Friday, December 30, 2005
The only problem was, the water was only warmish, not quite lukewarm, but pretty close. What good is a winter bath in which you're not good and hot? Sure, it's not that great for your skin to make like a lobster, but it's not good to be chilled, either.
Darn it, I took the bath anyway. A logic puzzle was done. Lambic was drunk. Music played. Then, the water was drained and I got into my jammies as quick as possible. That's right, I said jammies.
I actually used the Tisty Tosty because I had two. I didn't want to waste my one bubble bar on a lukewarm bath.
If you haven't experienced Lush products, but enjoy a little something extra with your bath, I strongly encourage you to find a Lush store or catalog, or products on their website or Amazon. They have scented bath ballistics, bubble bars, bath melts (v. moisturizing), and this new stuff, bath jellies, which you can chill and then...well, I don't quite know what, I've never tried one. They have soaps and shampoos, too, as well as the more mundane shower gels, etc. Some of the stuff is expensive, but it's not like you're taking a bath every day. And they have a lot of vegan-friendly stuff, too, not that I'm remotely close to being vegan, but if you needed another excuse...
Anyway, Lush rules, and someday I shall have someone on which to try their massage bars.
Thursday, December 29, 2005
My RL sunglasses came in the mail today. They rule.
I finished my cute little knit coif project...it's a little head/ear cover that ties under the chin. It looks very sweet, and I'm very proud of myself. Knitting project three will begin today or tomorrow. What will it be? I dunno.
For two nights running I have failed to take my desired bath instead of a shower. Tonight, I shall not fail. I *will* have a bath, it will feel amazing, and I will drink Framboise Lambic while I'm in there. There will be bubbles. I wish I'd brought my rubber duck from home.
Did anyone catch the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show? I have intentions to produce a luxurious set of wings, perhaps not of the $12,000 variety (that's the price of a basic pair...I asked at a VS store once, I believe the same day I was "promoted" to a 34-B), but a pretty nice pair nonetheless. I believe I shall also produce some awesome and feathery "sleepwear" to go along with it.
It would probably be easier if VS just hired me to be in the show.
On the Couch
Things I am afraid of:
Being chewed up by feral dogs. (I will never, ever watch the movie Cujo. Ever.)
Tornadoes. (Frequent topic of nightmares.)
Lightning. (OK, no one wants to be fried, but people who stand outside during thunderstorms really piss me off. If not me, someone someday is going to get toasted in front of me and I will officially lose my mind.)
Have you ever really tried to figure out why you're afraid of something? Those three are the triad of doom and they're things I can't really do anything about. If a feral dog is chasing me, or if there's a tornado reaching down out of the sky...well, short of suddenly achieving The Force, I can't do much. Does that mean that, ultimately, I am afraid of losing all control? It's true that I don't like not being able to retain at least some control over situations, or myself in situations (which is why I hate drugs, and why I've never drunk myself into a complete stupor). I don't know if that translates into fear.
Certainly there are occasions in which I have no control, but generally those are times when I have trust. Roller coasters, for instance. I trust the hands that built them and the engineers who designed them.
With tornadoes, on the other hand, there's only me and God, and uncontrollable weather. I'm not really the type to believe that God sends tornadoes after people, and while I am one to try to trust in God, that still doesn't really connect to an outcome...it doesn't affect irrational fears. You can trust God that things will come out all right on the whole in the end, but that doesn't mean you're unscathed, or alive. In other words, I believe in God, and I believe God is with me, but that's not going to stop me being afraid of lightning.
What really mixes this up is that I don't fear death. I am very Eowyn that way, fearing neither death nor pain. So why do my three biggest fears represent those two things? That's what I've never been able to figure out. And why those three things, and not, say, sharks? I love sharks. I don't know if I'd love them as much if I was next to a Great White in the water, but I can watch a movie about sharks and not be bothered, or even be excited, whereas when I watch tornadoes on Storm Stories, I start to cry. (OK, I just gave too much away there). When I watched Gothika, I turned the lights off to enhance the scariness...I ended up having to turn the lights on, not because I was scared of the movie as the fact that it was storming outside.
And what about the dogs? The only thing I can imagine is that I must have some feline blood somewhere in my limbic system. I'm small, I'm not very strong, and an angrily barking dog I'm unfamiliar with gives me the shivers more than anyone else I've ever met. I don't know why. The sound is just terrible to me.
