.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

in the hoosegow

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

friends come by

A group of li-berry types from a neighboring school is coming by today to see our spiffy place. I get to warn them about things like $20,000 light fixtures and bad paint jobs but also let them see how usable many of our public spaces have become.

A few hours later a high school group is dropping by to work on history projects. Sometimes I think I entered the field of outreach because I like it when people come visit. I wish I could offer them muffins and coffee, but alas, there's that sticky li-berry food & drinks policy...

Monday, January 30, 2006


I was specifically asked to use the phrase "strawberry shortcake" in my blog today. Why, you ask? The GE and I watched the Aristrocrats over the weekend and there is a segment of the film where the comedians discuss various comically-titled sex acts, including the aforementioned strawberry shortcake. Don't know what it is? Watch the movie because I'm not going to tell you.

I will tell you that my garden-growing friend came over to help me plan my spring planting. I am starting from scratch! I have to prepare the bed and everything, so if anyone has old bricks lying about, let me know, because I need something to outline the future plant bed. Wasn't it a beautiful day yesterday, straight through to sunset? I spent at least half of the day outdoors riding my bike, reading, planning the garden, watching friends film.

Friday, January 27, 2006


I am supposed to go to defensive driving class tomorrow but am thinking of not showing up and doing it online instead or at a closer place. I know, I said I'd never do it again online but that was because I did it all in one day. I could do it an hour a day and still be finished in plenty of time. I just can't bear to sit for 6 hours tomorrow...unless it's on my couch!

no pressure

My roomie's been working on a play and her director is already sold on the idea but wants a longer script. I've been working on a short story and my friend said she wants to film it, so Finish It Already! Of course, she also said she'd get Jennifer Aniston to play the main character, so I am thinking that she was just encouraging me. Nevertheless, I got into bed last night head whirling with ideas.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


When I wake up in the middle of the night and can't go back to sleep, usually it's because I'm worrying about something. Last night it was because my roommate was up cooking and moving around and subsequently I felt unsettled. Unfortunately the fallout is the same: dry eyes, general tired feeling, a bit of sadness and malaise.

I am hoping that massive coffee consumption will help me out.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

cholesterol soaring

I've been hitting the bagel shop on campus a few too many times since the semester started. I was deprived all through the break but I have already made up for my forced time off. Already, the students working there this semester know what I want as well as my name. The thing I get has a big slab of egg in it and is smothered in some cheese. It tastes gooood and lasts me through the day, which is more than I can say for most food. So I keep going there and ordering it, like every few days. Today I even saw some of the same people that I saw last time. I am telling people at work that there is crack in the food but I'm not sure they are buying it....

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

bring it on

From my horrorscope:
"Today the emotional impact of all that's happened to you over the past few months could finally hit you. You'll wonder how it could be that so many of your hopes and dreams could be manifesting. Yet you probably will not stop there. Conversations with friends, relatives and neighbors are likely to lead to ideas for new options so that you can continue to advance without getting burnt out or bored. Listen, write the ideas down, and consider it all!"

Seriously, my ears are open.


Dream: On a road trip with sisters/friends (dream fluidity, you know), we pull over to pee and switch drivers. The person driving stops right in front of a family begging for money. As I am getting into the front seat, they are pawing me, sticking their hands into my bag, pulling the change from the cupholders. We start to pull away (and suddenly I'm not driving anymore) when I look into my wallet and see that my debit card and credit card are missing. "Turn around!" I shout and the GE gets irritated because he's new at driving and startled by me shouting at him. We stop in front of the family, I confront them, and I follow them across the swamp to their house. The little girl takes me into her room where she has stacks of credit cards, licenses and insurance cards. We can't find mine anywhere. We look all over the place, even in the bathroom. Meanwhile, I grow fond of the little girl and her criminal family. They are travelers (in the British sense, like gypsies). Finally we go into the kitchen and a grandfather comes out. He pulls my cards from on top of the refrigerator and once I find my tennis shoes I go back to the car. Now an old man and a woman are in it. I try the door but it's locked and the car pulls away. I sit down and begin to weep.

