with me tonight
Passenger side, lighting the sky
Always the first star that I find
You're my satellite

Elevator to the moon
Just a little favorite tune
Trying to get a closer view

You're my satellite
You're riding with me tonight
Passenger side, lighting the sky
Always the first star that I find
You're my satellite

Maybe you will always be
Just a little out of reach

You're my satellite
You're riding with me tonight
Passenger side, lighting the sky
Always the first star that I find
You're my satellite
You're my satellite
Guster - Satellite [mp3]

20 August 2007

Monday Madness - Computers

How many desktop computers in your home?

Just my roommate's

How many laptops?

Three, right now.

What kind of internet service do you have? (i.e. phone modem, dsl, etc.)

cable modem

Do you tend to use more than one email account regularly?

No, but I do have a spam email address that I use to sign up for things. Unless you count my work email address, then I use two regularly.

Do you use email as a main source for communicating to your family and friends?

Yes

What kind of computer monitor do you own (flatscreen, or other)?

I have a laptop.

15 August 2007

I had to hide another one of my flickr photos today.

I suppose I should stop posting photos of my feet on the Internet.

About a year ago, I found a nail polish at my salon that was called "Ruby Pumps." The concept was a glittery red color, much like Dorothy's slippers in the Wizard of Oz. I took a picture of my pedicure when I got home, to show one of my friends.

This morning, I checked my flickr activity and saw that someone had favorited this year-old (untagged!) photo. Now...from previous experience, I've learned that virtually no one favorites foot pictures unless they're some sort of fetishist or collector of random snapshots of women's body parts. Never mind how he even found the photo in the first place.

And sure enough, there was my photo in his favorites -- sandwiched between a bare breast and an "erotic" foot photo. I know that art is subjective, and maybe some poor, misguided girl thinks that this is not amateur porn, but "art." And while normally I could not care less about what people put up on the Internet (I judge, but I wouldn't want to censor), my foot was next to a woman's breast, for Christ's sake.

I'm just glad I marked it as private before he had a chance to go jerk off to all of his favorites this afternoon, since I can only assume that's what you do with a collection of "naughty" flickr photos. And my foot.

13 August 2007

Monday Madness - Compound Words

Please fill in the following blanks, to make a compound word:

1. GROUNDBREAKING
2. FIREFIGHTER
3. HOUSEBROKEN
4. OVERWHELMED
5. SUNRISE
6. UNDERWHELMED
7. OUTSIDE
8. SOMEDAY

09 August 2007

Concerts of '07

I just bought tickets to see Kings of Leon for J and myself. I'm so excited! I have a tendency to waffle right before I buy concert tickets, and end up getting balcony seats because I spent too much time wondering whether or not I should go. This time was no exception, but at least they're center seats. The only time I waited and still got an amazing seat was the time I saw the Raconteurs at the Orpheum because I bought a solo ticket and was squashed in between two couples.

I've been making an effort to go to more live shows in the past year, and even though it can be hard on the wallet sometimes, I think I've gathered a respectable list:
Raconteurs
Art Brut with Tokyo Police Club
We are Scientists
Pete Yorn
Bloc Party
Voxtrot (with Au Revoir Simone)
Kaiser Chiefs (with the Walkmen)
Jet
LCD Soundsystem (with YACHT)
Voxtrot and We are Scientists (again, this time at the Siren Music Festival)
I'm hoping to add a few more to that list before October, possibly including The Mountain Goats, Animal Collective, Tokyo Police Club or Play Radio Play, Stars, Of Montreal, Spoon, and...erm, maybe Voxtrot...AGAIN (I can't get me enough Voxtrots. For real).

24 July 2007

What LOLcat R U?...is I?

According to OK Cupid I are Serious Cat
48% Affectionate, 27% Excitable, 57% Hungry

Hungry for knowledge in any internet forum, I demand decorum. Any off-topic remarks, absurd statements, or tomfoolery on the interweb is deeply frowned upon by me. Truth has no room for drollery.

To see all possible results, checka dis.

23 July 2007

Finishing Harry Potter >> Sleep

2:00 AM:
J rustles awake...
"I just finished Harry Potter. Go back to sleep."
"Was it everything you'd hoped for?"
"It was. And more."
"Does Harry die?"
"...I'm not going to tell you that! You have to read the book!"