Irrational. That's the best part about fears. Some you can trace and some you can't. I guess that's how I've developed a recent...fear? distaste for?...indoor centipedes. I don't know why they make me jump on a chair, but they do. That moment in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom where the regular, if enormous, centipede crawls under Kate Capshaw's hair is scarier to me than Jaws eating Robert Shaw. And I'm not even afraid of bugs! What's wrong with me?
I'm going to go home and watch a movie about wolves.
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Step 2. Recover from astonishment that it is 2:30 pm, I am still in bed dozing, and my back doesn't hurt.
Step 3. Get out of bed.
Oh, so much as happened since the last time I blogged. Let us experience a rundown:
1. Friday night...Watched The Great Train Robbery with my family after dinner, while eating lemon curd chocolate cookie tarts after dinner.
2. Saturday afternoon..Visited with my aunt and cousin for a little bit on Christmas Eve.
3. Christmas Eve...Danced at two Christmas Eve services to Dad singing "Sweet Little Jesus Boy."
- 6:00 pm--Arrived at church. Warmed up, practiced with Dad and pianist, and then walked about barefoot as if I do this all the time.
- 7:00 pm--Service. Sat up in the choir loft with Dad, pianist, and music director. Sat on the floor to stretch. Danced. Got a massive hip cramp in the middle of piece. Finished the piece in true diva style, without grimacing in pain and pretending that, in fact, in pain is the only way to do an arabesque. Sat back in the choir loft and cried when adorable little angel, part of the Holy Family, comes skipping up the aisle in a billowy dress and wings.
- 8:00 pm--Stretched and tried to get rid of crazy hip ache. Almost practiced with choir for difficult anthem piece and ultimately decided that one art is enough for tonight.
- 9:00 pm--Service. Sat up in choir loft with unexpected brass group, sax-playing family, and choir. Smiled when awesome Broadway singers sang "Go Tell It on the Mountain." Cried when Wendy Scott sang "O Holy Night." Tried to be free of tears and whatnot before dancing. Danced with no hip cramps. Sat back in choir loft and laughed at two sisters in congregation blowing each other's candles out during very solemn candlelit "Silent Night."
- 11:00 pm--Left church. Went home to eat.
- Noteworthy--Our church is hosting the Korean United Methodist Church in the area while they rebuilt their church or something. Usually they have separate services, but they combined for the Christmas Eve services, which meant people could sing in either language, and scriptures were read in both. It was really sort of exciting and interesting.
4. Christmas Day. Woke up at 11:00 am and ate brunch. Got some tea and Tylenol (I'm not young anymore; my body was TIRED from five hours keeping my body in good form). Opened presents with the family for over three hours (we're one at a time people, and we bring a lot of presents...my sister and I have an elaborate system of creating present moats with the larger gifts so the littler ones don't get lost. This setup takes a half hour in and of itself). My "haul" included, but was not limited to:
- Funniest gift: Darth Tater, a Mr. Potato Head with Vader accessories.
- Cutest gift: Tie--T-shirt that said Princess Sparkle on it, below a My Little Pony, and a firefly jar with battery-powered fireflies in it.
- Prettiest gift: Tie--Skirt that shall be worn to New Year's Eve party at Steve and Liss house, and a set of Russian dolls with Swan Lake ballerinas on them.
- Most handcrafted gift: Pen set and caddy with earring from Great Aunt Elsie on top.
- Tastiest gift: Basket of spices...real ones, including saffron...SAFFRON!
5. Christmas dinner. We had beef this year, lots and lots of standing rib roast. It was delicious and accompanied by Yorkshire pudding and artichoke heart stuffing, and I was, in fact, duly stuffed.
6. Monday... Saw my sister and brother-in-law off, then went back to bed, since I didn't sleep much the night before. Then, heck, while I was at it, I caught up for some other nights I haven't gotten much sleep. Got out of bed at 5:30 pm. Watched TV. Ate yummy stir fry and watched Andromeda Strain. Went back to bed.