Monday, January 23, 2006

what would you do for a klondike bar?

I've been working on a short story for a while now. It was my goal to finish it this weekend, in solidarity with the GE who was editing like crazy. I worked a lot on it yesterday and it's twice as long, but it is not yet finished. Not only that, but after I write the ending I need to go back and flesh out a few things, develop some of the minor characters a bit more, perhaps introduce more anecdotes about the main character's work. Today it's back to real work. Most of my colleagues are away at a conference and I am happily here, not at said conference, but stewing in my own juices as usual. Right now, I am getting skill saw noises from above, as they are still (STILL!) working on the department right over my office.

Yes, it's Monday and proud of it.

Friday, January 20, 2006

crackpot minnie

I should never try to write after reading Mimi Smartypants. Hers was one of the first blogs I ever read and while it didn't change my life exactly it has consistently made me laugh and wish I could meet up with her for a beer or five. I even semi-bonded with someone over one of her posts. It was the one about her vibrator turning itself on in the middle of the night, if you remember. I got some email from an old beau the other day and in responding I made some crack. He wrote back "you were always so funny" and you know what? I am funny, at least in person. You might not know it from reading this here blog but I can tear out one-liners like nobody's business when I'm in the mood. Or drinking. When I'm drinking and in the mood, well, I've got other things on my mind.

So there.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Watched the Enron movie last night with the GE. Especially at the beginning of it, I kept hearkening back to my days at a large internet retailer. The corporate culture was much the same, with risky behavior rewarded, the cult of personality surrounding the big boss man, the questionable financing practices, and so on. Our stock also rose more and faster than anyone expected, although it fell again with the general dot com bust. It is also still doing business, so I can only surmise that its financing was not nearly as creative as Enron's.

I wonder if business students are taught ethics. It seems to the rest of the world that of course they must be, but are they taught it with a wink? How else do you explain the heartless way that Enron traders helped create and then manipulate the California energy crisis? It's hard to understand, especially for one in a profession that takes ethics so seriously and discusses ethical issues regularly.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Last night's adventure centered on seeing Luche Libre at the Colonial. For the uninformed, that's H-town's Mexican wrestling. We got there in time for the warm-up match and stayed for another two matches after that. In between, children climb up into the ring and wrestle and kick and swing on the, well, what are those called? The stretchy bars that enclose the ring... I kept trying to convince my friends that it would be funnier if there were monkeys in there wrestling with the kids but no one was going for that idea.

If you haven't seen wrestling before, and Mexican wrestling in particular, it consists of opponents dressed in flashy outfits grappling, slapping, kicking, jumping on and generally pounding each other. They also call each other names, question each other's sexuality and insult everyone's mother. They have wrestler names like the Doberman and their costumes are supposed to evoke that persona.

The most fun occurs when the wrestlers throw each other out of the ring and start fighting in the audience. People start throwing bottles (plastic) at them, rattle folding chairs and get in on the name-calling. It's a great spectacle and seeing it makes you want to get your own mask and stretchy outfit and pick a wrestler name. I already have mine: l'avispa. I'll be working on my costume and my moves.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

storms a-brewin'

Two nights ago I dreamed that I was driving along the highway and my brakes stopped working. I exited and begin driving along side roads, hoping the car's momentum would slow and I would eventually stop. However, the car continued to move at a good clip until I woke up.

Last night, I dreamed that I was cutting through someone's house (or a B&B?) to get to the beach. As I walked out, two girls leaned out of an upstairs window and pointed off into the horizon. There I saw a huge storm front approaching with several tornadoes. Rather than going back into the house and heading for the basement, I began to run back to my house.

I have tornado dreams periodically. For me, they usually symbolize a time of change or particular stress. I have a feeling I know what these dreams are about, but until I'm sure I will let you ponder them and share your own.

Friday, January 13, 2006

drinky vs. stinky

So the drink was nice, but I had to cut it with a bit more water part of the way through. I have been working, although unsteadily, and my colleague/friends are nowhere to be seen so I've been mostly sitting here in my office alone. I did get a cart/organizer thing ordered in which to store my outreach goodies. I also finished reading an article but I haven't done much else except for the grindingly slow work on a presentation proposal (eek, due Tuesday!).


