30.12.07

Clearly my decision has been made

And that decision is: do not return to a normal sleep schedule just yet. There's all of 2008 to sleep like a normal human being. The whole rest of my body is so out of whack right now, might as well sleep at odd times too.

Things I've recently learned about myself: Cincinnati gives me sinus infections. No. Seriously. I went through this spell a couple years ago of getting sinus infections every time the wind blew. And then I didn't get one for like a whole year. And then I went home for Thanksgiving and got one so bad it lasted for two weeks. Then I felt better and flew home for Christmas. The first morning I woke up in Cincinnati I knew I was in trouble. This time I treated it much more aggressively with a combination of fluids, humidifiers and nasal spray. (Yum.)

I went to work on Friday and was so worn out from my two day work week that I spent most of Saturday on the couch, and a good portion of that time sleeping. Today I was much more productive. I cleaned my whole apartment. Although for some reason I always stop shy of vacuuming and scrubbing the tub. It's ok. I shower. I cooked banana corn fritters because the bananas were calling for my attention. And I went to the Y for visit number eight. I didn't stay long at the Y though. For a reason, I'd like to reference my comment about my body being out of whack.

I'm getting more and more excited about my new kitchen. The flip side of that is that I'm not taking such good care of the one I already have. Is it possible my oven stopped working? I don't think so because the stove top still works. But I tried to turn it on and it wasn't getting warm. Maybe I shouldn't put it on Ebay. Speaking of, Kelly, what do you know about putting large items (Read: Oven and matching hood) on Ebay? I am not willing to ship them. At all.

Update on Einstein's Logic Puzzle: I've now thought about it long enough that I know how to set up the grid to solve the problem. Unfortunately I lost some of my earlier momentum and haven't actually set up said grid.

Kelly, this Dilbert reminds me of you, especially the part where you can put your feet up on the opposite wall of your cube because it's really smaller than the union will allow. Woops.

Obviously this issue came up in all of my throwing stuff away at home. Mom had an old printer. I can't believe how much stuff I have right now that I don't know how to throw away. My two main things are paint and laptop batteries. Extra info on the laptop batteries, you can no longer put them in your checked luggage. I know, that's a switch. They have to come on the plane with you. That way, if it ignites, at least you'll be able to get to it quicker.

Too true news about online dating. I concur. Although, its worked for some people. I can think of three couples I know who got married to a person they met online. I think I'm going to just enjoy being single and doing whatever I want for a while. When it's time for me to do something new, I'll know it. I always do.

Speaking of being single, I am finding myself without plans on New Years Eve. I've never actually been up here for New Year's. Usually I'm driving home on the first. Are the liquor stores open on the 31st. It seems like some beer would be a nice way to celebrate. I've been flexing the no alcohol rule lately. No one knows what got into me. Buying kitchen appliances might also be a lovely way to celebrate. Hmmm.

28.12.07

Great Pictures from Christmas

In addition to the video I posted yesterday, I wanted to share some pictures from Christmas.

Aunt Mary Gives John a hard time. That's something we all want to do really.

An hilarious picture with two of my cousins kids. I love how Sarah is just half in the picture.

This could possibly be the best picture of me and my mother ever. (Not like the pictures I have of me and your mom.)

Another nice picture of Johnny.

After Aunt Barb sang her song and we played the stealing game, Aunt Barb got the booby present. Those glasses help people find their golf balls when they loose them in the woods. It's only funny because she's like the least golf oriented person in the family. Even more than me.

And then even more people wanted to try them on. Including Dad.

And then Aunt Mary.

This caption should read: What Dad would look like if I told him I was pregnant.
Instead, he's just mugging for the camera.

I made Mom try out the new purse before I left. I told her it was so I could make sure it was the right size. Really I just knew she'd never switch it otherwise. She really likes it.

Another nice picture of Mom and I.

And a good one of Aunt Mary.

Now, with these final pictures, just notice the family resemblance. I'm just saying....



27.12.07

video


This is the video that this post refers to. My mom loves this song even though it's about her.

So, what have I been up to, while my video is loading:

Wednesday: I hung out most of the day. I had a really nice lunch with Chris when I got the first call letting me know my flights were (once again) delayed. I taught my parents to play 500 and promptly trounced them. Well, my dad I didn't trounce so much as just won.

Wednesday, at the airport: I think I've racked up some quality time at the different airports on this trip. Why? Northwest is silly. I spent time in Cincinnati calling a friend who I didn't get to visit. It was good to talk to her. She had some exciting news. Plus it was nice to have something to occupy my time while I was sitting there waiting for an airplane.

