Archive for October, 2007


October 24, 2007 Leave a comment

What’s the difference between “light caffeine” and “less caffeine”? I’m guessing “light caffeine” contains less than “less caffeine” but I could be wrong; in any case, I’m currently having a cup of Mighty Leaf’s Marrakesh Mint Green Tea “light caffeine.” And it’s good.

More on driving: my second lesson went okay; apparently I drive too fast, and I go through turns too fast. The Need for Speed! Great game; you ever played it? This time I drove us from Chinatown to South Philly, where I could practice stopping at stop signs and making various turns, then back to Chinatown where we encountered a massive clusterfuck. Several detours later, I said goodbye to my instructor and met my mom for lunch.

I’ve decided that I need to get my ass in gear; get my shit together and look for something more stable than my current job–if we can call that a job.  Can you imagine working forty hours a week for months and then being stripped down to sixteen hours? It sucks, and it certainly does take a toll on your routine. This is not going to work. No, it’s not even working currently; I can’t deal with this part-time half-ass work situation. It sucks to not have any stability, or rather to have stability taken away from you. It makes no sense to me to have such a scattered schedule. I could condense sixteen weekly hours into two days of work, leaving me holding my figurative cock for three days of the week. I should have seen this coming.

No, I did. I saw it coming.

I have to look for something else, and unless I get my shit together it’s not going to happen.

I think what sucks more is that I just found out this evening that both Sliders AND Quantum Leap are available for instant viewing on Netflix. How am I supposed to get stuff done knowing that there are hours of entertainment waiting for me online? Ahhh, no self-discipline. I suppose that’s another thing I should master. Maybe after I get my license.

So this Marrakesh Mint Green Tea isn’t as awesome as it sounds. You know what is awesome, though? Bouchées à la reine. Leek quiches.

Sometimes warm weather is nice. Sometimes it isn’t. Right now, it isn’t.

Categories: Personal Tags: , , , ,

On the Road

October 15, 2007 Leave a comment

I drove for the very first time yesterday and no one was killed or even injured; it’s a miracle! What I did predict, however, was my constant inability to control my speed. I consistently drove over the speed limit, which could be the result of one of two things (or both): cars zooming past me way over the speed limit (this is, after all, Philadelphia), and my semi-conscious belief that I was in a video game. Whatever it was, I’m glad it didn’t get me into trouble.

My next six lessons are already scheduled, as is my road test. More on this after my second lesson (Thursday, October 18) — dun dun DUNNNN…

While I’m babbling about part of my weekend, let me tell you about the rest: Thursday the 11th marked the beginning of NWAV (New Ways of Analyzing Variation), an annual sociolinguistic conference hosted by a different university every time; this year’s host institution was Penn and the conference lasted until early Sunday afternoon. I can’t tell you how excited I was! Wait, yes I can: I was EXCITED. Registration cost quite a bit, but students could attend for the thrifty price of $nothing in exchange for four hours of their time spent volunteering at the registration table. While I’m no longer a student, I was given the opportunity via my job. Like I said: EXCITED.

I sat through very interesting talks; the event was definitely worth four hours of complete boredom. That being said, I wish some people would take the following things into consideration:

1) reading your entire paper from the podium does NOT constitute a presentation.
2) reading your entire paper without making any eye contact with your audience is worse than just reading your entire paper from the podium.
3) a PowerPoint presentation is ideal to outline your research; don’t attempt to cram every single detail into every slide. It’s YOUR research, and you should know it well enough to be able to talk about it without having everything written out. And it’s annoying to read.
4) reading aloud every single detail you crammed into every slide is just as bad as reading your entire paper, if not worse. We know how to read; please give us some credit.
5) colored shirts are darker when wet.

Nevertheless, the event was amazing.

You know what else is amazing? Trader Joe’s. And I really have to pee, but I promise I’ll rave about TJ’s in a later post.

Categories: Personal Tags: , ,

PMS: October

October 7, 2007 Leave a comment

“Stupid” is a good word.

You know what kills a good rant? Misspelled words. No matter how insightful or eloquently written a rant may be, a single misspelling is enough to make me lose interest. I’m not talking about typos (though people should really proofread themselves); I’m talking about regularly misspelled words, like “definately” and “blatent” and “sulphor”… I mean, really–it’s like giving a great speech and throwing in the word “nucular.”*

Maybe I’m too picky, but I never understood poor spelling.

I have trouble understanding bad handwritings, too (no pun intended). Some people’s handwritings make them look like they’re twelve. Come to think of it, people’s handwritings are quite often a direct reflection of their personalities. Well then… I suppose that explains a lot.

I’m really sick of people blasting music in their cars. I don’t get it; what’s so cool about sitting in a tiny space and having your eardrums hammered by excruciatingly high decibels? Doesn’t it hurt? It hurts even me and I’m sitting in my room, far away from that piece of shit you call a car. I like reggaeton, but at that volume it’s anything BUT pleasant.

It’s also not cool to do it at 8AM. Maybe you should start using Q-Tips.

I think I have bad luck this year; that or the world doesn’t want me to see. After that month-long battle to get my glasses (which I actually never got; I demanded my money back instead–but that’s a whole ‘nother rant, and it’s over so I’ll spare you the details), I’m dealing with my contact lens order that I placed over a month ago and still haven’t received. I’m talking about two different businesses here; so I’m not sure if it’s sheer incompetence, or if there’s a conspiracy of some kind. If the world really doesn’t want me to see…well I suppose I wasted my time learning American Sign Language.

And that just stinks.

* I am not hereby declaring my appreciation for GWB’s speeches; I’m just using his blunder to express the idea that such a mistake can ruin any address, no matter how eloquent–something that his speeches never were.

