Monday, August 31, 2009

Ode to Water

This entire post has been manifested simply for the fact that I am thirsty and a little warm. When conditions such as these arise, a feeling of dryness in the throat arises. To rectify this, one drinks the magnificent compound known as H2O. Water.

Water, which is essential for life as we know it, is best served without salt or any other compounds diluted into it. Salted water will not quench a thirst, and will indeed exacerbate it. Occasionally, contaminants are unavoidable. For example, the water from our well tastes strongly of iron. This is sometimes good, sometimes bad depending on the drinker's personal preferences. City water generally contains low levels of fluoride and chlorine. These additives are also acceptable to most people. For those who like as little added to their water as possible, one can either buy filtered water, or filter their own water.

I prefer my water from a glass, but plastic is frequently used as well. Ceramic is not a preferred water receptacle. Ceramic cups are best when one sips from them, not takes swigs, swallows or gulps as one typically does when drinking water. On warm days, glasses or plastic cups should probably be set upon a water-absorbent material, such as a napkin or towel, to absorb the condensation that forms when cold water is in the glass and warm air is outside the glass. This prevents water rings and keeps the surface of the table clean.

Some people prefer water with ice cubes in the glass. Others prefer it closer to room temperature. I prefer it a few minutes out of the refrigerator, in a glass jar with no ice on a towel. And that's how I'm gonna drink it, dammit!

Yes, I'm weird. I think I'm tired and thirsty and that leads to strange posts.

Tomorrow is move in day number 1.

This is also the last day of tagging a random object. I've been doing it all month. Zasz noticed the first day, when the random object was boobs. No one else has commented on it, though. You may have noticed it. I generally don't read tags on posts, so why would anyone else?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

New Apartment

Yesterday, I made the journey to Northfield to sign the lease of my new apartment. I am renting a two bedroom with my friend Sokun. We signed the lease, then went to move some of his stuff in. We live in number 100, on the 3rd floor. Luckily we have a wide stairwell, so we were able to carry things up easily. We also found a couch in our garage, but apparently it's janky, so Sokun didn't want to bring it up. WM is taking it away unless another resident wants it.

Our fridge is short, but spacious. Our toilet is broken, but being fixed tomorrow. Our range hood needs fixing, but will also be fixed tomorrow. Our carpet squares aren't glued down (but that's not really a problem). Other than that, it's a really nice place. Oh, also, both of our names are spelled wrong on the lease. It's still legally binding, though. Just funny. My last name is Jorden (Jordan) and his name is Sokum (Sokun).

I'm very excited to move in on Wednesday. : )

However, the journey back from St. Olaf was fraught with mild inconveniences. Sokun dropped me off at MOA for the light rail, and I went downstairs to the transit station, intending to put money on my Go-To card. Apparently there was a Twins game that night, because there was a line about 20 people long waiting to buy tickets. Good lord. So I waited in line for about 5 minutes when I remembered the morning bus driver accidentally charged me for disability, only 50 cents instead of $2.25. So I still had 50 cents left on my card! Joy! (With the Go-To card, if you have any money on it, it'll just go into the negative when you charge the ride, and you pay it off when you put more money on your card). So I went to the Go-To pole, and a Metro Transit officer was leaning on it. Ugh... I just politely asked him to get off the pad, scanned my card and got on the very crowded train.

Luckily I found a seat. Unluckily, the train was really crowded. The woman sitting next to me kept staring at me in the reflection on the glass that was in front of us. The bike rack area was full of standing Twins fans, so bikers had to hold their bikes upright because there was no room for them to put them up, or even to let them sit with both wheels on the ground. (BTW, don't stand in the bike rack area. Just move down the aisle. it's really rude). Anyway, I eventually made it back downtown, where I put money on my card for the transfer home.

It was also really cold outside. Earlier in the day, it had been nice and sunny, if a bit breezy. By the time I was heading home, it was cold and cloudy and windy. I took refuge in the Central library, where I decided to go to the bathroom. Out of the 6 stalls, one was occupied, 3 had piss on the seats and 1 had crap on the seat. As I was walking back to the empty one, someone else took it. So I waited for the person in the occupied stall to finish (she left pee on the seat...), and carefully went potty (after wiping the seat down thoroughly).

Then I went to Dunn bros, and bought a chai latte and picked up a Lavender magazine. The chai was a little cold, but warmer than I was at the moment, so I didn't complain. I walked to the bus stop, balanced my chai on the railing, hopped up myself, and started to read. About halfway through my chai, it fell off the railing. That's more my fault than anything (I really should have been holding on to it), but it was still aggravating. Then not one, not two, but three other people waiting for the bus pulled out cigarettes and started smoking. They were both a respectful distance away, so it'd be rude of me to tell them to stand elsewhere, but like I said, it was windy. So I walked further away, and then something good happened: I ran into Nik, a friend of mine from high school, who was also waiting for the bus. We chatted pleasantly on the bus.

And that was the end of the mildly inconvenienced journey home.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Good Day and Whoa. Chicken Alert!

Today was an awesome day. I got up this morning and my lovely friend picked me up, and we proceeded to journey to Minneapolis. Well, she was late, and I needed to stop at the bank for a few seconds, and then there was a train, and then the stupid semi was slow and kept changing into our lane. In any case, our 9:16 bus from 3rd and Main in Anoka was barely caught, and included an epic dash and a leap over some construction in order to catch it. But we caught it. We were awesome.

Then we took another bus from downtown to the U, so we could go and poke around the Weisman Art Museum. In the Weisman, there is this creepyass hotel exhibit where you lean into the door frame and it triggers the sound recording. You are essentially eavesdropping in on people's lives. There is The Price is Right, a dog barking, sports, a party, a woman sobbing (or laughing?), etc. I dragged KT along in there with me. No way was I going in there by myself.