7. Tuesday...Drove back to Ohio after picking up more Framboise Lambic. Rocked out in the car to Shakira. Picked up mail. Stayed up until 3:30 am watching, in order, seaQuest DSV, Gilmore Girls, Ghostbusters, and Dark Water, while trying to put things away and overhaul my closet for cold weather and sort out a few things for Goodwill. Ended this task with no clothes on the floor.
Friday, December 23, 2005
I miss summer. Please bring me sunshine.
I have a suggestion: let's skip February. We can move Mum's birthday to March.
It's Friday, and the house is finally decorated. As the youngest and, presumably, therefore the most energetic, ha ha, I am usually left the vast majority of those tasks. The tree was purchased and put up yesterday afternoon, whereupon I tested light strings and got those up, rearranged them a lot, and then hauled boxes down from shelves on high. My sister arrived just in time to help me put ornaments on the tree, and I also distributed appropriate knick-knackery and, my favorite, put up the creche. After a brief and terrifying moment in which Baby Jesus was upside down in the manger, I got it straightened out and the three Wisemen are suitably in awe, the musical shepherds are playing away, and the goose girl is peering around the girl with the lamb at a safe distance from the counter's edge. The house is as ready for Christmas as I can make it.
Today, I turned my attention toward my sister's and my plan to take pictures out in the snow in elaborate costumery and maquillage. This plan worked out pretty well, and I shall eventually post something or other from the event. It is a little warmer today, still winter but not bone-crackingly so. No sun, just overcast white sky. My sister dressed in much finery and layers, circa turn of the century and earlier. My first outfit was more haute couture Paris gothique and my second the "wounded rock star princess." Many great pictures were achieved for my future album cover. We were going to take indoor pictures, too, but we both sort of pooped out. We're old now. This isn't like when she was 15 and I was 12.
And now, a list:
Cute things my parents do.
- Communicate over walkie-talkie when Dad is out and about in the yard. They say "Sarabel base" and "Sarabel mobile" (Sarabel being the combined names of the girls in the family, and the name of Dad's boat, though it's not painted on there yet.)
- Take food out to the "guys at the shop," my Dad's Formula SAE car team at the university. My mom made them brownies and Chex mix.
- Do crossword puzzles every day that they download from a website. They cheat with Google if they have to.
- Drink jug wine. Last night, once my sister and brother-in-law arrived, everyone had a drink in their hand. It was very British. No one gets drunk, but everyone likes a little sniff of something.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Gold is still a holiday color, isn't it? Imagine my surprise when in five stores I couldn't find a simple, gold top in my size that would be cute with pants and not make me look sluttish in church. Thank goodness for the often slutty Charlotte Russe and their wide array of gold shirts, one of which fit and wouldn't show too much of my bosom to the congregation.
Yeah, so the car is all greased up, and I am pink carnationed (Saturn gives a lil' present to each of its owners when they come in for maintenance). As yet, we still have no Christmas tree, that task being delayed for the morrow. I spent an hour and a half frantically searching a mall for a shirt, leaving no time to look for shoes. Now I am drinking today's beer, a bottle of Great Lakes Brewing Co. Christmas Ale, updating my blog with a box elder beetle checking my progress. I don't know if you're familiar with these bugs...black with red markings, sort of crispy looking and spindly. Very Michigan. I am also listening to MSU kick UWGB's bottoms.
I need to wrap presents, but I just woke up from a big, fat nap and am feeling serious inertia.
1. Eye appointment, where we found that my right eye is worse than my left, but did not change my prescription, where I got my eyeglasses lenses changed ON THE SPOT (technology is cool) because they hadn't been changed ever, and bought an outrageously awesome pair of prescription sunglasses, Ralph Lauren, pink frames, that's right, I said PINK. They are hot and will be mailed to me when I return to BG.
2. Went to Bottom's Up, a lingerie/dancewear store, to try to find something to wear whilst dancing on Christmas Eve. Also went to a place called Dusty's Cellar to get some things and beer.
3. Went to church to practice said Christmas Eve dance with my papa, who is singing. I love my church. It's changed a lot with a huge remodel, but it's still my church. I feel at home there, and love that it was just open for me to walk around in and enjoy.
4. Went to Starbucks and got a venti chai latte. Took it to...
5. Get my hair cut. Felt like a rock star walking around the rather enormous salon institute, with my Starbucks and no makeup on.