On the plane: The pilot decided to comp the alcohol. Unfortunately although the flight attendant had was hard liquor. I didn't have any. When we landed my ride wasn't picking up her phone or her cell phone. And then it took them like twenty minutes to park the plane. Literally. Which brings us to....

Trying to get home: Since the ride wasn't picking up her phone, I called Amanda who said she'd come get me. Meanwhile, I'm waiting for them to park the plane. When I got off, at gate A6 (which is literally a full mile away from the terminal, they've measured) the tram was out of service and the skyway checkpoint was closed for the evening. And Amanda was like there. So I started hauling a$$. Amanda made fun of me for being out of breath but I was really moving and my stuff was quite heavy. Amanda mentioned the "fourth meal" concept. Since I didn't know where any Taco Bells are, we decided to go to a bar with good fried food. I persuaded Amanda to go look at my car first and determine exactly how many inches of snow were surrounding it. When we find: first ride, who did not come to the airport instead spent that time cleaning off and warming up my car. Made my night. Totally made up for the whole ride confusion. Amanda and I had a beer and fried food at the bar and then I went home and went to bed.

This morning: I bought cabinets and counter tops for my kitchen. Wow are they expensive. This is quite a commitment. Then I went and worked all day.

After work: I decided I should look at recipes and cook more food ahead of time. That's what the freezers for after all. So I went through some magazines and then called home. Then I headed over to the gym, where someone had been triple parked. (That's sad.) I walked for like half an hour because at that point it's really just going to get the discount from my health insurance (one visit left) and then went over to the Wedge. It was too late for Seward. When I got back I made Wheat Berry Black Bean Chili with tomato sauce instead of identifiable tomatoes. Right now it's cooling off before I can put it in containers and store it.

What I still need to do: I'd like to post some of my holiday pictures and do laundry. I am so excited for the weekend. There are just no words.

25.12.07

And to all a good night (with Venezuelan rum)

Merry Christmas. This year was fun. We woke up and cooked (well, I helped a little, after I went back to sleep) and then my uncle and cousin came over. Jimmy left and I taught my parents and uncle how to play Euchre. Mom was really good at it and Dad was ok. Uncle Jerry was clearly not used to playing cards.

After Uncle Jerry left, we finally opened our presents. I got a really nice shirt that's totally comfy but I'm not sure when I'll ever wear it (and I'm feeling guilty about that). It's a really warm shirt and it's too icy to run outside right now. What other strenuous work can I do outside? Anyone need me to chop a tree down?

I got some other nice things including sheets for my bed. They match the color of my walls. They're really nice sheets. I can't wait to decorate my bedroom. I got the obligatory clothing as well (read: bras and socks) and some gift certificates.

At the family party I also got what is known as "Grandpa's napping blanket" which Gramma would cover him with when he took a nap. I found out that my mom made that for him. It must be a blessed blanket because nothing else would have made all of my things fit in my bag.

I actually had so much stuff that I had to pack my bag tonight to make sure everything would fit. A practice run so to speak. There are socks stuck in every single space in that bag including inside the shoes and in the little gaps in the corners. It's a good thing I've traveled enough to know the technique.

I don't have any real plans tomorrow to occupy my mind so it keeps racing ahead to Thursday when I have to be in New Hope at 8am to talk about cabinets and counter tops. And then I have to work a full day. I wonder exactly how tired I'll be at 5pm.

24.12.07

Yes, my arm is sore today

Last night, after the cleaning fiasco I went over to see Jenny. We would up playing the Wii for an insanely long period of time. We did all the games on Wii Play and Wii Sports. It was there that Jenny discovered I have a gift for Tennis. And so she encouraged me to play the machine. It was really fun. But my arm is sore. I still think it would be fun to own a Wii. It's not too late for a Christmas present...

Today I was ultimately scolded for some of the things I threw out yesterday. And (after a discussion with a very supportive friend) I decided that it's really their problem, and it's really sad. I think part of it is my dad's problem too. Because he adds to the mess. Mom's hoarding enables his hoarding. Do you really need a neighborhood newsletter from the beginning of the year?

I was telling supportive-friend during our chat that I got my parents a really nice cookbook, but they're cookbooks are already overflowing the space allotted. It's a nice gift but I feel bad about giving it to them because it's just adding to the clutter.