We then walked to the stadium village and ate some Bruegger's Bagels sammiches at a picnic table. Very delicious. I had a 4 cheese and tomato paninni and a mocha cooler. Came to $10.11 for a sammich and an iced coffee. Expensive. Anyway, we walked to a bus stop to go back downtown, and we were worried. Our transfers expired at 11:45. It's 11:44! Suddenly, our bus pulls into view. Oh no! A red light! We wait anxiously, counting the seconds. Will we have to pay again? The bus pulls up, and we get on with just seconds to spare. Another lucky break for us. : )

Anyway, we walked down the Farmer's Market on Nicollet Mall, bought a couple nectarines, and walked to the Walker Sculpture Garden. Of course, we took a lot of silly and artistic photos of ourselves with sculptures. We saw 13-striped gophers and geese. And art. We were stopped there, and given a pamphlet about the day at the Walker. It was today! How uncanny. So we head over there, and get free lemonade! Complete with lemon wedge and sprig of mint leaf. Delicious.

Then we bussed home again. Luckily, KT's car was not towed or ticketed while we were gone. Woohoo!

A good day, all in all. : )

Now for the chicken update: Angela is a he! Dwight is not the same breed as the others! I nominate Angela's new name to be Ryan, because he was just a lowly temp and then popped out of nowhere and became the boss. Hopefully, Angela/Ryan doesn't become addicted to coke. Of course, he's not my rooster, so I doubt I get to name him. I am worried about Dwight, though. He's probably the first to go now. I like both Angela and Dwight, but you can't have 2 roosters sharing a flock of hens. It's just going to cause fights. But if Dwight gets sent to the country (both colloquially and literally), he'll either be eaten or bullied. Plus his girlfriend Pam would be lonely.

Angela is more likely to stay, because he's of the same breed, so we know he's cold hardy and calm. I haven't been able to figure out Dwight's breed. He matured much faster and is much more aggressive than Angela, but maybe they'd both calm down if one of them was gone. I like them both. I want to keep them both. I wish gelding weren't so expensive and invasive for chickens. We could just neuter them if it weren't invasive surgery. Maybe I like them both because they flirt with me a lot. At least they don't bite my neck and mount me the way they do the hens.


So, I've been putting together a little lap desk for my laptop so my testicles don't overheat when I have it in my lap (I don't want my sperm count to go down). Today was the day I got to nail it all together.

So I spent a good length of time nailing and missing the nails (my aim isn't so great), and I go to turn it over and flip the pillowcase right side out (I nailed the pillowcase to the lapdesk between the three boards that make the desk top and the four smaller planks that hold them together), and lo and behold the center piece of wood got flipped over when I was setting up the pillow/wood arrangement. So among the two larger pieces of shiny black painted boards, there is a glaring bare plank of poplar, with traces of primer and glossy black paint at the edges.

Subsequently I swore a lot in annoyance. Then I swore a bit in resignation. With a final "God damn it...." I went and got the primer and started repainting it. I was so frustrated I forgot to take a picture of how foolish it looked to show you all. Darn. You can't see evidence of my fail.

So instead of having a finished lapdesk this evening, I am still hunched in an awkward twist while I attempt to recline on the sofa and type with the computer on a footstool. It overheats really easily, so I can only have it on my lap for a few minutes, otherwise I get burned and it gets damaged. The lapdesk should be done by Friday evening.


At least I finished putting all the squares in my blanket together. I just need to put the border on it and make the seams more secure. It's very heavy, and will be warm once I get the seams tighter. It's more of a blanket to put over a comforter (I forget what those are called) than a lap blanket or anything, but it'll be nice on a cold lonely February night. (I won't have any cold lonely January nights, because I'll be in Europe! Woot)

So, my three crafty projects: lapdesk, blanket and work desk are almost done. Just in time, too. I start moving Saturday.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Inglorious Basterds and Crime and Punishment

Yay! I finished Crime and Punishment! It's took soooo long! That's right. 4 "o"s. It must be long.

: )

(that's what she said?)

All sexual innuendos aside, it's a great book. Just a little slow. I had a few trepidations about undertaking this book. I've heard a lot of good things about Dostoyevsky, but not one of them were for the ease of reading and comprehension. While I certainly did not grasp all of the intricacies in the book, it was still moving, enlightening, fascinating and entertaining. It's about Rodion Romanovitch Raskolnikov, a poor destitute college dropout during the 19th Century who kills an old pawnbroker and her sister. And the rest is about how he struggles with himself and others. It's very interesting. In one scene, while I was riding the bus, I started crying. I typically don't cry while reading, so this must be a good book. Highly Recommended.

Today I also watched the Quentin Tarantino movie Inglorious Basterds. It was really really good. If this film had been done by any other director, it would have been highly disturbing and unpleasant for me to watch. however, Tarantino has a way with the gore and violence that most directors cannot pull off, and couldn't even if they tried. It's a very historically incorrect WWII movie, in which Brad Pitt leads a team of Jewish American soldiers deep into occupied France to scalp Nazis and generally terrorize the German army. Ends pretty epically. Normally, I abhor historical incorrectness, but it's Quentin Tarantino and it's really damn obvious that it's incorrect (rather than the typical "let's tweak history and pass it off as fact" that a lot of movies have) so I forgive him easily. Good, entertaining movie. I don't think there were any characters I would choose to emulate in my life, but none of the characters are presented as role models, so that's okay too. They're just presented as awesome and bad-ass. They're shown as the war heroes who no one in their right mind wants to be. If you're Mom, don't see it. You wouldn't like it.

Monday, August 24, 2009

If I had a nickel for every time I changed my major, I'd have a nickel.

I am 2 weeks away from entering my Junior year at St. Olaf. I have decided on my majors (Sociology/Anthropology, Political Science and Women's Studies), and have been for well over a year. Now, however, I am thinking about what could have been. I would have worked a Statistics concentration in there. I enjoy it and am considering pursuing a career involving research.

I would drop the Women's Studies major into a concentration in order to add stats, but the only reason I am majoring in it officially is to take the Senior Seminar, which sounds like a really interesting class and is only open to majors and not concentrators. Gender studies fascinate me, although I dislike the idea of Women's Studies and Feminist Studies. I would prefer a balance of gender perspectives, which is what the seminar discusses. Ergo, I am majoring in it.

I wish I could have a statistics concentration. It would open up doors. Ah well. Maybe I can take undergrad classes while working on my masters. Speaking of which, time to start studying for my GREs! : T (that's a "trying to look excited but really scared shitless" face).

