30 April 2009

don't bunt.

My cousin posted this picture on facebook this week. It brought back a lot of memories. Back during my days as a receptionist, I always looked forward to when it was my turn to take the company cars for cleaning at the Elephant Car Wash. It was an hour and a half out of the claustrophobic hallway office that I shared with three other women, a kind of sacred time for listening to NPR and The Mountain. It's funny what a picture brings back. I can almost hear the Tom Petty coming out of the radio as I headed down 5th Avenue.

I was connected yet again to that transitonary period of my life (between educational institutions, and, little did I know, out of the church) when I discovered a cannister of change in one of my dresser drawers as I was packing today. In addition to the change, there were barrettes and other detritus that I'd been stashing for no real reason. I was happy to find one of the bits was meaningful.

On my first day at Callison, my co-workers took me out to lunch at Palomino, a restaurant in the building we worked in. I felt so grown-up and professional-- until we sat down at the table. There were little cards on the table with inspirational quotes inside. I saved mine because it horrified me at the time-- here I was starting a new job, only to realize on my very first day that it was not enough.

Needless to say, it set the tone for my employment there. I finally reconciled my aspirations with my faith (at least temporarily), secretly applied to graduate school and ended up here in Utah. I was glad to find this little reminder of my time in Seattle, that profound year of deciding to be somebody. For all the doubts I've had lately about where I decided to do my PhD, it was reassuring to remember that this is not the first time I've gone jobless in my little Honda car towards the unknown.


I found this article fascinating-- studies have found that only 20% of Americans identify as liberal but yet Obama has a 70% approval rating. I loved that the #1 word people chose to identify him with was "intelligent." It's interesting that doing the job well bridges the gaps between political philosophies. That's change I can believe in! (as opposed to change that other people can't believe in... my nerdy little self went ga-ga over the linked video and website-- I must study these people)

Also in conservatism... Princeton's Julian Zelizer is writing for my beloved moderately conservative news site The Daily Beast. I may or may not have almost peed my pants over this. What can I say, I love the idea of making smart people political commentators (what a concept!). Step aside, Meghan McCain! (she is driving me nuts lately... she clearly has no idea wtf she's talking about when she can't even differentiate between conservatives and Republicans... oy)

27 April 2009

this one goes out to all the grad students.

Wrapping up the semester sucks. Wishing everyone blissful and easy writing.

the internet plays into my hand yet again, providing me an excuse to post photos of dolph lundgren.

No, really, I have a legitimate excuse for doing this.

Really, I do.

I'll get to it in just a second.

I promise.

Just one more.

Ha, got ya!

Ok, for reals this time.

(that last one was just to see if you were paying attention)

Dolph Lundgren made the news today.

25 April 2009

packing completed, i turned to other avenues of procrastination.

I'm a freak for icons. Here's a cool Mac app that allows you to make your own when no ready-made icon will do. It is quite possibly the easiest program to use ever. Nerdy, yes-- but you have to admit that this is the perfect iconic picture for the folder for that American West class I took:

Oh who am I kidding? I just needed an excuse to post a picture of Ronald Reagan. To shake things up a little, yah know?

UPDATE: After putting up that post, it occured to me that there was an opportunity for greatness in this post that wasn't apparent to me the first time around. Redo:

Glitter Graphics

Ah. That's better.

P.S. This is entertaining!

this is genius.

23 April 2009

attack of the listicle.

I am posting because that random Ahmadinejad bit is kind of lame to leave at the top of my blog for days at a time. I haven't been posting because I've been:

1. Conquering Word in the Great Thesis Reformat of 2009. It was just complicated enough for me to put it off for a month, and easy enough to finish in about an hour. But it's been submitted and I can now focus on the other stuff I need to write before the semester's up (focus here means "passively pick at." give me a week and it will mean "intensely author").

2. Riding my bike in 75 degree weather.

3. Eating popsicles to recover from said rides.

4. Trying to figure out how to live without a microwave. I'm already tired of sandwiches, chicken nuggets and cooking on the stove. Current solutions to this problem (which comes with the added hitch of moving in 2 weeks and not wanting to buy anything) include going to the store to buy some crackers and Hostess cupcakes or consuming only things I've got that don't require cooking. I am pretty sure I have enough calories in my liquor box to sustain me for two weeks.