I decided in a somewhat stressed and irrational moment that in the future, I'm not getting them any material gifts. It's all going to be gift certificates to restaurants. Not even stores because they will buy things that add to the clutter. Not even nice boxes and drawers to manage the clutter because that just gives the clutter permission to spread beyond the boxes and clutter it's already filling. We'll see how long that lasts. I figure if I can't get to a Cincinnati restaurant there's always the One Laptop Per Child project which I can definitely get behind.

After I was scolded I helped make appetizers (you know I couldn't spell the French word that means the same thing) and part of supper. We had goat cheese and pears on crackers (thank you Amanda, they were great) and then I made collards with turkey bacon and vinegar. That was a bowl full of yum.

My aunt and uncle came (the same one who was singing on Saturday) and Mark came with his girlfriend. We like the girlfriend so far. She's really friendly. As my cousin John (Mark's brother) put it, "she's her own person and you can have a conversation with her, not like one of those plastic bimbos that are his usual flavor of the week". I concur. (You know, I just realized that I was going to share a link with the family to this blog so they could see the video of Aunt Barb singing, but maybe I shouldn't refer them to this blog.)

After dinner we watched Miss Potter which has Renee Zellweger in it. It's a really good movie. It's a mildly girl power type of movie. Really it's fun because you get to see how some of her stories were written. I could easily identify Peter Rabbit, Mrs Tiggy-Winkle and the duck. And the toad. And the mice. It was fun.

And then I was reminded we have to get up early tomorrow. Presents. Yea.

23.12.07

No alcohol was involved in the making of this video, I swear

Yesterday was the Christmas part, or as I like to call it, the steal-a-thon. Heh heh. Everyone brings a gift, and then we all draw numbers to decide the order we choose and open gifts. So if a present has already been opened, I can steal it from someone. As I did twice yesterday.

I was going to show you a video of Aunt Barb's newest Christmas Carol. However, I have dial-up and I don't have the patience to upload 40Mbs of video at this time.

There were some booby gifts too. My cousin got a "universal remote control" with buttons so big the remote winds up being the size of a cookie platter. My uncle got that gift and he's about the only person more technologically challenged than my dad. Hee hee.

It was a good time to see the aunties. I got a private design consultation with my aunt who used to be an interior designer. Among the tips I got were:
  • Counter tops: Much to my surprise, black has been approved, especially in a speckled look to mimic marble. I was also strongly encouraged to get the "bull nose" or the little part of the counter top that rounds up at the edge to prevent spills from spilling over the edge of the counter.

  • Back splash: A cream tile with not-white grout, sandstone was a suggestion. I was also strongly encouraged to do a design over the sink because there's no window there. Something simple like a diamond outlined in small black tiles. And the tiles should be laid at a 45 degree angle so they look like diamonds instead of squares.

  • Colors: The permanent colors (like the tile and the counters) will be black and white. I can add my own colors with things like towels, dishes, potholders, etc. Red accents have been pre-approved. (Duh!)

  • Flooring: Also wood, not exactly the same shade as my cabinets but close. I'm still thinking about the bamboo flooring. I could get the tiles at the same place. Also, I have to pick my flooring ahead of the cabinent install because if new flooring is going on over the old, they have to make sure the allow for that in installing the cabinets and the height they install the dishwasher.

  • Wall Color: I have again been encouraged to go "neutral" on the walls with like a cream or similar. For more, there has to be some color. I've also been encouraged to paint my woodwork a white satin finish to make the rest of color "pop". I think Aunt Bobbie is seriously underestimating the amount of woodwork I have in my house.


Today was a day of generally hanging out and cleaning. I now understand the extent to which my mom is overwhelmed by crap, or really by her inability to throw things away. Maybe I don't understand the total extent, but I have a much better picture. How sad.

22.12.07

Adventures in flying

Today was an... eventful day.