J isn't a fan of Harry Potter (I know...I don't know why I'm still with him, either), but he was with me at midnight on the 21st when I went to pick up the latest Harry Potter book, and he didn't complain at all about my blatant neglect this weekend, while I read cover to cover without ever putting it down.

I don't have too much to say, except that it was brilliant, and perfect and totally warranted staying up until 2:00 in the morning.

Anyway, does anyone else watch Flight of the Conchords?

If you do, and you're a David Bowie fan like me, you were probably also very excited about last night's Bowie trib:



Space Oddity is probably one of my favorite songs, ever.

Monday Madness - Food

Are there any weird "food rules" you have? Feel free to list as many as you like.

Not really, it's just that I hate onions and won't eat them. That's not a rule, just a way of life.

When you were growing up, what ONE thing did your parents always remind you of, when it came to meal time (or cooking)?


My dad ALWAYS reminded me that we weren't at Burger King and things couldn't be cooked our way. My mom worked hard making us a meal, and we'd enjoy it and to stop asking for things with "no meat" (me) or "no green things" (my sister). Never mind that the only reason my mom had to make "special" meals for the two of us was because my dad refused to eat things with "no meat" or "no green things."

Is there anyone you know whose food you won't eat (for one reason or another)?

I don't really like eating food made by people I don't know, period. Especially old people.

Is there anything you "specialize" in cooking, that people actually ask for?

No, but I make a decent bowl of salsa

When you were growing up, what one meal do you remember as being your favorite?

Spaghetti

Today, what is your IDEAL meal?

Pasta, interestingly enough, but I prefer Angel Hair pasta to spaghetti.

19 July 2007

Harry Potter leak = Boston Tea Party

I just read about this article (Spoiler Warning!) on Pop Candy, but the real hilarity was here in this article, where they likened the Harry Potter leak to the Boston Tea Party.

17 July 2007

That's why I grew up to be the way I am

I was a very very very intense, quiet child. I usually read books in a corner and didn't want to talk to anyone.

Is that strange? People seemed to like me anyway. And then they wanted to talk to me, even though I was all sorts of not interested and could they please leave me alone so I could finish this chapter?

It doesn't always work as well as an adult. Today, I was told about how depression can cause certain things in people's life to deteriorate (social circles, careers, life-paths), and one of the reasons you may have a hard time pulling yourself out of the depression, even if you try really really hard, is that even though sometimes you try, people who don't truly care about you aren't going to put up with the shit you dole out when you're at a low point, and the consequences aren't always easily undone. (I have never loved J more than when I typed that paragraph...)

That makes sense, even though mostly I think I come off as quiet and shy, and sometimes I say stupid things and instead of letting them go I die a million deaths inside and stop talking. Personally, I have a Very Hard Time returning to places that make me remember the god-awful lows, and if I've embarrassed myself in front of someone (by doing something they probably didn't even notice), I have a hard time ever speaking to them again. I know running away from things isn't the solution, but sometimes I wish that I didn't get one chance at a first impression...especially when some alien thing has taken over my body and people aren't really meeting me.

I want to work past this, I really do, but it's time to face the reality that all the meds are going to do is make me more myself. And I should be comfortable being myself -- and my self is quiet. She is shy. And sometimes she would rather be reading a book quietly and alone instead of talking to people.

I'm working on it, at any rate.

A Day at the Beach

Yesterday, J and I spent the day at the beach.

It was so refreshing to take a 3-day weekend for ourselves for no reason, and it was a fitting "end" to a weekend full of activity.

Granted, there were a lot of screaming kids, and some rambunctious, Frisbee-throwing teenagers, but it was still significantly less crowded than it would have been on a Saturday, and it was still relaxing and glorious.

He started reading Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, while I pored through the most recent Potter book...like many other people are doing now.

It made it so much harder to be at work today, partially because it felt so nice, and partially because my dosage was increased and now I'm tired as all holy hell. Tired, but happy...

I'll take it.

06 July 2007

One of the most confusing things I've ever done with my life was forget to take the GRE.

I've been thinking a lot about the past year and a half, and now that I'm getting better, I've snuck a peek at my old journal entries. Today I went through all of my flickr archives. The memories came back like a belly flop from the high dive. What surprised me most, actually, is how completely surprised I am by some of the things that I did to try to wrestle with this thing on my own. Sad things. Embarrassing things...and drastic things, just to make myself feel better -- or sometimes just to feel anything.

