Monday, April 30, 2007

A boring update post...

The post office is holding my mail hostage. I finally received a phone call from my nearest post office (after much harassment of the USPS) and they have a big pile of it at the "station". Why, you ask? Because, the buzzer on my building is broken and the mailman just stopped coming. I haven't gotten mail since April 21. I have a few questions here:
  1. Was the post office ever going to do anything about this? My inclination is NO since they told me to contact my landlord.
  2. Have my neighbors even noticed? By my count there are 12 apartments in just my half of the 24 least 24 people haven't gotten mail for a week and then some, and no one seems to have said anything...?
I have the weirdest luck.

This is the kind of day I'm having: as I'm making lunch/dinner I notice that I have almost zero paper towels. I think to myself, I'll buy paper towels tomorrow. I get home from my midterm...and there's a juicy hairball waiting for me to clean it up. Yeah. I had to be creative with my cleaning methods. Let's just hope nothing else needs to be cleaned up before tomorrow.

Friday, April 27, 2007

USPS shenanigans...

So...I called again this morning to complain about mail. I went through the menu. Chose OTHER. It asked me to leave a statement about why I'm calling. I said "I'd like to leave a complaint." It said, "transferring....we are experiencing technical difficulties. Please try again later." And then hung up on me.

I immediately call back. I went through the menu. Chose OTHER. But this time, my statement was "I'd like to speak with a customer service representative." Magically no technical difficulties, I got through to a person.

What the fuck?

Get my muscles (and phlegm) in motion...

So my friend Alex has started up a blog again, I think mostly to motivate herself to run. Maybe something about accountability? The internets will hold her accountable for her running (or some days her lack of)? Anyway, she's made me feel accountable for my own stagnant, flabby muscles (if I even still have any). So I went out "running" today. Yes. In quotations. It couldn't really be called running. Let's call it runalking. I ran. I walked. And I coughed up a lung (I guess I still have some leftover ickiness in my lungs from the sickness).

But, I think I'm going to try again. Keep writing Alex, maybe it'll keep me motivated.

Also, I guess over the winter I forgot how hot I feel in running pants. Honestly, I think whenever I'm having a low self-esteem day I'll just put on those pants. Even while I'm suffocating in public (and generating pools of saliva), I am still cheerful because my ass looks good.

Oh, and I didn't get any mail yesterday. 4 days...and counting.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Oh Chicago Mail...

I have a lot to do and an intense headache, so only one thing to say and I'll make it short. I thought you might find it interesting that I have not gotten a single piece of mail since Saturday.

When I called to complain (I KNOW there is mail on its way here, including insurance information I should have gotten on Friday and some of my bills that are due really soon) the Post Office's automated system hung up on me. I went through all the options (none of which were "complain"). It then asked me to briefly describe my issue. I said "I'd like to make a complaint" and then the system said "We're sorry, we're experiencing technical difficulties, please call again later." A coincidence? The minute I said complaint, bam, sudden technical problems?

So I emailed the USPS. The chances that nothing happen? High. But holy shit, this is getting troublesome...

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Planet Earth obsession...

Ok, I'm only on my 5th episode but I'm totally addicted. I took long breaks today to work without interruption and to wander outside...but I love this animal stuff. And I still feel a little like crying during every episode (usually when Sigourney blames us or climate change for impending extinction).

But, I thought you should know that I have a few new favorite animals. Most notably the Pika (so cute!) and the Asiatic Wild Ass. I've had a soft spot for donkeys for a while now - I met my first when my sister and I went to meet a Pony. Didn't care much for the horses or ponies, but I did love the only donkey there. And while at Sea World, there was a donkey in a little pasture (why? I don't know...he was stabled with the Budweiser Clydsdales...yes, Sea World has a Budweiser stable) and my Mom and I sat and watched him for quite a while. And I got to pet the little guy.

And, while I truly love the donkey and donkey like animals either way, how much fun is it to say something like: Oh look at the wild ass! I love a cute ass!

Earth Day letter...

Dear Earth,

Shit. I'm sorry. We humans suck.

Today I've been working on computer crap (and while it was a lovely day, I only got outside for maybe an hour) and watching Planet Earth on the Discovery Channel. There has been a lot of hype for this series on talk-shows and what I started watching mainly because there was nothing else on. And I was quite skeptical. But it is amazing. The first one I watched, Deep Ocean, didn't have much that truly interests me, but it was still breathtaking and amazing (although there was a creepy squid...I believe they referred to it as the squid from hell).