6. Went back to Bottom's Up to visit my friend Michelle.
7. Came home and was restless, but drank the most heavenly beer I've ever had, in that it tasted like raspberries instead of beer. It was Framboise Lambic and was belgian, and it was expensive. And I love it. You would hate it.
8. Ate dinner and went to bed to read a book.
What I'm doing today:
1. Getting my car's oil changed at Saturn.
2. Picking out a Christmas tree with my padre.
3. Going to the mall to try to find a shirt to wear Christmas Eve. I have the pants under control. The shirt is a problem.
4. I don't know what else. I'm trying to keep myself busyish, when I should be relaxing. But I can't relax, so keeping busy seems to be the thing to do. Obviously, I need a gym.
I read a good quote yesterday, from Ellen DeGeneres, and it will be part of a new mantra for me: "My life is perfect, even when it's not."
Monday, December 19, 2005
- She has a bosom complex. Evidence, from "Whenever, Wherever": "Lucky that my breasts are small and humble, so you don't confuse them with mountains." From "Objection": "Next to her cheap silicone I look minimal. That's why in front of your eyes I'm invisible."
- My bottom, like hers, often seems like it's attached more like a cheetah's, at one spot, hence the ability to throw it around like so. Once I was in a belly dancing workshop and my favorite move was snapping that thang out and in via the right hip, like a slingshot. Maybe I should develop that into my super power.
- The song "Eyes Like Yours" basically sums up my entire theory of why I tumble after some fellas, and coincidentally it never fails to make me wiggle around wherever I am.
- Favoring of sparkly things onstage.
- Interest in children's charities.
I recently entered a sweepstakes to be in a Shakira video. Wouldn't it be sweet if I won, and then they found out I could dance, and sing, and a career as a video dancer was born?
So. Loans. I worked my way up the ranks, with the following.
- Going to find books based on the records printed off by our supervisor, which the "searchers" then labeled with call numbers. This required running around the library and finding all kinds of books, fiche, magazines, etc.
- Making copies of pages and stamping them, and mailing them to schools.
- Scanning pages to send electronically to schools with the capabilities (this was 2000-2001).
- Mailing books and films to schools.
- Opening incoming mail and delivering to the relevant locations.
- Preparing books and whatnot to be delivered via the Lanter system (similar to Ohiolink).
- Helping newcomers learn the ropes
- Scanning delicate Special Collections material (truly, a special job, and it involved comic books)
- Finding difficult material that was misplaced or missing
- Then, at last, I became a searcher. My primary job finally was to sit at a computer and look up the requested material in the OCLC system and write down the call numbers or whatever required to find the material. It was like a huge jigsaw puzzle that involved books, and it rocked.
Part of what made this job my favorite is that it was something I was undeniably good at. Sometimes I used to blitz through the huge stacks of requests we got (it being a well-stocked library) and have time on my hands, so I'd go find stuff the level 1 folks couldn't find. If I couldn't find it, it was genuinely missing. Sometimes, though, I'd actually find stuff the library thought was missing. How cool is that?
I realized/was reminded of three things with this job, which were a: I like to find stuff (i. especially when other people can't find it; ii. because it gives me deep satisfaction and a sense of order; iii. because it gave me a chance to be by myself and run around); b: I love huge masses of books, which is one of my favorite ways to find things to write about (and will be pissed if such a time ever occurs as we get rid of actual libraries); c: Job satisfaction is vastly more important than pay. I was good at this job, and I was Very sorry when I graduated and my two week grace period was up and I had to quit. I had the feeling I would never find a job that quite so perfectly fit my abilities.
Why, you might well ask, did I not then go into library science? I learned a lot about research in school, and about libraries at this job, and I saw the direction librarians were going in. They aren't really doing the types of things I want to do the most. I'm kind of waiting that out, seeing how the winds go. So many libraries are getting rid of books in favor of electronics, and I don't think I could ever dedicate myself to that kind of effort. There's no passion in it.
Sometimes I feel like I should find some monastery or convent somewhere in need of a librarian or acquirist, and go for that. Maybe that can be backup plan number 3. More on backup plans another time.
Saturday, December 17, 2005
While watching Spider-Man the other night, also obsessed with Charmed and Harry Potter, I was confronted once again with an age-old question: If I could have a superpower of some sort, what would I want?