Here's the time line:
5am - Accidentally wake up. Don't ask me how. Go back to sleep.
7:15am - Really wake up this time.
8:30am - Get to work. Have treats and coffee and act generally tired from waking up once at 5am.
11:40 - Leave work to get meet a friend for lunch.
12:15 - Call friend. He was late. I did get to see Alyssa while I was waiting though. I ate at the Longfellow Grill.
1:30 - Get back to office. Experience... intestinal distress. At least I won't gain too much weight from that meal. Get a series of troubling phone calls about one of my clients. Feel totally inept because I can't do what everyone wants me to do.
2:30 - In the middle of dealing with above crisis get the first (of what turned out to be many) phone calls from Northwest regarding my flight status. Flight delay: 49 minutes.
3:10 - Leave work. Go home. Try not to stress. Try to make decision about when to leave for airport. Find I am unable to make such a decision and instead watch television.
4:30 - Next call from Northwest. Flight delay: 1 hour, 50 minutes. Call my Dad who asks if I just want to call when I get in. (No, I don't want to fly in at midnight and wait another half hour for you to come get me. Parking is $2.00. Suck it up.) Call my ride to the airport. Instruct her not to hurry. Make dinner plans with non-hurrying ride to airport. I've got time.
5:00 - Next call from Northwest. Flight delay: Zero. What the heck? I thought I had two additional hours. And now I have to instantly leave for the airport. And not have dinner. And instantly prepare to leave including garbage and dishwasher and other general items.
5:30 - Meet the now hurrying friend, arrive at airport. Wait in what has to be the longest security line I've ever seen in the airport. Go through screening. Am putting shoes on when...
6:00 - Next call from Northwest. Flight delay: bite me.
The flight time was changed twice after that but at a certain point they just stop calling.

Here's how that lined up:
Scheduled departure: 7:00pm
Actual departure: 8:50pm
Reason for delay: no flight crew to operate the plane.
Number of schedule changes (calculated by the number of email reminders I received): 5
Customer satisfaction based on flight attendants performance: Wow, she was really funny.

On the airplane we had the longest taxi ever. It was then that I learned that my voice carries sometimes more than I expect. Because I made the comment (under my breath I thought) "what, are we driving to Cincinnati?" And then other people started to laugh and repeat my comment. Because we really were taxiing for longer than is normal. Like 20 minutes. Not sitting there, driving around the outskirts of the airport.

When the pilot tried to welcome us to Cincinnati he had a little Fahrenheit Celsius trouble and our flight attendant had a little time zone issue. The time zones is where the wheels fell of the wagon for her because then she kept getting tongue tied and then had trouble reading all the things she was legally supposed to be reading because the lights were off to allow all of us to sleep. It was pretty late by then. The flight attendant was the most hilarious thing ever. Again, I was the first one to laugh but pretty much everyone joined me. Hee hee. I hope I have her again.

20.12.07

It's begining to look a lot like Christmas

It's beginning to feel like the holidays despite the fact that I found out I have to work on New Year's Eve. My bags are packed. Plans for parking the car are completed, and my ticket is printed. Also, the lights on my Christmas Tree are on. Yea.

In the spirit of Christmas, I'd like to tell you about my new favorite song Driftwood. (Opens and mp3 with sound. Song is safe for work though.) It's by a band (?) called Travis. When I'm not listening to that song, I'm listening to Christmas carols and loving it.

Yesterday I had a rough day at work which led to my needing a Mocha Latte around 4pm. Hence, when I arrived at Doolittles at 7:30 I was very much in the mood for something salty. And a bacon cheeseburger seemed to fit the bill nicely. And beer. Yum. I went out with some people from grad school. I love seeing them because they're fun to hang out with but also because it's a nice reminder that I'm not the only one who's still new and learning how to handle the job. And the food is great. I get a bonus for not getting sick from the beef yet.

Today I had a nice day at work. Then I went over to Amanda's and she chauffeured me to the Mall of America. We went watch shopping which was ultimately successful. Then we went appliance shopping which was more involved than either of us were expecting. It was quite helpful though. I learned I need to adjust my budget to allow for more spending on the dishwasher (which I use all the time) and less spending on the microhood combo. Amanda earned all the friend points tonight for her patience. I rewarded her with a crepe which was equally as yum as the bacon cheeseburger from the night before.

At the end of the night we stopped in Walgreens which sells "personal massagers" just, you know, out on the shelf. Where kids can reach them. Or read the package. I'm surprised no one has complained yet.

17.12.07

Monday Monday

I actually had a pretty nice Monday. And I'm feeling like I could wake up and go to the gym tomorrow, something I haven't done since before Thanksgiving. I really should though so I get in all my visits.

Today was actually unremarkable in most ways. I had two bowls of tomato soup, one for dinner and one for lunch. At dinner I added popcorn to the soup. That was pretty good. And now I'm sitting her being bored because of the writers strike. Thank goodness David Letterman is going to negotiate with his writers so there will be at least one new thing on television.

Since I can't entertain you with my comments about all the great television shows I'm not watching, here's some great stuff I found on the web.
The Top Ten Tips for New Bloggers makes some nice points (see point number one), although he fails to make it clear what the spot where I post my original thoughts is called, if not a blog (see point number two) so I prefer to think of this as a hybrid. Love point number five as well. I try to do that as often as possible.