To me, the most interesting way that I tried to deal with my depression was to make big plans when I was feeling well, because I thought it would motivate me to pull myself out of the "slump." Sometimes it worked for a little while, but mostly it served to remind me of all the little failures in my life, because by the time those decisions affected me, I wasn't feeling well anymore, and I would deliberately put those things off and push them as far away as possible. Grad school would be a good example.

I was going to move to Chicago, come hell or high water, and go to grad school there. I became obsessed with Chicago; with shedding my Boston skin and starting over as a new person -- a happy person. As ridiculous as it sounds, I couldn't see how unhealthy it was to put so much emphasis on how this singular act would make me happy. How if I thought I would be happy then, it only served to highlight how unhappy I was now. I had no idea how to get from point A to point B, but, goddamnit, point B was where happiness was.

During one of my slightly more manic (and DRUNK) moments, I signed up to take the GRE. $130 is a lot of money, especially because I was unemployed, but this decision was going to CHANGE MY LIFE.

I chose a date that was a month and a half away so that I would have time to study.

I think I opened a book once. It was a Princeton Review study guide my mom had gotten me for Christmas the year before, and I'm pretty sure I didn't do much more than skim the first chapter.

The date for the test came and went, and I didn't even realize it at the time. It wasn't until a week later that I even bothered to check my email to see when I'd registered to take the exam, and instead of being upset, I was kind of relieved. Maybe. Mostly, I was too tired to care, anymore.

This is not one of my prouder moments, and I don't think I've ever admitted it to anyone.

I'm nowhere near completely healed from all of this, but I'm working on it. And the longer I work, the more results I see and the easier it gets. I'm excited about life again, and the little changes are enough for now. I'm nowhere closer to a decision about school or my career, or even where I'll be living a year from now, but it's indescribably different, in a warm happy way.

02 July 2007

Monday Madness - Laundry

Do you do your own laundry or do you send it out?

I do my own

Do you laundry at your home or a laundromat?

Laundromat

Are there certain articles of clothing that you need to have dry-cleaned on a regular basis?

My slacks -- I made the mistake of washing them once...they're pretty much ruined now. Also some of my skirts and tops are dry-clean only.

How often do you do laundry? Is there a certain day of the week that you consider "laundry day?"

I probably honestly do it once a month...I should do it every other week, at the least.

Do you iron your clothes as you pull them out of the dryer or do you wait until just before you wear the clothing to iron?

I just wear them. Iron? What's that?

Do you hang your clothes outside to dry or do you dry them in a dryer?

Dryer or my bathroom. I should hang them outside now that it's nice.

Do you own things that need to be hand-washed or do you try to avoid buying things that you can't wash in the washing machine?

I should avoid it. but I don't.

28 June 2007

On blasting your mom into space

I thought I'd share a story with you today:

I went to dinner with J and two of his friends once.J and I showed up some time after Jordan and David, so they were well into their first beers, and had been having various sorts of conversation. Evidently, earlier in the evening, David had asked Jordan, "If you could blast anything into space, what would it be?"

Jordan didn't answer at the time.

About fourty minutes later, we were eating dinner and he'd finished his second beer. He slammed the empty glass onto the table and said, "David, if I could blast anything into space, it would be your mom."

Jordan has a two beer minimum on your mom jokes. And Boston is going to be a much less amusing place when they both go to grad school.

27 June 2007

In a word: "hootie." In four: "hootie," "and," "the" and "blowfish."

I found this CRACKED.com article about the 25 Most Ridiculous Band Names in Rock History to be ABSOLUTELY HYSTERICAL.

My favorites were The Smashing Pumpkins (at #20), and !!! (unsurprisingly at #1 -- How many times have I looked at my playlist and rued the day they chose to name their band something that fucked my entire organizational system?)

11 June 2007

"More Animals Need To Be Shot From Cannons"

I volunteered to watch my friends' rats when they went out of town...
J said, "This is all fine and good, until they get out of their cage"
"Then I'd need a snake -- to get them out of the apartment!"
"Then you'd have a snake"
"I'd get a coyote....but then...I guess I don't know how I'd get rid of a coyote..."
"You'd have to get a cheetah."
"There is nothing that would solve a cheetah infestation, J"
"Except a great white shark"
"Now how the hell would we get a shark into the apartment?"
"A CANNON!"

05 June 2007

Start Making Some Pockets

I've been listening to the Thermals pretty non-stop these past few days. I suspect this is what will get me through my deadline, unless I tire of them before the end of the week (It's happened...)