I have shown very poor judgment in sitting around on my butt feeling sorry for myself the past two days. On one hand, I've gotten a great deal of reading and television viewing in. On the other hand, my mood is stinky. To combat this, my roomie gave me a packet of chrysanthemum crystals (with honey). Very soothing, she said. I am drinking it right now and enjoying the fact that I am drinking a flower. I hope that within the hour my mood will lift and I will spend the rest of the day working steadily and chatting with co-workers & friends. I will let you know how it goes.

Thursday, January 12, 2006


I'm in a workshop on blogging (given by Jane), while I'm blogging. Whee!

when 5am seems reasonable

We're having an information fair for our new international students this morning and I had to make sure we had everything together, truck it over and set it up. Then, joy of joys, I got to leave and let my colleagues (wo)man the table. There are times when being the coordinator of a program makes me ecstatic. However, because I was doing the set-up, I had to be at work bright and early, and I had to get up and get here bright and early. Normally I would again be ecstatic because I'd be leaving equally early, but I have to meet with one of my other campus groups this afternoon. Luckily, these are fun ESL teachers and we get to talk about cool things like juvenile books, general interest magazines and being comfortable in the library. I have an awesome job, no?

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


One of my colleagues keeps a white board in the window of his office. Most days he writes a "schedule" on it, which includes things like napping, taking hostages, leaving early to go to the bar, as well as his real meeting and desk commitments. If I were to follow suit, my schedule would look like this:
8-9 Read email, post on blog, read feeds, check various online presences
9-10 Do a little work
10-12 Talk to colleagues about how boring work is, eat lunch, play games online
12-2 Desk
2-3ish Meet with team
3ish on See 8-9

Of course, this is still a break week and school starts next week, so there is planning, photocopying, reading and other "real" work things thrown in there (I swear it, boss lady!).

art and life

I just finished Robert Parker's Stone Cold, which is one of his Jesse Stone series. In reading it I discovered that there are disturbing (or comforting, depending on your pov) similarities between the main character's relationships and my own. I often use literature to escape from my reality, but not when my reality is somewhat contained in the literature. Please get out of my head, Parker man!

Monday, January 09, 2006

monday blues

I did a whole bunch of stuff this weekend, like raking and bagging the leaves in the front yard, mowing the lawn, taking down the christmas tree, cleaning the house, etc. Usually that makes me feel like I accomplished something and I'm ready to start my work week. However, I find myself feeling rather down and sad and generally out of sorts. Well, at least I can feel that way in a clean house...

Friday, January 06, 2006

joys of non-driving

Since I am supposed to get my eyes dilated (although now I'm wondering about that...) one of my colleagues drove me to work and will drive me home. I saw the same amount of casual recklessness on the freeway that I usually see but because I wasn't driving, I didn't feel the need to curse, shake my fist or call down the wrath of the gods. Amazing!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

watch out!

From my horrorscope, in its entirety:

"In your personal life, you couldn't find yourself in a better position. The time is ripe to thumb your nose at your demons once and for all. Complexes, guilt, and fears of all kinds are sent packing. It could even be that the radical ''housecleaning'' you will be undertaking will affect your professional career, as you become aware to what an extent you have been underestimating yourself..."


If this were Jeopardy, the question answered by the title of this post would be: what time is worst to visit the grocery store, at least on a Thursday? How can a store have no bananas? NO BANANAS! The nice thing was that, despite there being only one checkout lane open, there was no waiting. The other good thing is, I now have food at home and, more importantly, coffee. Granted, I had to buy the more expensive bulk beans because the less expensive bulk beans were all gone except for decaf (feh!) and flavors (eek!).