Too many videos about quicksilver to be a good thing. I haven't really taken the time I need to learn quicksilver, although I keep meaning to. Maybe that's one of the things I'll do while my kitchen is being remodeled so I have to live in my bedroom (since the kitchen will be a pit and the living room will house several large appliances as well as all of my dishes, food, and other things that go in the kitchen) or at Amanda's house. I'm considering a time share. (I'm lucky to have Amanda who is willing to let me live with her while she's in school and working two jobs. You rock.)

A balcony over hell. Safe for work. Really the picture is much safer than what I named the link.

Is it wrong that this link made me think of Kelly. And then I thought how this site probably wouldn't be on her top ten list, or maybe even her good list. In fact, it might get black balled. (It is however, safe for work so check it out.)

And, this is how I'll be spending my time for a little while. Nobody tell me the answer. I want to figure it out on my own. I used to love these logic problems. (And then I had to study for the LSAT and they weren't so fun anymore.) But I'm done with school now and so can enjoy them once again.

16.12.07

Time for your best vegan recipes

A few weeks ago my mom went to an talk on the World Peace Diet which is basically vegan. That's all I know. But they guilted her about eating animals because the animals don't like being on a farm, don't like being milked... You get the idea. Which, if we stop eating cows, it's not like we're going to set them all free, they'll basically go extinct. Anyways, Mom didn't eat a lot of meat before this, but she's getting closer to the whole vegan thing.

At this point I'd like to point out it was me that first because a vegetarian. I was greeted with much protest in my house. And more than a few scoffs of "that'll last a week". Now, fifteen years later, I've managed to convert them.

So we always cook a Christmas Eve dinner for my aunt and uncle, and a Christmas brunch for the other side of the family. And now Mom wants it to be mildly vegan. No meat at least. And she's slightly nervous about cooking the dinner partly because she's studying for her PhD exam, but mostly because my aunt is like the pickiest eater ever, only disguised as someone who's not picky which is even harder. Basically any unusual ingredients, or mushrooms, are not acceptable. It's like Kelly trying to cook for her brother in law, Jenny trying to cook for Doug... fill in your person. We all know one like this.

I was looking through magazines and on the internet and found a few things. The real danger in vegetarian cooking is that people don't feel hungry again five minutes after eating because there has to be the right amount of protein in the meal. And, if you get your protein from plants, you need one third more than if you eat animal protein because of how our bodies break down food. Fascinating.

Today I went to Ikea and got more of those little black and tan boxes. Not that Black and Tan. These black and tan boxes. Ikea also had some other boxes in red but I couldn't decide how that would look. I mean it's red so it couldn't be that bad but I already had this whole theme going on, it didn't seem like I could just interject this new color. Although I did carry around those red boxes for a while thinking about them. I also got cute little jars for herbs and spices which I need because I buy those things in bulk and had a ridiculous stash of plastic bags in my pantry. I can see it now, "no, I swear, it's really oregano in that baggy. Honest." Not a conversation I ever want to have with anyone (especially your mom) so I'm happy with this solution. I also got a pair of green rubber dish gloves. Why? Heh heh.

And then I went to Target where I spent way too much money. In preparation for the Melcher Steal-a-thon, I got the fixins for my gift. I already had a nike shirt that gloriously reads (in gold glitter) "I feel pretty". After a shopping trip with Amanda, I found cute fuzzy mary jane slippers at Target (which you can't see on the internet at Target or Amazon, sorry, I just checked) so I bought those and an iTunes gift card. I'm going with a theme about being a pretty woman and relaxing and feeling comfy once all the houseworks is done. It's going to be cute. I hope a guy doesn't pick it out. I think I'll find wrapping paper with as much pink and purple as possible so it's clearly marked.

15.12.07

Bloggin while drunk = A good thing Always

Kelly and I went shopping today and she thought it would be a good time to get me drunk. Probably owing from her experience of being able to drink for the two years when she didn't own a car and benefited from friends picking her up to go out to eat. First, I'd like to thank Firefox for underlining my (many) typos in the last two sentences so I can correct them before I post. Needless to say, I had a great time.

When I got in the car this morning, Kelly asked how I was and I explained that I was partially loosing my mind. Did I mention My ISP blows? I spent considerable time last night trying to get a shell (SSH) session started. I am now much more competent in the Mac OS terminal than I was before. Nonetheless, I still couldn't really git my bittorrent client and the proxy server to agree or communicate. Sad. I might need to also do something to my router. This is where I can get a little ahead of my knowledge and really screw something up by checking the wrong box.

