Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Left the house at 6:50AM. Returned to the house at 8:15PM. And I get to do it the next 2 days too! ROCK AND ROLL!!!!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Is It Tuesday Yet?

Today sucked. It was one of those crappy-ass Mondays that come around every once in a while to smack you over your unsuspecting head. There is a reason why Mondays seem to be especially reviled by the average working person. "Looks like someone has a case of the Mondays" Yeah, and if I could extend my middle finger in textual form you would be seeing it right now. As boring as this makes it for you, the reader, I'm not going to rehash all the gory details. I just want to forget about today, get a good night's sleep, and try again tomorrow. And that's that.

As far as other things go, I have enjoyed working at the library. BUT. This two jobs thing kinda sucks. Especially Saturday. It was pretty tough to work all week and then have to get up and go to work on a Saturday. I actually didn't feel too bad when I was up there yesterday, but I'm a little bit worried about the fact that I have to work the next 3 days from 5-8. When am I supposed to eat? I must be very careful about my reaction to exceeding my maximum human contact threshold. If I flip out, I must do it at my "real" job. Don't want to scare the library folks! But, if I didn't flip out today there's a good chance that maybe I can hold it in long-term. And all this work will help me in the long run.

I guess that's enough whining for one day. I'm going to sleep now so I don't kill anyone tomorrow.


Saturday, January 26, 2008

Less Weight Is Great

This week I officially reached my weight-loss goal. It was about 3 weeks later than I originally planned since I was aiming for a January 1st target date, but all things considered I don't think a 3 week delay is that bad. I can tell that my pants are fitting much better these days. My underwear fits better too. I bought some new undies last summer, but I really hated the new stuff because it fit much tighter than my older underwear. I always dreaded wearing it because it wasn't comfortable, but now I prefer the newer ones because the old ones are too big!

Lately when I've been getting out of bed in the morning sometimes I will rub my hand over my stomach and I can tell that it's smaller. I don't have as much of a "gut" hanging out. It feels good. I'm guessing I've lost about 15 pounds since I started trying to lose weight about 3 months ago. I know for a fact that I've lost 10 pounds since I bought my scale in the second week of November. I'm a little bit surprised that I still seem to have some "love handles" sticking out on my sides. I may try to drop another 5 pounds or so, which would bring me to about what I weighed when I graduated from high school. I'm not any taller than I was then, so I don't think another 5 pounds is unreasonable. I would still be well within the normal range of B.M.I. for someone my height. We've all gotta have goals, right?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Library Time

My first day of work at the library went great! When I came in I talked with my supervisor for about half an hour about the kinds of things that I will be doing over the course of the semester. Then she took me around to all the different departments and introduced me to most of the staff. I was already familiar with the layout since this is my local public library and I have been there many times. My supervisor and all of the other people that I met were all very nice. One person that I met in the circulation department remembered me from my interview with him for a library assistant position in May 2006 (A job I didn't get, by the way).

Most of my work will be done in the cataloging department. I bonded with one of the people that I will be working most closely with over baking, coffee, and, of all things, dolmas. I jumped right into my first project, which is creating records for a large number of DVDs that have been purchased for the new library branch that will be opening sometime this year. The cataloger is so busy with new books that I think she was thrilled to have someone start work on all these DVDs. It was pretty slow-going for me since I hadn't used that computer program before, but by the end of my shift I was getting better.

I am not an organized person when it comes to my personal space. I love having things be orderly, I'm just usually not all that willing to put forth the effort required to get them that way. However, I'm totally the opposite when it comes to organizing things on computers. I spend lots of time making folders for all of my files and photos so I know exactly where they are. I love organizing the bookmarks on my Internet browsers too. I hate having huge single column lists of bookmarks that go on for pages. It drives me nuts when I see the bookmark list on my parents' computer because their bookmark list has almost no folders and goes on forever. How are you supposed to find anything if you do it that way? So the work I did yesterday was right up my alley. It's all about documenting things so that people can find them from a variety of access points. And I think I've told you all how freaky I am with documenting my own DVD collection, this was like a whole new collection to play with! The 4 hours flew by, which is a good sign. If day one is any indication, maybe I'm onto something here. Day 2 is tomorrow night, hopefully I won't get stranded by the winter precipitation that they are saying may hit. Although there are a lot of worse places to be stuck than in a library.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

SPC - Celebration 2

The theme for Self Portrait Challenge this month is "Celebration". I had yesterday off from work, so I celebrated by sleeping in. The photo is me hitting the snooze button. Which actually didn't happen yesterday, but I still slept much later than usual.