Ah, academia. : )

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Migwe, Migwe, Birdy in the Cage and Other Adorable Animal Antics

Warning: this is a long and rather pointless post. I just feel like rambling tonight. As you can tell by my unnecessarily long warning.

I don't know if I've ever mentioned this before, but my mom has a canary named Migwe. Migwe (seen above) is a 2-year-old male canary.

Migwe likes to sing. My brother calls it screeching, but it is really very pretty when it's not really loud and piercing. When we first got him in late January, 2008, he didn't sing. The only time he sang was when my mom played her CD of Kenyan music that she bought in Kenya. The CD was recommended to her by the tour's driver, named Migwe. He enjoyed singing along with the music too, which is how Migwe the Canary got his name.

Now he sings all the freaking time and never shuts up. If the kitchen is lit, either by sunlight or electricity, he is singing. Even if there's a dim light on, he'll wake up and whistle quietly for a few seconds. I love it. I enjoy his singing. I might be a little hard of hearing though, and I usually don't notice loud piercing noises.

One of the cutest things he does though, is click and stamp. When he stands on the north side of his cage, he can do this weird clicky noise with his beak. I think it's an echo of his beak closing, because it never touches the bars, just between them. If I knew Morse Code, I might be able to tell if he's trying to communicate something. Good thing I don't know Morse Code, otherwise my hopes would probably be dashed.

Anyway, while he's clicking, he sometimes stops and stamps his left foot furiously and in the same pattern. Funniest thing ever. I just wish I knew what it meant. Maybe it means he's really bored and we should find him a girlfriend.

Another cute animal antic: Yesterday, as I was staring aimlessly out my window, Blackface the local doe and her two fawns dashed into our backyard. (Her name is Blackface because her face has a lot of black on it. I'm not trying to say anything about racism or anything.) The fawns were dashing back and forth and leaping over little trees and our garden wall and their mother and each other as fast as they could. Blackface, less energetic than her twins, was trying to catch up to play with them, but was stuck jogging back and forth across the yard, only to have them tear past her going the other way. Eventually, she started play fighting with them, butting heads and doing a weird pouncy thing. It was so cute. Then they all jumped over the garden wall, took a drink from the pond, and took off down the hill. It made my day. : )

There's also a cat who visits my yard every now and then. It is a dark brown tabby, kinda fat (so not a stray, otherwise I'd worry about it). I haven't seen him while I've been outside, so I don't know for sure what his gender is, but he looks rather hefty, and my hefty cat was a male, so based on uneducated, childlike projection, I'm gonna say it's a he. Anyway, he comes and gambols around our backyard once a day or so. He enjoys laying in the warm grass in the sun. Although the other day he came, and it was cold and damp from the rain, so he crouched on the garden wall and looked grumpy. He's not the most active or playful cat, so he doesn't usually do much that's cute. This just made me chuckle. He looked so miserable. His ears were back, and his tail was lashing slowly back and forth. For non-cat people, those are two signs that a cat is unhappy. Cats and dogs have opposite body language. It's probably why they don't get along so well. Unless of course, you have a cat or a dog that is stupid, or thinks it's the opposite species. Then they get along just fine.

I love animals. Angela crowed today. Dwight buffeted her with a wing. Good times. : )

I would blog about humans as much as animals, but I think people might get embarrassed. Or I wouldn't be nearly as flattering about humans. I can communicate with humans, you see.

"The more I get to know people, the more I love my dog."

I want a dog. A big, fluffy, happy mutt who likes to cuddle.

Friday, August 21, 2009

I wear my sunglasses at night

Actually, that's a lie. I do not wear my sunglasses at night. That'd be silly.

I did buy sunglasses today, though. My first pair since 9th grade (I only was able to tolerate them for a few weeks). However, these ones I bought today are actually rather nice. They don't make me look freaky and they fit straight on my abnormally shaped head (my right ear is substantially higher than my left). They don't touch my cheeks, but they also don't push on my eyelashes. Those are pretty much my four requirements for glasses. Oh, I forgot. They were also cheap. : ) $9.99 at Kohls, who is having a sunglasses sale, and I had a $10 gift card. Woot.

In any case, I've been going without sunglasses for far too long. Every time I go outside with contacts in, my eyes are sore and itchy and I just rub them the whole day. Plus squinting causes eye strain, which makes my vision worse. And sun damage can lead to cataracts and other eye diseases, such as macular degeneration, which my mom's mom and my future step mom's mom both have. Unfortunate. I don't want to have surgery on my eyes. Maybe I'll just be blind. It wouldn't be so bad, would it? <.< >.>

I also started wearing sunscreen more this summer. As much as I love sunburn, it's a no-no, especially for freckly folk such as I. I also have light eyes, which increases my risk for sun-related eye diseases. Gr... my genes are predisposed against me. This is not conducive for a long life.

Speaking of genes, I was wondering today if seagulls who live in parking lots will evolve into a distinct species from seagulls. What do you think?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Twelve Monkeys

So, today I watched a movie called Twelve Monkeys...

JK. I didn't. I'd already seen it. Good movie. No movie reviews today, however.

But what I'm talking about are the shower curtain rings my mommy bought me for fixing her computer. There and 12 and they have monkeys on them (with the see no, hear no, speak no evil theme). They're cute. I wouldn't normally blog about it, but they're sitting next to me, and I really have no idea what to blog about. : )

I made molasses cookies today! They're okay. I prefer them a bit chewier, but they taste nummy. Tomorrow I will make chocolate chip cookies. The molasses cookies were for my mom. She's been craving them for a while, enough to buy molasses anyway. I prefer chocolate chip cookies during the summer. Molasses just reminds me of winter. I even was humming "Silver Bells"while I was making them into balls.

Too early for Christmas songs.

Anyway, random unofficial poll: What do you get for your dad as a wedding present when you're poor and he pretty much as everything he needs? I can't even get a good Christmas/Birthday present for him, let alone a wedding gift!