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

books to read

We're thinking of having a bookclub, sort of an experiment, organized by the library. I'm looking for a few books to suggest. If you've read anything outstanding lately (nonfiction), please comment or email me. It doesn't have to be recently published.

ways of the universe

During my break (we get the week between Christmas and New Year's off) I was still feeling sickly and, as usual, lazy. I did very little yard work and pretty much no housework except for laundry. Now that I'm feeling perky and strong, I'm back at work. I keep thinking that I need to go to the grocery store, finish raking the yard, mow it, take down my tree ornaments and hustle the tree out to the curb.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

so what does that say

So my list of movies is much longer than my list of books. So what? I read many books not on the list--I can think of at least 10 books I reread. Also, it took me an inexplicably long time to read some of them, like the Plague and the Man in the Iron Mask. Most of the things I read are mysteries, occasionally literature, and work-related books. Also, I usually have a book going over at the GE's house that I can read while waiting for him to shower, putter, edit, etc. In fact, I just remembered that I read Tortilla Flat over there. The other thing is that there isn't a single book on the list that I regret having read, while there are a few movies I didn't enjoy, slept during or am embarrassed to admit I watched. Conclusions: while I am a movie whore, I am a selective reader. Secondary conclusion: I enjoy books recommended to me by friends, often more than ones I pick up on my own.

2005 movies and books, part II

Requiem for a Dream
Love is the Devil
Waking Life
Doom Generation
Grizzly Man
Hustle and Flow
The Awful Truth
Old Boy
Sex and Lucia
A Very Long Engagement
Sin City (again)
Fando and Lis
It's All Gone, Pete Tong
Key Largo
Ong Bak, Thai Warrior
The Ballad of Ramblin' Jack Elliott
Layer Cake
Batman Begins (again)
Born Into Brothels
Annie Hall
The Edukators
Beware of a Holy Whore
Murder Ball
The Lost Weekend
The Holy Grail
Z Channel
Bad News Bears
Deuce Bigelow, European Gigolo
The Player
King Kong

Locked Rooms, Laurie King
The Turn of the Screw, Henry James
Death's Acre, Bill Bass
The Golden Compass, Philip Pullman
The Wings of a Falcon, Cynthia Voigt
Teaching the New Library to Today's Users, Trudi Jacobson
The Westing Game, Ellen Raskin
Some Awful Book based on CSI
Cosmic Banditos
The first three Amelia Peabody books by Elizabeth Peters
My Date with Satan, Stacey Richter

2005 movies and books, part I

I started tracking the movies I watched and the books I read when I got my moleskin in late February, so the list is not complete but here it is anyway. Also, I didn't always note re-reads.

Capturing the Friedmans
Control Room
Withnail & I (twice)
The Sure Thing
Intolerable Cruelty
Where the Buffalo Roam
The Last Waltz
Incident at Loch Ness
Shaun of the Dead
The Pianist
Bottle Rocket
Fate Morgana (not all of it)
Sin City
Kung Fu Hustle
Blind Swordsman
House of Flying Daggers
Dogtown and Z-Boys
Lady Killers (the remake)
Life of Peter Sellers
Napoleon Dynamite
City of God
Night of Cabriri
Hotel Rwanda
Battle of Algiers
Battle of Algiers bonus disc
Team America
21 Grams
Bullets Over Broadway
The Jacket
The Life Aquatic
Abigail's Party
Mysterious Skin
Living in Oblivion
Children of Paradise
City of the Lost Children
The Sea Inside
The Amazing Adventure
Lady Killers (original)
Batman Begins

Assault on Tony's
The Game, Laurie King
Jesus' Son, Denis Johnson
Shattered, Dick Francis
Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, Nick Flynn
The Invisibles, book 1
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Quentins, Maeve Binchy
Second Summer of the Sisterhood
Folly, Laurie King
Keeping Watch, Laurie King
Dead Cert, Dick Francis
Darkness Visible, William Styron
The Man in the Iron Mask
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
College Knowledge, Conley
Anne of Avonlea
Odds Against, Dick Francis
The Plague, Camus
Weaveworld, Clive Barker
Mysterious Skin, Scott Heim
The Mystery of the Uninvited Guest (Trixie Belden)
Ranger's Apprentice, John Flanagan