5. Packing. Yep, I've starting packing. So what if it's non-essentials like coats and church clothes (what church?) and sweaters (god help me if it snows again) (first parenthetical comment negates possibility of the second?).

6. Watching good movies. Serpico last night, Doubt tonight. Tomorrow I'm watching Step Brothers because everything I've been watching is way too dark, emotional, and high quality. Total Netflix binge.

7. Feeling jealous of Big Brother's new Madsen. Don't tell ODT (though really, I don't have a kid, let alone many kids, to necessitate an entire bucket bike). Don't forget to make a donation while you're at his page. I've upped my donation-- up yours.

I've done other stuff too, but I just realized that it's finally not Earth Day anymore so I can drive my car to the store. You didn't really expect me to live on tonic water, Maker's Mark and tins of tuna, did you?

20 April 2009

vile and hateful.

This reminded me of this:

But really? Who invites a holocaust denier and mega-hater to speak at anti-racism conference? Do you invite a butcher to speak to a group of vegetarians?!
(Brace yourself for an insightful insight...1...2...3...)

That's dumb.*

*Michelle, that was for you. :P

i'm only awake because 'the happening' made me too scared to sleep.

For some of us, Sun-In never went out. This is the first year in like five that I haven't done it... yet.

Fascinating-- quasi-utopian sustainability movement taking hold in Idaho. Check out the Times Magazine's green issue here.

A five part series on Wes Anderson's film influences, or, the second time in the past week that Serpico has come up, so it's at the top of my Netflix queue.*

A neat story about the letters people send to The Barack.

*The first time was watching the best TV show of our time (since Arrested Development) It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, or, the only show I've ever wanted to own on DVD.

16 April 2009

here's to days that start out bad and then end up being really, really good.

academia is for suckers.

Being that it's April 15th and all (binding decision day for admitted grad students), I had to post this in tribute to all the time I wasted on thegradcafe.com. This will probably be funny to like two people, or nobody.

For those uninterested: Here's an article filled with
dapper dudes on Dutch bikes. I was pissed that no women were included and that comments like this were made:

'Still, he concedes that the machismo of bike culture is hard to fight, adding: “The only person I know who has a Dutch bike is a girl.”'


15 April 2009

proof that netflix is stalking me.

Ok, yah, I see how I could get this:

Or this:

But really? This?:
I think Netflix is reading my blog.

13 April 2009

days like this drive me to online shopping.

Wild day in the world / on the internet today:

Obama is waging war on pirates

And trying to nationalize the student loan system.*

People are trying to forgive their spouses**

and others are fainting on Glenn Beck like it's a tent rivival.

Spain is putting the smackdown on torture since our courts won't

because they are too busy not being good.***

Ok, so maybe it was mostly a good day for reading The Paper. But still, kind of a wild mess huh? Watch this to wind down (free for a limited time!).

*the discomfort I feel over stuff like this-- even though it's for the good of the students-- ME-- is really making me wonder if I'm a fiscal conservative, or maybe if having GWB for president for my entire adult life screwed me up to the point that I can never be on the same side as the Prez.

**I liked this article because I felt like yelling at the whole planet this afternoon. Very tense afternoon. I pretended that I, like the main character, got to throw my fit.

***I could talk about the Supreme Court all day. Fascinating stuff.

12 April 2009

happy easter.

i love postsecret.

One of my favorite parts of the weekend is on Saturday night/Sunday morning when the new postsecrets for the week go up. Knowing that my secrets are nowhere near as interesting brings a little sanity into my life.

10 April 2009

in which rachel maddow says 'teabagging' like eighty times.

Until conservatives learn to read Urban Dictionary, liberals will continue to mock them mercilessly... and push through a socialist agenda.

Absolutely mindblowing-- it's like the MSM no longer needs Colbert or Stewart to mock the news for them.

it's just not the same without the title.

Basically a sign that today has been too much...