In An Inconvenient Truth there was an awful cartoon that tugged the heartstrings...the little cartoon of the polar bear...having problems with the ice...dying (or maybe it was just implied that the bear was going to die/drown). Watching Planet Earth: Ice Worlds, um.....yeah, you see a real Polar Bear go through that. It doesn't drown...but it has to retreat to land which isn't natural, isn't their "hunting ground" and it basically ends up digging a hole, crawling in and dying. And if you think Al Gore is mostly full of shit - maybe the real thing can convince you. Truly awful to watch.

So today I've decided to step up my efforts to "go green". I'm no longer going to use paper plates or napkins (paper towels are better because they aren't "2-ply"). Chicago really doesn't recycle, so I think I'll start saving recyclables and bringing them to my Mom's house. I may just follow in my sister's intended footsteps and buy only green cleaning products, kleenex, paper towels. Possibly toilet paper. Do what I can, while I can...


PS - to readers, you should really do something...anything helps. And I would totally recommend Planet Earth, but keep a kleenex handy during the Ice Worlds episode (I've seen Ice Worlds, Deep Sea and Desert so far, and the other two didn't make me cry at all).

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


There's nothing to say that will make me feel any better about the direction this country is headed. But I just think you all should know that while it makes me feel queasy and awful (and wish that it hadn't happened), I think this Virginia Tech shooting being all over the news is insanity. Just insane. I think my Dad is thinking along the same lines as me, but what about all the people who died in Iraq today? Why isn't that story splashed all over with big pictures and editorials into Why, why, why??

Not to mention the Supreme Court ruling against "partial birth abortions." Which also makes me feel like puking. Puking. If you aren't sure what I'm talking about, you should go to this blog entry. And while the blog is slanted a little liberal, I think this particular post also provides a lot of aggregated info about the topic....

Sunday, April 15, 2007

An eye for an eye...

Tonight, for the first time in the 2 years since I have owned her, I had a really strong allergic reaction to Mona. The itchiest eye ever. And I've been so, so tired all day (I can't help but be afraid I'm getting sick again) I'm feeling a little grumpy. And I'm sure, if I vacuumed every other day I wouldn't have an itchy, itchy eye. But on my list of priorities cleaning is number 8,321. Ahead of it looks something like:

  1. Taking care of myself (being a clean, non-smelly, well-slept, fed person)
  2. Keeping my cats alive
  3. ECT583
  4. ECT480
  5. HCI440
  6. Work
  7. Seeing people I like and love
  8. Cleaning the apartment's number 8. And do you know how often I actually get down the list to number 8? You'd be correct in assuming HARDLY EVER. I hit number 7 a bit this weekend and now I'm spectacularly behind on 3-5. No really. Not enough hours in the day/week....

I may not be blogging much in the next few weeks. I have more than one HUGE project due on April 26 (including a presentation), an in-class midterm on the 30th and various other crap due in the interim. Including an assignment due this Friday that is so over my head it's not even funny (my ability to think in an abstract manner is no good. Which is why I'm good at programming and boring stuff like that). So blogging silence may be imminent here....

But I promise to try my very hardest to post a button every day. That takes about 3 minutes since I have already prepared all of the pictures...

Friday, April 13, 2007

Cats, buttons, yarn...oh my!

This post may bore the cool kids out there as it will focus on the best and brightest parts of my nerdery. Today, one of my coworkers said something along the lines of "Oh, you really ARE a nerd." At which point I, doesn't my job and pursuing a masters in computer wizardry confirm that? And he made an excellent point that some join the computer field because they've heard about the buckets of gold that fall from the sky into the pockets of anyone who works with computers. I am not one of them, I am one of the true nerds.