I thought I would have Voxtrot, but with the exception of two or three Really Good songs, their new album is...only meh. Don't get me wrong, I totally heart Voxtrot, but I fell in love with every single that wasn't on this album. I'm still going to be taking my shirt off for them at their concert next week. Erm, I mean, rocking out to their jams.

Since I have been on a Thermals kick, I thought I'd go ahead and provide a handy link to Here's Your Future, and ask a question. When God says, "It's gonna rain," does it remind anyone else of the blackie weather forecast in Family Guy? ("It's gon'rain!") Just me?

And on that note, I wanted to end with one more Very Important Question: Why do people think that my friends and I are mean?
"Look, [I hit the pool balls so that] they made a triangle."

"How about instead of making triangles, you start making some pockets?"

22 May 2007

Pink magnolia in winter, she doesn’t care
if you don’t show up to have another cup

So, why I haven't been updating this thing:

I'm going through a lot, lately. I realized that this blog was a special kind of post-breakup therapy, and in that sense, it worked. It made me feel better to get stuff out there, to feel like I was reaching out to the Internet. At some point, the problems became too big, though. And the blogging stopped working.

I'm trying to fix my life right now, and while I wish I could go into more detail, I don't know exactly what that means.

I know that no one is happy all the time. But sometimes I try to feel happy about things, and instead all I come up with is tired.

I know how some people feel about some of the methods of "feeling better" like cognitive therapy or even drugs. My parents have expressed some pretty strong opinions about both of them, even going so far as to suggest that the "idea" that I "might be depressed" came from J, and that it's ludicrous.

Well, I just went on a five day vacation to Bermuda, and I was completely unable to experience it in the best way possible. I'm not saying that it wasn't fun, or that it wasn't the beautiful first vacation with my boyfriend that everyone hopes for...but there were clouds all over everything, and I don't mean the rain clouds over the island while we were there.

I recently started going to therapy, and so I get a lot out in those sessions. I haven't been knitting as much. I read books, and watch TV, but I don't analyze like I used to -- it's mostly a way to turn my brain off. So I've had a hard time writing.

And that's why. That's why I've gone from 20something hits a day to about...zero hits a day.

I can't promise I'll restore this thing to it's former glory, but I thought I owed it to some people to explain. I'm still reading your blogs, I'm just not doing a very good job of keeping up my end these days.

[Spinning: The Weepies - Take it From Me]

14 May 2007

Monday Madness - Computers

Which web browser do you prefer?

Firefox.

Are you a PC user or MAC user?

I'm a PC user, but if I could, I would switch over to MAC in a heartbeat.

Will your next computer purchase happen within the next year (do you think)?

It's possible, but not probable.

Will you purchase your next computer at a local store or via the internet?

It depends on whether it's a PC or a MAC. If I go Apple, I'd visit the store.

Have you had any experience with Windows Vista?

Just the really annoying commercials during Demetri Martin: Person

What are your feelings about this new operating system (if any)?

N/A

04 May 2007

Validation

Me: I made ceiling soffits!
I'm so proud of them
well...I'm kind of proud of them
you know how your third grader will bring home the ugliest piece of crap covered in glitter and glue and god knows what?
that's how I'm proud of them.
Co-worker: awww, let me put the soffit on the fridge.

02 May 2007

Soko - Take My Heart

You can take my heart for a walk on the beach
You can take my heart for a little trip
You can take my heart very close to your heart
You can take my heart forever if you like

But not every heart belongs to any other
You and I
You and I are meant to be
I'm the one for you, You're the one for me
You love me as much as I do
When you look at me and we're skin to skin
I want you so
Please come in
And you love me more and more
And my love grows up with you
And you kiss me more and more
And I kiss you, too
And I kiss you, too

If I take your heart, I will cherish it every day
If I take your heart, I will heal these old wounds
If I take your heart, it's to make it happy
If I take your heart, it's forever close to mine

But not every heart belongs to any other
You and I
You and I are meant to be
I'm the one for you, You're the one for me
You love me as much as I do
When you look at me and we're skin to skin
I want you so
Please come in
And you love me more and more
And my love grows up with you
And you kiss me more and more
And I kiss you, too
And I kiss you, too

(violin solo!)

I don't care, I don't care
If I'm again carried away
If you swear, if you swear
To give me your heart in return
To give me your heart in return

I don't care, I don't care
If I'm again carried away
If you swear, if you swear
To give me your heart in return
To give me your heart in return