Shakespeare in Love

Today was an almost perfect day for me. For the general metro area, not so much. There was a tornado in downtown Minneapolis but the sirens didn't go off until the tornado was already causing damage. I think people in the cities don't really expect tornadoes downtown and it's harder to look for them because there is limited sky visibility downtown. I know I only look at the sky when I'm on 3rd and Hennepin, because there's parking lot that makes it easier to see.

Another bad thing about today: the mail didn't come. The rain and two tornado warnings screwed up the mail. I'm a very systematic and scheduled person. I don't like spontaneity when I'm at home. On days when Mom takes the newspaper, I wander around the house during my breakfast hour, at a loss for what to do after I eat in 10 minutes instead of 45-60.

Other than that, though, it was a perfect day. It was chilly enough to wear not only sweatpants, but a long sleeved shirt AND socks. : ) With a blanket and tea, I was one cozy dude. It was raining and gloomy outside, which is one of my favorite weather conditions. I read a lot, tried to do the crosswords (I can do Monday and Tuesday, and almost no other day), sewed my blanket and watched Shakespeare in Love.

It was a very good movie. Historically inaccurate, but a great movie. The beginning was a little slow and confusing, but I got into it very easily. What fantastic dialogue and plot and interesting connections and unique characters. I can see why it won Best Picture. Plus, it has the most stimulating sex scenes. They recite lines from Romeo and Juliet while making love. Fantastic! It's a good love story, painfully beautiful and woefully realistic. I was sad that one of my favorite male romantic actors (Colin Firth) was the bad guy. But overall, I approve. : )

Too bad the sirens went off when I was watching it, so I had to turn the movie off to check the weather. Luckily, the crappy meteorologist was on, so I didn't get sucked into the weather like I normally do. I also finished all the squares on my blanket, so now I can start putting it together!

I really enjoyed today.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


So tonight I went to see Ponyo with some friends. I nominate Ponyo for the Cutest Movie Ever Award. I smiled throughout the entire thing. How cheerful!

I guess I'll give another spoiler alert. I'm not giving away the ending or anything, but I will tell you my reaction to it.

Ponyo is the newly released film by Hayao Miyazaki, the great maker of anime, Studio Ghibli and Disney. It is about the fish/daughter, Brunhilde (MCKA Ponyo, played by Noah Cyrus) of a creepy, human-hating wizard dad, Fujimoto (Liam Neeson, the first role he's had where he's creeped me out) and the big, bold and beautiful goddess of the sea (Cate Blanchett). Ponyo has been given magic by her creepo father, who I think regrets his decision when Ponyo swims away. He's very protective of his children, to the point of being overprotective. Anyway, Ponyo gets trapped in a jar, and is found by Sosuke (voiced by the bonus Jonas. I forget his real name), who brings her to school in a bucket. His mom, Lisa (Tina Fey), works next door with old women. Ponyo likes ham and spits water at people she doesn't like. Betty White plays one of the old women. I love Betty White.

Anyway, Ponyo the goldfish is taken back to sea by Creepy Liam Neeson and his "meh"ing carps, where she tries to turn into a human. She initially makes a really creepy human, until she finds the elixer and the well (which aren't explained very well), and turns into a magical human, which upsets the balance of nature, and things go crazy. The moon gets closer, theres a tsunami of giant carp, there's a massive flood because of the moon being so close and ancient extinct sea creatures are out and about.

Despite all the drama (and reckless driving by Lisa, who decides it's a good idea to try to beat the tsunami in her car with her 5-year-old son), there isn't much danger in the movie. The scariest part is them walking through a tunnel. And the tsunami and everything, but you know it'll turn out okay, because it's Ponyo controlling the tsunami. There's not much plot either. It's a really cute movie, and I usually enjoy plotless movies just as much as plotted movies, but if you need something to anticipate, this isn't for you.

The psuedo-antagonist that's present in every Miyazaki movie isn't really even an antagonist at all. He's just a worried dad. Who needs to wear less makeup/get healthy and stop spritzing when he walks on land, and stop asking 5 year old boys to come with him. Stranger Danger!

Here's a picture of Ponyo's parents together, and a close up of her Dad. He is creepy, she is large.

BTW, the chickens have started laying! There were 2 eggs today! Yay! Free eggs!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A few things that annoy me that I'm not going to explain.

Inconsiderate people.
Unreliable people.
People who treat you like you aren't capable.
People who treat you like an inconvenience or liability.
People who have the power to do great things but don't.
People (and chickens) who try to mount you when you don't want them to.
People who want you to be a part of their poor decision.
People who listen only to their heart or their head.
Names of products, or advertisements for them, that tell you nothing about it.
People who call you gross to your face even though you're not gross, just different.
People who feel entitled to do something but they're really obligated to do the opposite.
A lack of people.
Too any people.
People too frequently.
Empty relationships.
Confusing websites that won't let you upload mature content.
People who say one thing but act the opposite way.

And there goes the balloon...
That's better.
: )

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Soldier's Girl

I watched the movie Soldier's Girl today. I guess this is technically a spoiler alert, but it's all in the movie description, and it's based on a true story, so we already know what happens.

It's about a soldier (during peacetime) who is stationed in Tennessee and who has a kind of screwed up roommate. I think he has some mental health issues. Anyway, Barry (the main character) ends up falling in love and having a relationship with a transwoman and drag queen who he met at the gay bar his roommate dragged a bunch of them to (as a "test"). Characters and developed and introduced, everyone kind of knows that Barry is in love with a tranny, and the plot begins to develop. His roommate talks a new recruit, who gets in fights with Barry often, into beating Barry while he sleeps with a baseball bat. Barry dies. We see the reactions and reflections of people. End of movie.

I was fucking bawling my eyes out.

The movie as a movie was not that great. The story that is in the movie however, is so heartbreaking. The things that make a movie good were lacking and actually made the movie rather dull. However, the movie allows you to imagine what is really happening inside these people's heads and lives that they don't show in the movie. Which is what made me burst into tears and sob for a good 10 minutes while Barry got his head bashed in with a baseball bat.

Overall, bad movie, good story. If you have an imagination and care about the issues faced by soldiers and transpeople, and the people who love soldiers and transpeople, it's a good movie. If you're apathetic and unimaginative, it's a bad movie.