What? That's not news? I'll show you news...

09 April 2009


The lesson of the past day has been balance. There's been so much yin and yang going on that I feel a little startled by it. Perspective is all.

For example:
Got rear-ended yesterday afternoon BUT I got to see my cousin and his team from my alma mater play a lacrosse game in my 'hood.

His team lost BUT he gets the knowledge that family comes to his games, no matter where they are. Even if your older cousin is kind of embarrassing, she cares.

I didn't feel good BUT a friend brought over some Ben & Jerry's, with all its healing properties. I love my Utah friends so much. A girl could never have better caretakers.

I had to spend three hours at urgent care (plus 30 minutes travel each way) BUT I don't have brain damage or a broken neck.

I missed classes today BUT only 28 days until graduation.

I got a big stack of "explanation of benefits" forms from the kidney stone debacle that said I'll probably have to lay out 500 bones BUT in the same batch of mail I got an awesome supportive card from my grandparents. Love is what really matters, it's forever.

My house reeks to high heavens of Chinese food BUT my classy mother arranged for a hotel room for us when she's here-- so really only 27 days left in this apartment! Yeah!

Who knows what my funding situation is for next year BUT at least I did get a form to set up my email account at Temple-- I'm really going there!

I'm feeling very "count my blessings"-y right now... but hey, it's impossible to ignore that my life is filled with wonderful people who make it worthwhile. Life is good, even when it's not.

07 April 2009

consumerist spring.

Because part 1 of my cross-country mega move is coming up quick, I've become focused on throwing stuff out of the wagon instead of adding stuff to it. However, Spring took its sweet-ass time coming to Utah, and I can't deny that I got a little excited about my liberation from socks. Fortunately there are easy ways to buy without taking up much space AND spice up my uniform of old Gap Jeans and crew neck American Apparel t-shirts without actually having to wear something else (I have plenty of shirts, but when I run out of the solid AA ones getting dressed becomes so much harder. I really love being boring.).

Anyways, here was my simple solution:

Sandals by Dolce Vita. So what if they are flat- they took about a day to break in and are a fun way to bring in metallics without being too ostentatious. Mine are this pinky bronze color that I can't find a picture of. I had to size down to an 8, which has never happened to me before with sandals.
Fuchsia Power nail polish by Sally Hansen. Only 2 dollars at Wal-Mart and it wears very well- a necessity when biking in sandals.

06 April 2009

if you could cut your scalp cut off and get you a whole 'nother scalp...

This made me laugh quietly to myself. Erykah Badu offers some insightful insights on publicity:

Also funny, BYU's Daily Universe made a major typo, eliciting lots of schadenfreude from its rival school --the Lord's University, really-- up north.

i needs me some of this.

I woke up homesick.

o beautiful for heroes prov'd in liberating strife, who more than self their country loved, and mercy more than life.

I read about the lifting of the ban on pictures of fallen servicemen's caskets, but actually seeing the first image moved me to tears. Please take a moment to remember that freedom is not free.

02 April 2009

picturing the recession.

The NYT has a new section called "Picturing the Recession." It's basically a community archive that people can upload photos and stories to. A lot of the stories are heartbreaking-- shuttered shops and foreclosed homes-- but I thought there were some positive messages that made me think of some of my special readers. You can click on the images to see the text better.

For Big Brother:

For Michaele:

click on the link and ask yourself if you can really handle this kind of shit before 10am.

The Barack Obama Action figure, with interchangeable heads and hands.


heroic women, part two.

This image was a highlight of my day. I think because The Queen looks so teeny and cute next to the statuesque Obamas. It also makes me think of the coronation mugs I inherited from my great-great-aunt that have pretty dainty gold handles and a picture of the hopeful young Queen (I can't wait to be reunited with all of my stuff!), and the chapter on the coronation in my favorite book, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, and Helen Mirren in The Queen looking at the stag...what can I say? I like her constant symbolic power, the way she simultaneously embodies post-war progress and centuries and centuries of tradition.

You can see a slideshow of The Queen with all the presidents here. That it goes backwards kind of makes me want to throw up.