Cats...(two things):
  • I never mentioned it, but while I was sick last week, I was laying on the couch for hours at a time. At one point while I was bundled under a blanket and completely still, Boku jumped on the couch with me. And then she laid in my lap. Are you shocked? Yes, well, the truth is, I don't think she knew she was in my lap/on my legs. She lasted about 10 minutes before her nervous jitters took over and she jumped down. But, I'm telling you...we're closer to a major break-through than ever before.
  • Today, Mona did the weirdest, weirdest thing. No really, no exaggeration. And suddenly, I am convinced she is intelligent (this is the cat that licks the wall and fell in the toilet more than once). She loves pipe cleaners. Today, she's sitting on the floor, facing me, with the very end of the pipe cleaner in her mouth. Hitting the other end repeatedly with her paw. For minutes. A long, long time. The pipe cleaner was rotating around in her mouth like a pinwheel. Once the pipe cleaner had been abandoned (to stalk the window/some animal) I noticed that the very end of that pipe cleaner is pretty bare - almost all metal. And I can't help but think that she was using it to itch/feel the movement in her mouth. Almost like the damn cat was using a tool. I was astounded. Shocked. Amazed. So here's a little pic showing her tool use...because she did it for so long that I could find my camera, figure out what the best setting would be (motion setting) and take pictures.

Buttons - if you haven't been, you should go see them here! If you see any, you should see the one from today, which is my favorite.

Yarn...I've managed to start a bunch of projects and finish some. I made a lovely baby blanket for my cousin and his soon-to-be-here baby. I don't have a picture because...I suck at that. I also finished some fingerless mittens/gloves for my sister. At some point a picture should be coming out of that apartment to appear on this blog. I started a blanket (and am on row 16 or 17 of the actual pattern after knitting quite a large border), some socks (which I am close to finishing one) and some fingerless gloves that are becoming a gauging nightmare (which is why I haven't done much on them).

Hope you all have a nice weekend - I may blog again since I need to do a lot of work this weekend and blogging is a procrastination device (I'm actually listening/sort of watching a class right now. I actually take in a LOT when I knit and listen. I wonder how bad it would be to knit at class.....)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

I'm lame...

I didn't go to class. I just couldn't do it. Ok, fine, I could. But I'm a wuss, I didn't want to I didn't.

Have you ever had a conversation or moment where someone makes you feel completely uninteresting? And then, 10 minutes later after the conversation is over, while you're still feeling totally uninteresting, you look back and cannot for the life of you figure out why you feel that way. Nothing was said, done, implied that made you get to this point. So what the hell is going on?

The only conclusion I came to is that I actually sort of like the two people who I spent loads of time chatting with today. So maybe I wanted to seem interesting, but since I was mostly listening I couldn't impress upon them the utter coolness that I embody. OK. That's a stretch. But I know that I'm interesting. I'm not a boring person (although some of you may argue that I tend towards boring in my social choices). But personality wise I think I'm interesting. It was weird today to feel that...maybe that's what it's like to feel like you are hopefully making new friends and want them to like you? It's been so long...I'm rusty here...

And on a mostly unrelated note, I was jokingly called a cat lady today (no offense was taken, context was key). And suddenly, it hit me that if I had two dogs, I'd be a kick-ass chick. But two cats? Oh, cat out! For me, it's about living with animals. Someday I'll have a dog. I don't know if I'll have more than one at a time, but I'll probably have a cat too. And I bet if I had a dog (although I think white fluffy dogs are still "cat lady" material - but I'll never have one of those. I think my first dog will be a rescued greyhound) I would never hear that cat lady crap - even if I had a dog and 3 cats. Why is that?? Dogs add cool factor?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Apathy shmapathy...

I have a lot to say, but I'm fairly unmotivated to actually type it. So this can turn out one of two ways: a marathon post or a choppy short post. Let's see what happens, shall we?

My boss wants me to be at a meeting at 9am tomorrow, so I am working from 9-5 tomorrow and then going to class from 5:45-9. It's going to be a long day, 13 hours - the first time I experience what most people who go to grad school do for years (example of my coworker: she works full time, teaches class one night a week and goes to class two nights a week. Insanity).

I wanted to say something about the family/Easter but I just played minesweeper for 5 minutes, so I clearly don't care to type to you about the family. It's a clear indication of not wanting to blog (which is usually a procrastination method) when you are procrastinating from blogging...maybe later this week?

To make this post useful, let's throw in a "do-to-desire". I've wanted this haircut forever...I even asked for it at one point and ended up with something entirely different. But maybe, just maybe, my hair stylist can make it happen (it is almost impossible to find a good picture, so here are two small ones):

The one above is a little puffy in back for my tastes...but you can sort of see, through the blurry reflection that it's fairly short in back...