Speaking of soldiers/sailors, my brother moved out again. He was home for about a month. It was really nice. I had someone to talk to, and joke with, and who didn't mind driving me places, and while he can be really judgemental about my choices, is generally a nice, polite, funny brother. He is now living with my cousin in Snobville. His impetus for moving today? His local gym membership expired yesterday, and his Snobville gym membership starts tomorrow. My brother the bodybuilder. What a weirdo. We have always had very opposite interests.

Come and take a dip in the hope, the future is fine.

So, I've been playing around with my schedule since my last post. I was sad that aside from religion, I would have only social science classes. I don't want to get burned out on social science, because I like it a lot. Ergo, I have switched things around.

I have added Statistical Modeling, New Venture Formulating (a management class), Intro to Environmental Science and Principles of Computer Science.

I think that will round out my studies, especially since I want to work for community-based organizations. I would enjoy being a community organizer, a pollster, campaign manager, a city planner, local administrator/elected official or a lobbyist for a non-profit advocacy group (not a business group. Greedy jerks). I think the ship has sailed on the city planning, but maybe I could work it out. I can always take undergrad classes without a degree while working on my masters or doctorate.

When I tell people that I want a career with public policy and planning, they look at me like I'm crazy. Why would you want to slave away for pennies and piss people off when you could be a doctor or something more lucrative and less stigmatized? Doctors can fix individuals problems , but I want to be able to prevent and fix those problems so they happen less frequently, in the most efficient and least imposing way. (Don't get me wrong, doctors = awesome, but I would make a lousy one. I have no bedside manner)

I could go on forever about this (I almost just did. I wrote three paragraphs, but decided to delete it, because it's getting away from the topic of this post, which is my future and my goals, not my platform. I'll save that for another post).

I'm not very good at many things. I am not very good at public speaking, getting people to do what I want them to, anything related to arts, entertainment or sports. The things I am good at: organization, memorization, begging on behalf of others, planning, complaining, etc, make for a good behind-the-scenes public policy slave. So public slave it is.

I don't want to be a office bitch for some rich company, or an aide to a puffed up Senator. I want to help people. I can help people. I don't think I'd be better at it than most people, but most people don't pick public slave jobs. They pick more jobs with money or reputation or freedom, like a rational person would.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Shchool ish cool.

I am beginning to get excited to go back to school.

Don't get me wrong, I love home. I love the peace and freedom that comes with home and summer. But I do miss actually doing things and having a purpose. I miss stress. I miss being with my makeshift family constantly. I miss new experiences and stimulating conversation. I miss grocery shopping and Target runs. I miss stealing pizza from the Pause and napping on the janky couches in Fireside. I miss work, and homework, and professors.

I went to see my apartment today. It's nice. It's on the 3rd floor, so I'll need to find a couple friends to help me move. We have a dishwasher. Yay! We'll just have to get used to not having a custodian this year and cleaning things ourselves. : ) I'm excited. I can take the elevator up the hill in Holland (because almost all of my classes are there) when I get to school, and in the winter, I can sled back down the hill. It's a small hike to campus from the apartment, but that's okay. I could use the exercise.

I'm very excited to move in. We have some stuff that we still need to buy, but we have the important stuff, such as large furniture and some dishes and all of our personal stuff. BTW, if anyone is looking to get rid of a comfy couch or some end tables or pots and pans, let me know. I will take them off your hands. : )

I'm also getting my schedule together for the year. I have mainly Polisci and Soc/Anthro classes, with 2 Women's Studies and 1 Religion class left to take for the rest of undergrad. I want to take another stats course as well, though. I'll see if I can squeeze it in.

In other news, I played my mom in Trivial Pursuit today. I won. I just bought it today at Goodwill for $3. : )

Friday, August 14, 2009


The title of this post is stupid. Literally. lol

I have been active but I have little to write about. I have been very tired lately. I have fallen asleep at the computer the past two nights, ergo I haven't updated. I like that word. Ergo. Hence is also a good word. They're good college student words. Thus is a little too high school. haha. Kidding. At least people have stopped saying uber.

I know what to write about! Today, David came over and we watched MirrorMask. It is a really interesting and bizarre movie. It is very similar to Labyrinth and Dark Crystal in both tone and strangeness. And the Jim Henson company helped make it. Only it's done with mostly computer animation, rather than puppets, like Labyrinth was. It works really well, though. I give it 4.9 stars out of 5. Some parts made no sense, is the only drawback. Like the part with the gorilla penguins. I had no idea what was happening, but the gorilla penguins are really cute. It's a very whimsical movie. It's allegorical. : ) The cast is really good. It's a family friendly movie (even though Valentine's tower is really really phallic, but all good towers are). The whole movie made me smile and giggle, and the last line made me rofl. I highly recommend it, and might buy it myself.

A Dedication:
This is a post for Maddy.
I wrote a haiku!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Angela's Issues

I want to talk about Angela. Angela is one of our chickens. She is the only non-reddish brown chicken. She is mostly a silvery white, with black. Although recently she has been getting some yellow on her and some teal in her tail.

I don't think she's a she. Well, not totally. I think we may have a dyke or maybe intersex chicken.

You see, she is more female in appearance, so always assumed she was a hen. Americaunas, the breed of chicken we have, lay blue-green eggs, and the legs of the hens are also blue green. Her legs are blue green, but there is a noticeable presence of yellow as well, the color of the rooster's legs.

Hens typically have a small, pinkish comb, while roosters have a large bright red comb. Angela's is larger and redder than the rest of the hens, but smaller than Dwight's comb.

The other hens are much smaller than her and Dwight, who are about the same size.

She doesn't 'flock' as much as the other hens. She is much more independent, and doesn't stick as close to the other chickens, similar to Dwight's behavior. Meredith, Phyllis and Kelly actually stick closer to Angela than Dwight if everyone else is, too, but Pam is definitely Dwight's girl. Although she still doesn't like to be separated from them. Chicken are stupid, but smart enough to realize they need each other.

She is very bossy. Bossy where she is at the top of the pecking order. She will even peck Dwight, who is the ruler of the roost, usually. She even herds the girls the way Dwight does. We thought maybe she was just the head hen.

Then came the shocker.