Part of the problem I was having last night was in getting the computer to allow me to open the right port. So I thought, "I'll try this on Windows, where I can use a program with a GUI" and I got out my old computer this morning and set it back up. It felt really old to me. I installed PuTTY and Utorrernt and at least didn't get any errors when I opened my shell session. And then I went on my way downloading [legal] shows and the like.

And Kelly and I went shopping. Where I got fleece pants and a fleece top for myself, and work out pants for my mom. And a present for Amanda. I guess it sstill comes in multiple boxes. I enjoyed a sale at Bath and Body as well. And I bought a scarf at Old Navy. It was a big day for fleece all and all. I wonder how people got along before fleece was around. Hmm. Mystery.

And then we went to eat lunch at 3:30pm. After shopping all day. On coffee and an energy bar. And not getting hypoglycemic. And the girl put the drink menu right in front of me. After the first margarita, the second one really seemed like a good idea. I was quite worried about being able to walk out of the restaurant. Now I'm home safely enjoying myself and trying (still) to figure out why this thing downloaded in .rar instead of a quick time file. And how to teach my Mac to extract it.

I still feel crazy. At least now it's a good crazy.

13.12.07

My ISP Blows

Can I say that? It's not really liable if it's true is it? I've spent some time tonight learning about BitTorrent and then learning how Comcast is throttling bittorrent traffic. Did I mention that "Sandvine" program is less than legal. (Having nothing in common with most bittorent traffic of course.)

While surfing the web today, I took the Rigth Brain Left Brain Creativity Test and learned that logical, concrete is not my strength. Duh. Now you see why I talk to people about their feelings all day. I deal in the abstract world. And I love it.

Also, for those of us who aren't married or in a committed relationship (that's different than being committed), advice on who to marry from eight-year olds. I always go to children for support in making all of my decisions for which they have no life experience. I suggest you do too.

12.12.07

Of course I've found fun stuff

Of course I've found tons of fun stuff on the internet since last I've written.

Time Magazine has released its 50 Top 10 Lists of 2007. I'd like to direct your attention to the lists for Shirt-worthy slogans (which are technically a fashion don't, and how far from the pack have you gone if I'm the one pointing out the fashion mistake?) and the Most popular stories of the year.

Anatomy of credit card numbers is a great little piece if you're curious about the different numbers on your card and how they're picked. Apparently it's not random, and it's not like an odometer. Fascinating.

There was a web page with great bathroom signs, but this one which is safe for work made me laugh the most. Ha ha. This has to be in the guys room. No girl would stand for this.

The five computer uses IT people meet in hell. I was looking for myself in there. I think I'm in between the 20-something whiz kid and the "know it all". I'm more like the ideal user in that I recognize when I'm in over my head, or when I'm likely to get in over my head.

Good news for all of us: Adult brain cells continue to grow. Sweet.

Lifehacker is listing its ten most improved applications of 2007. I still haven't made peace with Joost but I'll work on it.

And finally, my favorite show is conducting it's Search for the messiest home in America for the second year. Some of the videos are ok. But some have great entertainment value. I'd like to direct your attention to the "Franz Home" for sure. Hee hee.

I'll leave you with an update on Pop and Drop. I have successfully conquered all levels available to me without paying. I can't do it regularly, but I have done it more than once. I'm now able to get to level 8 or 9 fairly consistently. Before Thanksgiving I could barely make it to level 6.

Sometimes, it's just too much work to write

So, I've been away from the blog lately. I think my level of energy is directly correlated to the amount of sunlight I am exposed to. My current level of energy is similar to the heat given off from an ice cube. It's been that way for quite some time. Maybe I should start taking those multivitamins again.

What have I been up to lately?

Friday Night: I went out with Other-Liz to the Highland Grill and then we saw Enchanted which was quite good. At one point I couldn't decide how I wanted the story to end. Plus McDreamy. Yum.

Saturday: Amanda tried to wake me up at the crack of dawn. You know that didn't work. I went over to her house and helped her hang eighteen of those little $2.00 Ikea mirrors in a 6x3 grid. Have I ever mentioned the OCD? In this particular situation, it was Amanda and not me who had the OCD. I was fine. And I get a fiendish delight thinking about going over to her house and knocking the mirrors off center. After (or maybe it was before?) the mirrors we had lunch and bought alcohol for the party later that night. Once we had the nails in the wall for the mirrors, we broke out some of the alcohol. I had fun thinking about hanging those mirrors drunk. They certainly would have been in a straight line then.

