Friday, April 28, 2006

Freaky Friday

You ever have one of those days where everything seems just a little off, strange? Today I’ve been feeling a little introverted, reflective. I don’t really like to get too deep and personal here on this blog, so bear with me if I’m being a little inscrutable. It’s a little hard to describe.

Like many of you I’ve been following the spell-binding drama over on Kiki’s blog. (in case you’ve been missing out start here and read forward). And the blogs and e-mails of other friends (IIF and real-life) have been a little heavy on the doom and gloom today. You know, terminal illness, job loss…*sigh*

Today is the birthday of one of my co-workers in my department. He’s retiring this year. We took him out to a very nice lunch, and at some point someone at the table asked him to share some sage advice from his 65 years of life. He started talking about his friend (10 years older than him) who had triple bi-pass surgery, and when you get older and see your health and the health of those close to you start to decline, you realize what a gift each day is. It sounds really corny, but you could tell he was quite passionate and sincere about this, a side of him I’d never seen. Then he started talking about retirement and how it’s really a different phase in life, etc. I don’t know, the whole conversation just got me thinking.

I am really bad at dealing with illness and death. Well, not so much bad at dealing with as just not dealing with. I live far from my family and see them rarely. When my great aunt Gladys passed last summer, I was able to just show up for 2 days to attend the funeral and then fly back to “normal” life. When my grandmother had a stroke three months ago, I just sat and heard the news over the phone. It didn’t really register, it wasn’t really real. I’ve called my grandma at the nursing home she’s been moved into, but our conversations never last long, I have no idea what to say. Half of her body is paralyzed. It’s so weird to even think about that. I don’t think I’ll even really believe that until I see her again, maybe then it will sink in. And then I feel like I might have done something wrong by not rushing to go see her. But what could I do? She has my mom, my sisters, my cousins, she is far from alone. And I really can’t afford the time away from work or the extra expense of travel what with the weddings and travel I have planned already this year. God, I feel like I sound so selfish when I say it like that. See, that’s me, not dealing. Denial, if I act like it’s not that big of a deal and someone else is taking care of it, than I can move merrily along with my life. This behavior goes back a long way. When my aunt passed unexpectedly the summer after my freshman year in college I was home for the funeral, sulked and avoided people for most of it, and went right back to campus for summer courses a couple of days later. You know, I might have been a little more supportive of my mom, my grandma, my cousin. But the whole death thing just makes me so damned uncomfortable that I would just assume let someone else deal with it. I’ll be over here in my bubble. Hell, even when my other grandmother passed when I was 8 and my grandfather when I was 10, all I have are memories of strange detachment. My mom’s cousin’s funeral was the first I ever attended. I was 7. I was pretty good friends with her daughters at the time, but I remember feeling strange seeing them at the funeral. What do you say to someone who’s mother is in a box?

To add to the strangeness of today, someone at my place of work just sent out a cryptic e-mail to all staff entitled “Goodbye”. The message simply read “Thank you all for the wonderful times that I work and interact with you. May God Bless You!” This guy has been here for a very long time, maybe 10 years? He’s the kind of guy who works really hard, doesn’t say much, but always has a smile and hello for you. If you need anything, he’s right on it. Everyone is pretty fond of him, thus far our reconnaissance mission to find out what happened has yielded nothing. Maybe we’ll dig up some dirt on Monday.

Sorry to get all heavy and morose and shit on you. I told you, it’s been a weird day…

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I am so smart. S-M-R-T

But I am not so smart that I can figure out how to get those weird spaces out of the format here…sorry ‘bout that. After all, I’m and English genius. That doesn’t mean I’m not still techno-tarded.

English Genius
You scored 100% Beginner, 92% Intermediate, 86% Advanced, and 93% Expert!
You did so extremely well, even I can't find a word to describe your excellence! You have the uncommon intelligence necessary to understand things that most people don't. You have an extensive vocabulary, and you're not afraid to use it properly! Way to go!

Thank you so much for taking my test. I hope you enjoyed it!