Angela mounted Meredith! I mean, we've been seeing Dwight mount Pam and Kelly (mostly Pam), but until recently, Angela didn't display this very roosterish behavior. We've always noticed she was rather cocky, but not to the point where mating comes into it. They are getting to that age, too. We've started watching for eggs now that they're getting to be old enough.

What if Angela isn't a hen? Maybe we should ask a farm animal vet about it. I haven't heard anything about biologically intersex/transexual chickens, but I've heard things about cocky hens. Maybe she is just mounting them without mounting them. I guess we could see if she lays, but with 5 hens in one house, it'll be hard to see who lays what.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Gender Issues

I just finished a slightly-outdated book called "The Myth of Male Power" by Dr. Warren Farrel. It's a call of sorts for an answer to the feminist movement. He doesn't think a masculist movement would be the ideal situation. Instead he calls for a gender transition movement (which to me sounds like transgender, rather than gender equality, but it was the early 90s. I don't think transfolk had much visibility then). Most of the book is rejecting feminist 'myths' which he does well, but he doesn't tell the whole story either. I think he's assuming that most of his readers are feminist scholars, rather than his ideal audience of men.

I agree with him on his main premises. I think women, in their search for liberation, have in reality been shirking the responsibility that comes with liberation. He splits history into Stage I, the survival phase and Stage II, the post-industrialization phase. In Stage I, gender roles were more efficient for society, to have one gender who nurtures life while the other gender protects and supports it.

However, with industrialization, the necessity of this system faded. Women realized that they were just as capable of being the supporter of life (during peacetime) as men were, though society still upheld the role of the man as protector during wartime. This gives woman the advantages of being economically independent while still creating progeny for the next generation.

But because we're still socializing men to be killers, and socializing women to choose killers as partners, men have not been able to achieve the same independence as women. Men are stuck in Stage I, while women are in Stage II, and expect Stage II men. And because our public power systems are dominated by men, society still functions with the expectation of a Stage I society. Thus, jails, suicide rates, more dangerous work environments, and homelessness are still mostly male issues, and women are still not allowed to register for the draft, or are not usually allowed to serve on the front lines if they are enlisted.

The author encourages men to become as active as women in demanding equal rights. Right now, government programs and funding strongly favor women, and in some cases, even discriminate against men. That is not equality. By becoming socially and emotionally more independent (not from one's partner, but with), men can learn to function in a Stage II society. By becoming more vocal about perceived inequality, unfairness and injustice, men will be able to balance the gender equality movement.

Men have to move on from being the 'disposable sex' that fit society well back when food, shelter and water were a struggle and become equal partners, or whatever works best for the family unit and society, in a world where there is comfort and time aplenty for some reflection and enjoyment. Men and women no longer have to sacrifice themselves for the future of the species.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Imagine Me and You. (I do.)

I watched a movie today called Imagine Me and You. It's a romance movie. Rachel and Hector are finally getting married after years of dating comfortably. On her wedding day she meets and falls for Luce, the woman who did the flowers for the wedding. Heck loves Rach very very much, and she loves him. It was never love at first sight for them, as it was with Rach and Luce. Rach's attraction for Luce puts a strain on Heck and Rach's relationship. Drama and romance ensue. All in all, a very cute movie. I rate it 4 out of 5 on the Fluff scale. They could have developed the supporting characters more, although they made it very easy to see who the character was in their lives. It was far from life-changing, but it is a sigh-inducing movie. With the exception of one minor character, who wasn't really necessary, all the the characters are endearing and perfect, and even the ones who aren't perfect are excusable. They're all also very attractive.

In other news, it's storming. I should probably turn off my computer, eh?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The cons to a life of ease

I have been pondering this evening about the downsides to the globalized lifestyle we live.

If we still lived in the olden days, for lack of a better term, we would spend less money on health care. People would die in accidents and childbirth, not from cancer or diabetes.

We would get fewer crazies like the guy who went on a shooting rampage into a yoga class because women didn't want to date him. I'm thinking they didn't want to date him not because he's unattractive physically, but because he's crazy. Or was. He killed himself.

People would exploit themselves and their own labor for their own benefit, instead of relying on the desperation of others. I would make my own shirts, not be responsible for the person in Bangladesh who gets paid a buck a day to make 20 shirts. Granted, it would take a couple days and some cramps and pokes to get the shirt, but I wouldn't be responsible for ruining some other economy and then exploiting the labor when people can no longer live the way they've lived for hundreds of years.

I don't mean, of course, that that's how things should be. There were just some benefits to that life, is all. This life is much better, overall. I mean, people are getting old enough and fat enough to get cancer and diabetes, not dying from a mine collapse or farm accident.

It would be nice to see people appreciate what they have by taking better care of things, though. Their bodies, their jobs, their clothes, their health, etc. Mr. AngryWhoShotUpYogaClass would have a better chance of finding a woman 2 hundred years ago, since he was fairly intelligent and hardworking and capable of holding a job, if not the most rational feller. Murdering people whose only crime is not wanting to date you is not the way to get dates. Back when love was equivalent with stability and security, not social compatibility.

This is all coming from a combonation of the book I'm reading about masculism (as opposed to feminism) and me sewing my shirt blanket, which isn't very difficult but they're all made in 3rd world countries anyway. Americans could do that work. I would be happy with that summer job.