To my credit, I stayed at the party the whole time. Even though Kelly and I sat in a corner and ignored people for a while. Introvert. It was nice to see Kelly and a few of the other people at Amanda's party. And drink. And eat cheese cake. Yum. Although, by the end of the night, I was beat.

Sunday: I have no memory of Sunday. I swear I did something though. Is that what happens to memory when we get old?

Monday: I did make it to the gym on Monday.
Tuesday: Work nearly killed me on Tuesday.
Wednesday: As a result of too much work yesterday, and last week, I came in late to work today. Very nice. And I left early because we had a staff party. Where I won a party game to see who knew how to say "hello" in the most languages. The word was written down in 20 different languages and I got 13 including Japanese, Czech (lucky guess), Portuguese and Swahili. Go me.

I also got to talk to both Kelly (congratulations on completing your exams) and Amanda tonight. Amanda was having a slightly rough night owing to an incident with black ice earlier in the day. I could empathize due to an odd experience I had at the gym. I ran into a kid I knew from the Science Museum under strange circumstances. It was good to see the kid even though I didn't get to talk with her long. And I went shopping on Amazon. I'm beginning to see the value of that site.

6.12.07

Warning: You are being used

I'm using my blog to avoid cleaning. I've needed to clean since (the beginning of time?) at least the weekend when I kept having to go to work. So I'm going to clean before bed tonight. I keep making head way and then loosing ground again.

Last night instead of cleaning I talked to Kelly. Who was going to the gym. Which made me think I should do that sooner or later too. I've only gone once this week and walked. And listened to Car Talk which is not a bad way to spend an hour. Tuesday night I was stuck in my car, and it took me an entire episode of Car Talk to get home. That was not fun.

Also yesterday I went to the doctors office where I learned they no longer give antibiotics for sinus infections. I am now reduced to hacking up technicolor goo until my body heals itself. At least today was better than yesterday. And I like that the doctor is actually continuing to read the research. Good for him.

Today there was some mild panic in the morning because of more snow. (St. Paul thought it was serious enough to declare a snow emergency. I wish Minneapolis would do that because our roads badly need to be plowed. Some of them.) I did wind up doing some traveling but only after the snow had stopped. I wound up working a long day too.

After I got home I was thinking about going to the gym (but not convinced I would actually go) when Amanda called me. We made plans that gave me the extra little push to get my butt to the gym. I did the rowing machine and the stair master which made me all sweaty for my later activities. Then I went and had dinner with Amanda at Saigon. Sadly that restaurant has to move. But they don't know their new address? This does not sound good.

Then Amanda and I went to Target and she kindly showed me some of the things she'd like for Christmas. Which I may or may not have by Saturday. I thought of another gift, but I need a second opinion. It's one of those "this could be really good or really bad" kind of things. And it has a bunch of boxes. Many. Tons. Hee hee.

Also, I found some great stuff on the web the past few days:
  • I've talked about working with a lot of people who are Jewish. And it's been my privilege to learn about diet and how to keep kosher. But even before this experience, there were some things I knew about kosher laws. Which makes me wonder, "what were they thinking?"

  • A plethora of Weird Shoes. Let it be known I almost made a joke about shoe sizes here, but heard the voices of reason which oddly sounded just like Amanda and so am choosing not to do that.

  • There are two great quotes on Overheard in Minneapolis today. This is almost my worst nightmare. And if I didn't know the address was no where near her, I could imagine Kelly saying this. Yum. (And then I thought about the comment and other comments I have made to Kelly, and this just made me think of you because the girl likes guacamole and not anything else.)

  • One of the best typos that closed caption has ever given us. Mildly unsafe for work. But hilarious. I linked to the digg page and not the real thing. The comments are funny too.

  • And finally, in an act of stupidity, and just to show their total lack of technical savvy, the House voted on ways to make WiFi "safer" by putting ridiculous mandates on people who operate public WiFi. Without committee votes. Or hearings. Now most of the time, I'm all for keeping stuff away from the hands of a committee, but at some point, a hearing with some expert testimony would have highlighted some of the inherent problems with this plan. I'm just saying, if you're going to legislate WiFi and internet hot spots, could ya try one first?

4.12.07

I can hear my neighbor upstairs making strange movements and it sounds like doing something to pipes or moving heavy metal things.  I am scared that he will fall through the floor at any minute.

Help.

Lizard's Tuesday questions:

How long can it take to drive home? After all, it's only like two inches of snow. Ha. More like five. Answer: It took me one entire episode of car talk to drive home. Thank god they're funny.