Categories: Personal Tags:

Think vs. Worry

October 2, 2007 2 comments

I spent (most of) the weekend in DC; moderately eventful, incredibly satisfying. I wanted to get an idea of what the city was like–it’s always been impossible to (sort of) really experience DC because my uncle’s always been the one driving us there and around the area. Not to mention that we always only did the touristy shit.

dsc09055.JPG I took Greyhound to Washington, DC on Friday evening after work. After a three hour and forty five minute ride, I got to DC’s Greyhound station and walked to meet Lilly, my hostess, at Union Station. I was very impressed with my first Metro ride–mostly with the carpeted cars. The ride was smooth, and every Metro stop was so…spacious.

L’s neighborhood was quite dark but decent, and I appreciated the reigning silence. Quite a difference from Philly’s wailing sirens and reggaeton-blasting speakers. It was close to midnight and I was hungry, so I made myself some eggs and we stayed in. I had all of Saturday planned out in my head–well, sort of.

The red line was experiencing delays and we ended up waiting for at least half an hour before deciding to walk. Not far from Friendship Heights there was a bus station; it looked like the buses that stopped there could take us to AU, so we waited…and waited…and waited. Apparently the buses weren’t operating on schedule either, so we kept on trekking. We eventually arrived to our desired stop only to find out that we wanted to go to the main campus; clearly, we weren’t there. Took an AU shuttle to the main campus, where we wandered for a bit before stumbling upon the admissions office which closed, of course, an hour before we got there. Typical.

It was 2PM and probably about time to eat, so we took a cab to Dupont Circle and settled at Cosi–where I saw a very cute guy; we exchanged some glances, but left it at that–for sandwiches. Walked down Connecticut and BAM! White House. Requisite tourist pictures, and onward. More pictures along the way, etc. Sculpture Garden (or whatever it’s called), CVS stop for gum and hydration, Chinatown.

dsc09051.JPGTiredness. Thirst. But mainly, Chinatown. Chinatown, where every sign had Chinese on it! We hopped back onto the Metro back to FH; we had to figure out a restaurant for dinner with Chuck. I also wanted to check out some stores on the way back to L’s place to try and find something for my mom’s birthday (next Monday), but no dice.

After much consideration, we decided to hit up Rí~Rá in Bethesda. My medium-rare Bistro Burger was excellent, as were the fries, my Stella, and the ultimate dessert: the upside-down apple pie, complete with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.

Holy shit; we were so full that walking was a difficult task. C drove us back to L’s place (which is really her grandmother’s place) before heading back home. L and I sat around for a bit and decided we were much too tired to stay up any longer. I had to catch the bus back to Philly in the morning anyway.

Bus that I almost missed, by the way. The red line was experiencing delays yet again, and I got to the Greyhound station just in time. I thanked L for her hospitality, she thanked me for keeping her company, and on the bus I went. Everything went fine until I woke up and we were pulled over to the side of the highway. Now, I had never heard this one before: “We are having a major problem with the bus. We have an oil leak.”

Awethome! The driver decided he should take us to the next (nearby) rest area, after which he called a mechanic who told him to keep driving to Philadelphia.

Driver: Keep going? … It’s low. … It’s really low. We’ve practically lost all the transmission fluid. It’s a big leak. … You want me to keep driving? … You think we can make it? … Alright… Here we go…

Three blocks away from the Greyhound station in Philly, the driver, relieved, made an announcement along the lines of, “We are now in Philadelphia, if you are transferring buses blah blah blah…” He stopped, mid-sentence, and graced us with an emphatic “Oh shit!” The bus then proceeded to crawl to the station. And I mean c…r….a…..w……l………

Once we made it, I took a phenomenal piss and met my mom in Chinatown for a late (3PM) lunch. We went to Ong’s, possibly my favorite restaurant in C-town–and possibly underrated, or at least it’s one of the lesser-known eateries in the area.

So, man, DC; quite a different atmosphere. Philadelphia’s definitely grungier, and I think that’s one of the things I will miss the most about this city. It’s so urban, so vibrant. DC’s vibrant, too, but in a different way. It’s hard to explain, you just have to see it. For as long as I can remember, I’ve hated Philadelphia. I never thought there was anything for me here, I didn’t think I could fit. Not “fit in,” just “fit.” I wasn’t sure Philly and I were a good match…until maybe my last semester of college. I guess I just never had the opportunity to really appreciate this city, but things have changed. I like the streets of Philadelphia. I like the way the sky reflects on its skyscrapers, and I like how the sunset changes the skyline. The only thing I don’t like is not having someone to share these things with.

Every time I’m downtown around sunset, I look up at the buildings and see the beautiful pink and orange sky reflected on the glass panes. Do you have any idea how breathtaking that is? Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who’s blown away by this–the only one who even notices this. I could stare at it forever. You probably think that a sunset at the beach is much more beautiful and romantic; I happen to think otherwise.

How much time do you, or should you, think about the future? your future? How much of that time is spent not only thinking, but worrying? I don’t know where I stand on this issue. I tell everyone I know what I want–and I tell myself, too–but is it true? Am I sure? Sure sure? Are we ever certain that we want to go in a certain direction? How do you know? How can you tell? And don’t give me any of that “You just know” shit, because I don’t believe any of it. At any given moment there is a huge number of options; an infinite number of paths that you can take–any of which could be the one. Choosing the right one is a difficult task, it really is. Consider the pros and cons of each one. Consider instant gratification versus delayed gratification. Consider what you have, what you don’t. What you want, what you don’t. What you’ll gain, what you’ll lose. Consider what you think is the best, versus what actually is the best–and this is something you don’t know, so naturally you go with what you think is best. How do you get to that conclusion?

And why do I still not have a boyfriend?

Life: a mystery.

Categories: Personal, Trips Tags: , , , ,