Oh, by the way, finished another book. Dark Horse, by Ralph Reed. It's a "political thriller." It's about the 2016 campaign, with two really crappy party candidates and one Democrat-turned-independent when he loses the nomination. It's really interesting, obviously written by a man (the women are described in detail, including their clothes and aren't key players or are slightly insane, while the most description men get is their hair color) who is conservative (all the attention is paid to the Republican base, even though the liberal base has just as much sway. The guy obviously hasn't had much experience pandering to liberals). Anyway, the author is a man who is a campaign consultant for Republican candidates. It was a good political drama. Not particularly thrilling, despite all the drama and assassinations. A good read for people who are knowledgeable about political campaigns, or know the vocabulary, anyway. Not good for people with no interest in politics, or who are political elitists who would find the book trashy.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Debt, Sin and Balto

Book and Movie Reviews:

Payback by Margaret Atwood. I wish the economy really worked like this. I could understand it if it were all in literary analogies. There should be a class on every college campus called Economics for English Majors. Even though I'm not an English major, I understand A Christmas Carol more easily than The Economist. This book doesn't have much weight though. It's just a nonfiction exploration of the concept of debt by one of my favorite novelists. It's a pleasant, easily-understood read, but it didn't provide many great insights into economics for me. It spurred a lot interest in the novels she referenced, though. I just have trouble finding the economy interesting beyond how it affects populations. I don't care about the stock market too much, even though it's really important. I don't understand business other than businesses provide jobs and paychecks. All this talk about buyouts and merges just confuses me. She doesn't go into that, but just explores debt the concept. Personal debt, debt as sin, the relationship between creditor and debtor, etc. Very interesting, but not very applicable to the current financial crisis, which is what I was hoping to get by reading a non-fiction book about debt.

Balto, 1,2 and 3. [SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't seen the movies, and for some reason care about the endings, don't read on. I basically give it all away.] Aw.... Balto. I loved that movie as a kid. It's about the diptheria outbreak in Nome in 1925, and the sled dogs that brought the medicine through a storm, the route that later became the Iditerod. Balto (voiced by Kevin Bacon) is a stray half-wolf who loves Jenna, the purebred husky. His rival is a lead sled dog named Steel, who become quite crazy later on in the movie when Balto begins to encroach upon his place in the town. First Balto takes an interest in Jenna, who is the only girl Steel notices, then Balto beats him in a race to find the fastest sled dogs, and then Balto (who wasn't allowed to be on the team because he's half wolf) comes to find the lost sled dog team to help them home, taking away Steel's leadership and reputation in the town. In fact, Steel isn't even mentioned in the 2nd or 3rd movies. He just quietly goes away.

The second movie focuses on Aleu, Balto (no longer voiced by Kevin Bacon) and Jenna's daughter who looks more like a wolf than a dog, and thus is not adopted by any people. Interestingly enough, Balto doesn't get adopted by Jenna's family. He stays living in his abondoned boat with Boris the goose, while Jenna and the puppies live with her family. I suppose it isn't a Disney movie though. Dogs don't have to be subject to human social standards. Aleu moves in with Balto after she isn't adopted. Then she runs away and joins a wolf pack. David Carradine voices the leader of the wolf pack, but Aleu is chosen by Balto's mother (who isn't a real wolf, she's a spirit wolf) as the leader of the pack, and David Carradine doesn't float away on an iceberg with the rest of the pack. Balto goes back home.

Then in the third movie, Balto and Jenna's son, Kodi (short for Kodiak, voiced by Sean Astin), works as an idealistic sled dog for the USPS, bringing mail between Nome and White Mountain. Then Balto's obsession, the bush plane, comes to town, and the pilot (voiced by Keith Carradine) challenges the sled team to a race to see who can deliver the mail faster. Balto is chosen to lead the team, even though he knows they can't win. What do you know, they hit a storm and the plane crashes. The dog team wins, but Balto wants to go looking for the plane. He ends up going alone, though. Or, nearly alone. Muc and Luc and Boris' sexy jazz/beatnik girlfriend come too. Boris was on the plane, and she's worried. Muc and Luc know where it crashed. The point is, his son and the rest of the USPS sled team doesn't go with him. At which point when find out Kodi's full name when his mother yells at him. Then they all go after them and save Balto and the Pilot from certain death. The movie ends with Balto and the pilot flying around in a plane. There are also a couple of stupid, angry bull moose to provide some scary yet stupid and funny parts. Pretty much the only thing the bull moose says is: Are you talkin' to me? I think you're talkin' to me!

In short: Good kids movies. The second one was pretty bad, though, despite David Carradine (who deserved a much less humiliating death, btw. poor dude). The third was better. I like them a lot, though. They're not The Lion King, or anything, but they're not bad. The sequels were better than Disney's sequels for their cartoons (although apparently someone decided Balto 2 and 3 would be better as psuedo-musicals, even though the first one wasn't and Muc and Luc were voiced by Phil Collins, who could have made it an awesome musical, and they started to incorporate crappy CG). When I was a kid, Balto is what made me really interested in wolves and Alaska (I read Julie of the Wolves probably 50 times).

I've been going through the kids movies on Netflix this summer. I've seen many movies I haven't seen before and would probably never see if it weren't for Netflix. I watched Land Before Time XI, for example. Why are they still making those? That train left the station 15 years ago.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Family Matters

Today, I went to a family reunion for my mom's dad's side of the family. I think there were about 50 people total (not the highest count for one of our reunions, but not bad). Most of it was my grandpa's legacy, as there were 26 from his branch alone, out of several siblings, and not all of us were even there.

There were burgers (veggie burgers for mom and I), brats, macaroni salad, pickles, green beans, baked beans, wild rice hotdish, goulash (pretty much the only thing my grandpa makes), and desserts and chips galore. My aunt works for Frito Lay, so she always has chips. Always. Which means, unfortunately, that we always have chips. We had 4 bags of chips left over from our 3rd of July Party. God, Doritos are addicting. Literally. The MSG that they put in chips and other salty snacks and foods tricks your body into thinking it needs MSG, which causes you to crave more chips and thus buy more chips. I had kicked the chip addiction until last month. Now every time I smell doritos, I really really really want to eat them. There are still 2 bags of potato chips left in the closet, which are really really really tempting... But I can say no, and should say no. I will bring them to my birthday party so I don't eat them all.

There was volleyball and water balloons, a scavanger hunt and a playground. Lots of games and of course lots of talking. I didn't interact too much with anyone outside my branch of the family. Funny how that works, huh? At a family reunion, you don't talk with the people you haven't seen in years or ever, you talk with the people you're going to see again on Wednesday.

My grandma, who lives just a short distance from the park where the reunion was held, scooted down here on her electric scooter. She almost hit my uncle and me on accident. She is in poor health, though, and was out of breath by the time she got to the park. One wouldn't think that scootering takes any effort, but if you have COPD I guess it does. Grandpa walked with her to make sure she got there safely, then walked home, and drove back with the goulash. The drove home again to clean the kitchen. Then drove back, hung out with his nephew by the cars, then drove home again, leaving the goulash and grandma there. My aunt and cousin, who live down the street from them, walked her home with the crock pot. Her scooter left them running after her. She didn't slow down though. She's not very compassionate.