To see how others are celebrating, visit the SPC website here.


Monday, January 21, 2008

A Day Off

'Twas a glorious day today. I had the day off. I slept until 10:15, and then spent the majority of the day on the couch watching my Lost Season 3 DVDs. I didn't leave the house. I had been planning to do a little needed yard work, but it rained so that was out. I did work out though. I'm getting my comeuppance tomorrow though, I start my internship at the library. So I'm working my normal job until about 1, at the library from 2-6, then there's a city council meeting at 6:30 that I would really like to go to because they're going to discuss the development plans for the empty field behind my house. So tomorrow's going to kind of suck. Which made today all the more important.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Tonight, On "Cops"

Friday night I got pulled over by the po po. I got pulled over for not signaling a lane change. The car that pulled me over was an undercover car – I didn’t even realize it was a police car until he turned on the lights that he had on the inside of the front windshield. The funny thing is that he had been behind me for a while, and I was on a street where it’s not smart to speed, so I was driving the speed limit. There was a real slowpoke in front of me though, and I was really ready to get home (the only reason I was in that part of town is because I exited the highway due to a wreck and massive traffic jam on the highway), and I changed lanes in front of the cop without signaling. He said I was driving "erratically". Which is about par for the course around here.

Getting pulled over definitely sucks, and my natural inclination is to be pissed off. However, I’ve learned to keep my cool and be polite as possible. I have an uncle who used to be a police officer, and when I was in high school I was in the Police Explorer program, so I’ve spent a lot of time around police officers. I used to want to be one when I grew up, but I’m glad I’m didn’t do that because I would make a terrible police officer! Anyway, if you’ve been pulled over, at that point there’s really nothing to be gained from being an asshole. And being nice, or at least not being rude, gives you the chance to actually not get a ticket (unless you’ve been pulled over for something way over the top). I’m guessing that the officer was on a fishing expedition, because he asked me if it was my car (trust me, if I was stealing a car I would not steal the POS I drive!), if I had ever been arrested, if I had ever gotten a ticket (when I answered “yes” he wanted to know how long ago), etc. I think he just wanted to know if I had any warrants or unpaid tickets. I didn’t, and he let me off with a warning. Which I greatly appreciated. I guess sometimes it pays to not be a jerk!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Want To Live An Extra 14 Years?

The high temperature here didn't even hit 38 today. That's cold, peeps (for me at least)!

I overslept this morning. By about 3 hours! Apparently I forgot to turn my alarm clock on last night, although I could've sworn I did. Luckily I have a super laid-back boss who doesn't freak out over stuff like that.

I read an interesting article the other day about a health study that was recently published in the Public Library of Science Medicine journal. The study tracked 20,000 people in the U.K. between 1993 and 2006. The interesting part of the study is that the researchers identified 4 factors that resulted in as much as a 14 year life span difference in the study participants. Study participants were given a score ranging from 0 to 4 based on the results of a questionnaire that subjects filled out at the beginning of the study. One point was awarded for each of the following behaviors: not smoking, regular physical activity, eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, and moderate alcohol intake. A person who received a score of 4 was four times less likely to die than someone who received a score of zero.

The actual behaviors themselves aren't too surprising. I think we all know that we should refrain from smoking, eat fruits and vegetables, and exercise. There have also been many other studies that have suggested that moderate intake of alcohol can actually be healthier than totally avoiding alcohol (although definitions of "moderate" vary, in the U.S. it is defined as no more than 2 drinks per day for men and 1 drink per day for women). To me the striking thing was to see the actual number of years that following these behaviors could add to one's life. Fourteen years sounds like a lot! And that was an average, in some cases it could be more (and yes, in some cases less, but 14 as an average sounds pretty damn good). Also, while many previous studies looked at the impact of these factors on specific illnesses, this study looked at deaths from all causes - cardiovascular disease, cancer, etc. I don't know, for me it was also interesting to see such a huge impact from a relatively simple list of 4 behaviors. It seems like exercise is the hardest of the 4, the rest seem pretty easy (unless you currently smoke and are trying to quit, which might make the non-smoking part the hardest). I mean, eat an apple, take a walk around the block, and drink a beer and you're good to go! OK, that's a bit of an oversimplification but you get the idea.