Let's ponder some possibilities, as I eat some pizza:
- Empath--You know, I actually always felt sorry for Deanna Troi (Star Trek: The Next Generation--nerds unite!). She sure had a pretty fantastic gift, but considering the agony the crew often encountered, I think that could be tough to deal with. At the same time, I feel a kinship with her given some weird connections I have had to people, or made out of miniscule evidence, like in some ways I am already empathic. This is a power to sort of put in my pocket and think about.
- Telepath--Closely related, but perhaps more alarming. This is a good one only if you have the skill to control it, or turn it off. Seriously, you don't want to hear what people are thinking all the time, but it sure would be neat on some occasions, like when you're being greased at the car sales lot, or when you want to gauge reaction to the new dress you're wearing on a date. Catching guys looking at my chest can be annoying. I'd rather hear what they have to say about it.
- Telekinesis--Zooming to me the face scrub I forgot for the shower, where I am soaking wet? Not having to bend over every time I forget my keys? On a larger scale, being able to pick bullies off their victims and pants them? Priceless.
- Flying--To be honest, I don't have much interest in flying. Sure, it may sound cool in So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, but on the whole I think it would be cold. I hate being cold. Levitating might be all right.
- Exotic climbing skills--Not really a superpower I'd choose. They make gadgets and ropes for stuff like that.
- X-Ray Vision--People like my friend Pat often describe their underwear to me. Unless I worked at an airport, I guess this would be much good to me.
- Shooting fire--A lot of characters have some sort of affinity with fire. I guess in the context of battle that could have its uses, but unless you like to eat s'mores or grilled hot dogs every day, I don't know how useful this would be in the world at large. You really need a power that has solid applications in both.
- Super strength or flexibility--I've pretty much come to grips with the fact that I'm not strong. I have pretty strong legs, and that's sufficient...if I had telekinesis, I wouldn't need super strength anyway. It is worth noting, however, that if I were *super flexible* I could become a professional ballerina as my alias.
- Wizardry--Now isn't this the granddaddy of them all? Really, I think that's why Harry Potter is so darn popular. With being a superhero, you get a power or two, maybe a cluster, but with wizardry, you can pretty much learn to do anything! Clean your closet, find cheaters, improve your memory...the list goes on. But is this a legitimate superpower?
- Shapeshifting--Wikipedia tells me there are many varieties of this power. Think, changing color to blend in with surroundings. Think, taking on the form of another person or thing to hide or infiltrate. Think, growing or shrinking at will. I think this power would be too tempting, and altogether not very useful unless I became a spy. Since I already hear too much as it is, I'll throw this one down, too.
Telepathy, Telekinesis, or Wizardry. That's where the money's at for me. If I get stung by a mutant scorpion or something, and suddenly start hearing everything you're thinking, I'll let you know.
Now, while I am a bit of a tomboy, it can now be reliably reported that my girly side has been kicked up a notch. Let me tell you what I'm talkin here...
I just bought five or six yards of pink shantung. For those of you uninitiated into the sewing world, that's a type of silk, slightly nubby or unfinished looking. Now, I grant you the shantung I bought was not necessarily great quality. It was possibly cotton or rayon; I didn't check, and I don't care, because it was $ 2.50 a yard...that's 50 % clearance from the already $5 closeout price, down from who knows what was its normal price (my estimate: $9.99 a yard).
I also bought several other fabrics in pink, purple, wine, and related colors. The project? A delicious gypsyish belly dancing costume. Not your Halloween/Bachelor Party variety with chiffon and little else. We're talking real fabric that will actually move around when I whip my hips, such as they are, around in feisty little circles.
I bought a bunch of other awesome stuff, too, some with objectives and some without. That's the great thing about clearance sales. You can buy a hundred and thirty-five dollars worth of exciting fabric and notions and just stew about it until you're damn good and ready to use it.
Friday, December 16, 2005
My students always laugh when I say that. Probably because I'm a 27-year-old girl of very caucasian descent, teaching their boring composition class. I think it's especially funny when I'm wearing a suit.
I thought I'd start a blog. Steve has one, so it must be all right. I just bought a cell phone, so I guess a blog was inevitable. Many things I do are to be more like Steve.