I wish I could find a good picture of her during the movie Sliding Doors...this is what I call the sliding doors points in the movie her hair looks more...tame maybe and I just love it.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


Starting Monday...Easter Buttons!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Reader participation requested...

Hey all...I need new drapes in my bedroom (mine are old and actually have sun bleach spots all over them...which is surprising due to the darkness of my apartment). So I'm asking your opinion. You all helped with the choosing of the yarn for the blanket (which is going to take me a LONG, LONG time to finish, but it is started, happily) I thought I would ask again. Any suggestions from other places are great too...

There are two or three that I am considering and all of them are VERY different...and I can't decide what exactly I want. Just FYI, pretty much any shade of blue will work in my bedroom...'s the one I think I like best (another note...clicking on any picture will take you to the store's site so you can see close up of fabric and/or color choices):

Then we have (but with a blue & green ribbon thingy)...pretty weird...I can't decide if I love them or hate them...

And finally, the most adult of them all....

That picture looks greeny, but the color sample on the actual site looks very blue. Just simple. Sort of elegant though for my bedroom (if you know anything about my taste in sheets)...


A house is not a home...

Last night I had a dream that I decided I had to move, that I had to choose a different neighborhood (a more affordable neighborhood which in my dream was called Stonewater...which doesn't exist) and find an apartment. The idea was terrifying and sad. Because despite all the problems with this place (I feel like I'm constantly dealing with some issue) I love it. I love this apartment. And I've made it my home. The idea of leaving scares me. And the idea of leaving to go to another "transient" place, another rental makes me feel a little angry. Or something. Because it seems stupid to leave a place I love to go to another apartment which I will have to leave eventually anyway.

Whenever I live anywhere, I try really hard to make it feel like home as soon as I move in. I think there was only one apartment in college that didn't feel like home...and there are a ton of reasons why that was true. But it's always draining, a move. And draining to try to fit yourself into another place, to fit a home into another space....

I guess what I took out of the dream was: Condo or bust!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Whoopsy Daisy...

Some odds and ends...
  • While on vacation I finished another book quest novel - The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski. The book was intriguing...interesting. It definitely kept my interest. And it holds the unique position of being the most graphic, explicit book I have ever read. Honestly. Which I completely did not expect. Brutal, bloody murders/fights, rape, rape, gang rape, dog killed, bird tortured, etc. I felt cringey often. But I somehow stayed involved in it.
  • I think silk flower arrangements would be all that much more realistic if they included some slightly droopy or wilting flowers.
  • The cold has sucked all of the humidity out of my apartment and a humidifier disaster (of the black scary mold type) has left me with no fix for it. So I'm dry. And my new Gap boyfriend khakis have the hardest, scratchiest, most painful seams in the thighs. It was an uncomfortable day.
That's all.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Nose plug...

Dear Drixoral,

Your nose-clearing, sneeze reducing prowess is much better than that silly Aleve Cold & Sinus. But we're only on hour 7 of 12 hours and I have lost the use of my left nostril. This is not good. Sleep tonight is not looking good.

I didn't go to work today and I skipped the first night of class (with the Professor's blessing because I'm too good of a student to just skip the first night of class) because of how shit I feel.

And now Drixoral, I would like you to give me a better night's sleep than Aleve did. Please?


PS: Note...when overly tired and hopped up on cold medication, it's probably NOT a good idea to watch the last episode of Six Feet Under unless you really want to sit on the couch sobbing your eyes out...

Sunday, April 01, 2007

A do to desire...

Ok all, to be completely honest, I feel like shit. I just have a common cold and feel like a HUGE baby for feeling as bad as I do, but my NOSE! I want to rip it off of my face. It tickles/itches constantly, never-endingly. It's torture. And I think it's my own fault for taking a cold pill. I only have myself to blame...

It's maddening. Maddening! start off my new short do weekly desires thingy...I decided to go for the shortest I would consider going (a la the gorgeous Natalie Portman - when she shaved her head, albeit for a role, I thought: right on! If I looked like her, I'd have a razor in my hand right now):

For some reason, I like the above hair much better than below even though it's the same length. Styling preference I guess. Do they look the same? Because I swear they don't... Either way, I included the picture below so you could get a close up idea of just how short some of the hair I crave is....

Sneezing my way into the next week...I don't know how I'm going to make it through, it feels daunting and long right now. The sheer worry that I'm going to run out of kleenex some time tonight is enough to make me want to just go to sleep right now...