For the complete Answer Key, visit my blog:

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

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You scored higher than 65% on Beginner

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You scored higher than 13% on Intermediate

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You scored higher than 16% on Advanced

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You scored higher than 81% on Expert
Link: The Commonly Confused Words Test written by shortredhead78 on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Sunday, April 23, 2006

A story of pigeons, life & ambiguity?

Sometime last month a pair of pigeons decided to build a nest in the ladder well to the roof of our building. I guess the landlady was pissed that the birds were shitting all over the halls and courtyard (we weren’t too fond of the birdpoo either) so she cleared it out. Well, it turns out these were some very resourceful pigeons.

You should try writing your own pigeon haiku, I don’t think we spend enough time meditating on pigeons.

Mama pigeon was very diligent and protected her eggys for a couple of weeks.

And then they hatched.

Less that 2 weeks after the nestlings hatched we found the nest abandoned. I don’t know what happened to the little birdies, but I’m afraid it might have not have been too nice. There are dogs in the building you know. Anyway, probably better I don’t know. Sorry if that depressed ya’ll, I just had to share these pictures.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Blog fodder

It seems like nothing notable has come up to blog about in some time. I have some pictures I’ve wanted to post, but we all know how that goes. So, what have I been up to? So glad you asked. My dear boyfriend and some of our friends were out of town for Passover last week so I spent some quality time with the pets. That was fun. I’ve been spending some time at the gym too lately, trying out new classes. I went to Pilates Ball last Saturday (kicked my ASS! Or my abs actually) and tried out the more intermediate yoga class on Monday. All good stuff, I should so be ready for a bikini when I head out to Costa Rica in just over 6 weeks…not. But a new bathing suit of some kind that is not a Speedo is definitely in order.

I bought rollerblades on eBay last week they should be here any day now! Warm weather has finally decided to grace us with its presence (I know I live in freakin’ LA) so I can’t wait to get myself reacquainted with the wheels on the feet thing. Hopefully I’ll have myself up and rollin’ and ready for the Venice Beach boardwalk before too long.

I have a pretty busy weekend planned. We’re going to see Van Morrison at the Hollywood Bowl on Friday night, I have tickets to see a shorts program at the Indian Film Festival on Saturday afternoon (my boss lady is involved so I’m being supportive, aren’t I nice?), and Saturday night we’re going to the House of Blues to see one of my favorite bands of all time, Yonder Mountain String Band WOOOOOOOO! On Sunday there’s this volunteer appreciation thingy that I should go to for work, but it’s at Griffith Park (read: far) and I don’t really want to go. I may not go even though I’ll feel a teeny bit bad about it, but dammit I obviously will need some downtime after all that other stuff.

TTFN, hope ya’ll are having a fabulous Humpday. Enjoy the Holiday tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Album Art

For those of you with a taste for classic vinyl. I know you’re out there, enjoy!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

We're #1!

Thanks to fellow Badger TBone for sending this my way.

April 6, 2006

MADISON, Wis. -- Where's the best place for a college kid to party? Right here in the heartland, Playboy magazine says.

The magazine, breaking a four-year hiatus by issuing a list of top party schools, has named the University of Wisconsin-Madison No. 1 in its study of ''books, babes and beer.''

The issue hitting newsstands Friday cites two annual parties that UW-Madison students love: a Halloween Party that attracts up to 100,000 people and a rowdy spring block party in the heart of campus.

But the magazine also commends the city's vibrant music scene, its enthusiasm for the Badgers sports teams -- and yes, its reputation as a good academic school.

University officials said they weren't thrilled about topping another list for party schools after the Princeton Review named the school its top party school last year.

But ''it's good to be known as a place where there's a lot going on for students,'' said UW-Madison spokesman John Lucas. ''It's good they do take into account the academics.''


With a reputation like that, I gotta love my alma mater.

Other exciting news: I sent out my application to renew my passport yesterday. I should have a shiny new form of ID with a terrible picture of myself in a mere 6 weeks. I haven’t used my passport in 9 years, it’s about damn time I got myself out of the country. Anyone have success teaching themselves Spanish? I got some books and CDs from the library but they were so boring I only listened to them once.