Here's a lot of stuff about me:
I'm a poet. I like to craft. I like to drink Dr. Pepper and watch TV in my small, warm apartment. I like to take baths with bath products from Lush or Bath and Body Works or, really, wherever, as long as it's safe.
I like Sprees and Sweet Tarts. I eat too many and get stomachaches. I am a fan of gummy bears, but they bother my teeth so I don't eat them much. Strawberry milkshakes are perfect, if you get them at Tasty Twist in East Lansing, MI. My favorite food is my Mom's french fries, though, followed closely by olives. My favorite weird food is artichokes...plain, whole, boiled artichoke where you pull the leaves off, dip 'em in butter, and scrape, that's right, scrape off the "meat" with your teeth. That's a damn fine vegetable.
I drive a Saturn. It's a sensible car, except when the ignition won't accept my key. Sometimes it chooses to exert control over me that way. My car is gold. I call it Oriel. I know someone with a Saturn with a license plate ridiculously similar to mine.
I'm allergic to dust. I'm afraid of indoor centipedes. These are both problems when it comes time to vacuum. Ever notice how those centipedes always appear after a thorough vacuum?
I like to dance. Right now I'm obsessed with the Shakira song "Eyes Like Yours." And Marvin Gaye's "Got to Give It Up (pt.1)." I belly danced in my apartment last night for an hour. I think I will maintain this exercise because I sure felt awesome after I finished. I'm sad because the last time I wore my pointe shoes I realized my ankles are ridiculously weak now.
I'm learning to knit. It's going pretty well. I'm also "learning" guitar, and soon I shall tackle crocheting. The sewing thing is pretty well down now. I have projects backed up by a mile. Probably literally...if you laid all the fabric I have end to end, it might make a mile. Tomorrow, though, I intend to go get more because JoAnn's is having another frickin' sale. Those people got my number. I'm also a closet jigsaw puzzle fanatic.
I'm always looking for new skills. One New Year's Eve I took up chess. I suck, but I just wanted to know how. Sometimes things stick, like mah jongg. Sometimes, they don't...I haven't played chess in about two years. I'd like to learn more tai chi. And I'd actually like to take belly dancing. That way, when I say "ballet dancer" and people mishear me, and think I said "belly dancer," they'll still be right. I like to do things for others.
I'm cold a lot. People say, cold hands, warm heart, and I don't know if that's true, except I'm a Scorpio and we tend to be "mysterious, sexy, and passionate" so maybe that makes my heart warm. The fact is, I'm skinny and have poor circulation, and if my feet are cold at bedtime I will shiver all night. Then, about 4 am, I will boil.
I have chronic shoulder trouble. It's interesting, because I give a good back massage, and give them often to a few souls in particular, but I never get one anymore. It sucks. I'm not very good at relaxing.
I regularly watch Charmed and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. The shame is, they're on at the same damn time. I have an official "Charmed" tape. The other two shows I try to catch are Medium and Aqua Teen Hunger Force. The rest of the time I watch movies or TV I don't really care about that much, which is sad. I hate reality TV. Except EMHE, which doesn't count.
I just remembered that I missed the new episode of Project Runway. Sometimes I watch that, and I meant to this week, and I missed it. That's ok, because they have a website that makes it easy to avoid the drama and still see the clothes.
I also like Ghosthunters. I have always liked ghosts, or liked the concept of ghosts. I don't think I've ever had an encounter with a spirit, except once in my friend's garage when the garage door kept going up and down and no one was there. That was kind of weird. I don't know what I would do if I saw a ghost, but I love it when TAPS finds something that they can't explain. That doesn't happen very often, but when it does it rocks. I think it would be awesome to be on their team. TAPS! Hire me!
I'm stubborn. I'm impatient. I like to help people, and feel useful. I like to be loved, but freak out when people seem to like me a lot and I don't know why. I realize that might make me a control freak, but anyone who has seen the messy state of my house and office will know the control issues are limited.
I like hockey and soccer. I like sunshine, and despite my firm belief that winter is necessary, I get depressed in the winter when I'm cold all the time. I like boys, and they depress me, too.
Sometimes I have perfect days. Once, I made cold salads and planned a whole day of doing nothing but eating and reading the latest Harry Potter, delivered to my door in the morning, in the sunshine, and that's exactly what happened. It was the most beautiful thing.