When she left, though, she left a birthday card with another aunt. Inside was a card, and 2 envelopes. One for my cousin, her son, and one for me, each with $50 inside. She asked my cousin and aunt to come clean the house once a month for her. But after the first time, they were unable to, and so the job went to me, but when my brother and I were going to go over there, she said she had no idea what we were talking about and no, we shouldn't come over to clean. Apparently, she felt bad or something because I just got paid $50 for doing absolutely nothing. My cousin got paid a second time, in cash, because he never cashed the first check because he thought $50 was too high, and it annoyed her so she paid him cash. Wow, do I feel guilty. I don't deserve this money, even though I need it. It's like finding a bag of money on the sidewalk when your house is being foreclosed on. Do you keep it? Do you turn it in? I'm struggling between honor and pride vs. need, as well as struggling between my grandma's pride (not to be confused with generosity. As I said, she has no compassion) vs. my pride. I'm kind of thinking that since my pride is against two formidable foes at once, my pride's going to lose. But my guilt is telling me that Grandma will get a really nice Christmas present, which mollifies my pride somewhat.


How would you like your steak? Alive, please.

I, like my mom and brother, am a food snob. (FYI, this entry is kind of long and about food choices, particularly mine.)

I don't really know how it happened. I'm just glad I go to a college where the catering company is run by food snobs, too.

Mother isn't really that much of a food snob. She's just a vegetarian. She is vegetarian because she is grossed out by the idea of eating muscle. If it doesn't have meat in it, she's generally okay with it. She also doesn't like canned peas. Frozen is okay sometimes, fresh pea pods are amazing, but not canned. She generally eats a lot of beans and fake meat.

Brother is a fitness geek. His diet revolves around his workout schedule. He eats several small meals throughout the day. High protein, high fiber meals. He eats carbs in the morning and early afternoon. He can have sugar after weight training. He drinks a lot of protein shakes and caffeinated beverages. Indulging, for him, is eating a meal that someone else made. He has to 'save up for it.'

I am a food snob in the sense that I am picky about ingredients and slightly picky about preparation. I only eat free range poultry and fish. Preferably organic or sustainable fishing methods. I will eat beef sometimes, but only grass-fed. It's healthier for me, and for the environment (grass-fed cows produce less methane than corn-fed. Cows are fed corn [sometimes with steroids] so they reach a butcherable weight at a younger age, but it also leads to higher disease rates, such as e coli, at which point they add medicine to the corn and steroids. Not pleasant, imo).

I try to eat fresh/frozen organic produce, and use canned vegies rarely. I try to eat whole grain (it's really hard here at home, though). I prefer to make things from scratch so I don't have to worry about chemicals that I have no idea how to pronounce or how they effect me. As natural as possible, please. I don't want to be 70 years old and dying from a pesticide related illness. While organic doesn't have any obvious short term health benefits, no long term studies have been done. I don't want to take chances. This way, I get to know my food and the people who grow it, and be able to eat what I decide to eat, not just what's convenient.

I also try to eat balanced meals. When I was a kid, I would eat just chicken breast for dinner. No longer. I eat chicken breast with corn and strawberries for dessert. And chocolate chip cookies. I try to cut down on carbs in the evening, but I make really good chocolate chip cookies. I, as a sedentary female, eat 6 servings of carbs, 6 ounces of protein, 3 servings of veggies, 2 servings of fruit and (I try) 2 servings of dairy a day. I fail at eating dairy, though. Unless milk or cheese is an ingredient, pretty much my only dairy is ice cream, if we have a good flavor, which is rarely.

I should also work out 30 minutes a day. It doesn't really happen. I think me and my brother need to adopt parts of each others diets. He should eat more fruits and veggies, and I should work out.

Chuck Norris eats very similarly to my brother and I. He "eats to live, not lives to eat." I found this out from his book. He eats organic, balanced diets that reflect his exercise regimen. But he drinks bottled water. He doesn't trust tap water, and I don't trust bottled.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Tshirt Blanket

I've started a new project today which I better stick with.
I'm turning 22 of my t-shirts that I never wear but can't get rid of because they have personal meaning into a blanket. I have all my theater shirts, Girl Scout shirts, extracurricular acivities, work shirts, non-profit shirts, etc. It probably won't be very warm, but that's ok. I'm not going to even try to quilt it. It would be a disaster. I'll just use it in the summer or over my comforter.

My sewing skills are extremely limited. I can't use machines, and I'm really bad at hemming. I can make button holes like no other, though. Not sure why. I almost never make button holes, but I can do it really well. I can't really sew in a straight line, nor do I have patience to make a good strong seam. Maybe I just need a really simple, easy sewing machine that doesn't confound me. : )

Thus, because of my impoverished sewing skills, I am doing the 2nd laziest way of making t-shirt blankets. I am cutting off the sleeves, sewing a square around the image while it's inside out, then turning it right side out and finish closing it up. Then I will take these squares and cross stitch them together with yarn. For the edge of the blanket, I will line it with the sleeves and my girl scout t-shirts. So the leftover fabric becomes stuffing that doesn't shift around, and I use the whole t shirt. And I don't mess up cutting. I can just take out the stitches and start over.

The laziest way would be to cut out the squares and fringe them without sewing anything and then just tying it all together. Works better with fleece than with cotton t shirts, but it'd work. It would be very thin and not blanket-like though.

Fleece tie blankets are really nice though. Takes about an hour to make, easily personable and relatively cheap, so it's a good gift for kids and teens. : )

Actually, I take that back. The Absolute Laziest Way would be to make a pile of t shirts and sleep under it. Like a hobo. : )

When I'm done, I'll take pictures and show you. Don't hold your breath though, it will take a few weeks, I think. I spent 3 hours working on it today, and got the shirts marked and 1 square done.

Tomorrow, I fill water balloons. A lot of them. Family reunion on Sunday!