How many loads of laundry do I need to do? Two apparently.

How long do you have to wait for the professor before you leave class? This question was actually posed to me. Answer: When the professor is bringing an exam, there is no time limit. You must stay. As a side note, it is fair to call Jimmy John's and ask them to deliver dinner to your class as a signal to your professor that you are annoyed with his tardiness.

What are all the entertaining places you can have Jimmy John's delivered? I have no idea. I know they'll deliver to the tire shop. Once I have a dude, this could turn into a whole other question. How fun would that be?

What time should I cook dinner? Tonight it was 9:30. I had spaghetti with pesto sauce and a pomegranate. It was a ripe juicy pomegranate too. Yum.

What's on TV? Nothing. Related question: Explain this whole "writers strike"? All I know is nothing good is on TV right now. Even the Style Network is showing stupid shows about rich people who have lavish weddings with bad taste. Sorry, I'm better now. I tried watching "The Winter Guest" which I have from Netflix. I think I'm just going to have to send it back because I can't get into it at all.

When is the best time to plow the parking lot? Apparently the same day there's 2-5 more inches of snow forecasted. That was stupid too. They could've just plowed tomorrow, only paying the company to come out once.

Why is the 10:30pm episode of "Friends" not the "to be continued" answer from the 10:00pm episode of "Friends"? That is stupid. They have Ross running off to the airport to stop Rachel's plane before she goes to Paris and then... a Christmas episode?

Mostly for Amanda, do you think this will ever happen to you?

3.12.07

I thought I'd go to work on time today...

I thought I'd be good and go to work on time today. My body was having none of that. My body, also having none of doing the laundry or eating healthy. Woops.

I had a nice time at dinner last night with a guy who is just a friend. Despite my cousin telling me I either need a guy or a dog so I'm not alone all the time. I like living alone. I can do what I want, whenever I want. I can make a mess, and I cook what I want. I can eat what I want and no one can watch me and make me feel guilty. And I don't want a dog. They're hairy, smelly, and they chew on things.

Other than that, I've had a great day. Owing to some biological discomfort, I chose to walk rather than run today. And I listened to Car Talk. Gosh, I wish that show was one more than once a week. Hee hee.

I've also had plenty of time to poke around the internet and find lots of great things.

  • After my last trip home, I was pretty convinced my mom is a closet hoarder. Ironically, all the hoarding actually goes into a closet in the house too. I almost sent her this article: How to Cure Packrat-itis but she's in denial about how bad the problem is. The parts of the house other people see really do look good. The attic and some of the back closets are just ridiculous. But Mom's so out-of-control clean when it comes to messes and dirt and germs that everything is really organized, so it doesn't look like a clutterer lives there. By the end of my visit, I could really see how holding on to stuff slows her down and impacts all kinds of relationships (like hers and mine).

  • For my two college-student friends: How to BS and Succeed on Papers. Basically, it's ok to not know more than you know. But don't cheat. Ever.

  • A very clever picture. Safe for work.

  • Top Ten Uses of Duct Tape. Hee hee.

  • Do you hobbies make you psychic?

  • Even more reasons for me to never get a dog. A 12-inch knife? As safe for work as a story about dogs can be.

  • Top 8 Roads in the world I am least likely to travel on. 'Nuff said.

  • I've become slightly addicted to a game called Pop and Drop. I've made it to level 10. Today. That's after like two weeks of playing this stupid game. (Has sound but as games go, this one is as safe for work as solitaire.)
Also, Amanda, if you're reading this: Go to bed, it's late.

2.12.07

Finally set free

It's Sunday. I've literally worked every day this week. Today I had to go to an event and help set up and welcome people and make sure everyone was having a good time. Only I didn't know anyone, certainly not any of the guests. And I didn't know the program. And I didn't know the building. Did I mention the event was for adults with developmental disabilities? So not talking with anyone it can look especially rude. Did I mention it was for a holiday I know nothing about? Did I mention I was supposed to schmooze. Yeah, that's right. I was in the seventh layer of hell. Maybe not the seventh, just the first or second, but still. I think several people reading this can empathize with my discomfort.

I didn't want to go to the event because I didn't want to drive? Lizzie, why not? Because Minneapolis, for reasons passing all human understanding, waited until today to declare a snow emergency so plowing doesn't start until tonight, even though all of the snow fell yesterday. Once I got off the side streets I was fine. The freeways, excepting one wild entrance ramp were fine as well.