If you want to read the actual journal article, it's freely available here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

SPC - Celebration 1

Self Portrait Challenge is back after a break last month. This month's theme is "Celebration". As a beer lover, one of the ways that I like to celebrate the holiday season is by drinking many of the special beers that are brewed at this time of year. Appropriately enough, Sierra Nevada's offering is called "Celebration Ale". It's very hoppy. Most winter beers are fairly heavy on malt, but this is the one for hop lovers. It has a very citrusy taste and aroma. I love having something special like this to look forward to every year.

To see what other people are celebrating, visit the SPC site here.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

The Perils of Marriage

Did you all see the story about the guy who unwittingly married his own sister? Apparently they were twins who were given up for adoption when they were babies, and neither of them knew their birth parents. Eventually they met and fell in love and got married. I guess you can understand how they might have been attracted to each other, I'm sure their personalities were quite compatible. I wonder if either of them will ever get married again? I would think accidentally marrying your sibling would tend to sour one on the whole marriage thing. But then again, what are the odds that it could happen twice? In any case, I think there's a valuable lesson to be learned here. And that lesson is: Don't get married. Or something.

What do these photos have to do with marrying your twin? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.


Favorite Number Project

The other day Patti (or pg as I like to call her) posted an interesting photo project that I wanted to take part in. In fact, for some reason I really got into it. The idea is to think of your favorite number and then take a photo of it. From the outset I kind of imagined this as a collage, so that's what I did. The number 14 has been my favorite number since I was about 5. That's when I started playing soccer, and the number that was on my very first soccer jersey was 14. I think that may have just been a random selection. All throughout my years of playing various sports I never changed that number. 14 it was.

I took all of these photos this weekend! To make this version of the collage all of the photos were cropped automatically to be square, so some of them got cropped in ways that I might not necessarily have chosen if I was doing the cropping. When I figure out how to do collages in Photoshop (and when I'm not so tired) I may do another version.

P.S. - I had to republish this today because I just realized that today is the 14th!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

No Honey, Your Cake Isn't Creepy.

Did you guys see the story about the bride who had a life-sized wedding cake replica of herself at her wedding? How freakin' weird is that? She was from around here too. Hey, we try to keep it classy! I wonder what part they cut into first? One might be tempted to cut off the head, but you never know - seeing one's head cut off even in cake form might be rather unpleasant. But I mean, c'mon, there really is no good way to go about eating yourself. "Here you go honey, do you want the left breast or the right?" And just think how freaky it would have been if the cake was red velvet! You know the groom was thinking: "Man, I didn't sign up for this shit! This chick is crazy!" Weddings just bring out the good taste in everyone, no?

OK, changing gears a bit. A lot of people ask me what kind of job I want to have after I get out of library school. I guess a lot of people only see little old ladies with buns in their hair when they think of librarians. Maybe my view of the kind of job I want will change after I do my internship, but right now a job like this one sounds really cool to me. I think I would really like working in a museum. I kind of get the feeling that museum jobs aren't easy to come by, though. And for this one I would have to work somewhere else first to get the required experience. It's something to aspire to though!


Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Radiohead and Jambalaya. Huh?

OK, my Radiohead pants are going crazy today. Why? Because they're coming to Dallas on their tour this year! They haven't been here in 10 years. Now the trick will be getting tickets. I'd cut off one of my pinky fingers with a rusty butter knife to get just one. Wait, did I say "my"? I meant "yours". :)

I had to quit listening to the download version of the new album because the sound quality was bugging me so much. But the CD version came out last week and I've started listening again. It's a great album. My favorite song to this point is "Nude", but I also love "15 Step" and "All I Need". The whole album is good though. It's a bit of a pullback from the electronic stuff on Kid A and Amnesiac. Like any Radiohead record there are lots of layers to absorb over time; I hear something new every time I listen to it. And I loves me some Nigel Godrich production. It's good stuff.

Last night for dinner I cooked one of my Trader Joe's purchases from my last trip to Arizona. As you can see in the photo, it's the vegetable jambalaya. I love jambalaya and just about any Cajun food for that matter. I was a bit skeptical of this stuff though because as you can also see it's made in India. India may be famous for many things (amazing cuisine being one of them), but jambalaya is most assuredly not one of those things. And I would not classify this dish as jambalaya. It was OK, but overall I wasn't that impressed (a picture of the actual product would not have been very appetizing). Sorry TJ's, this was a miss. But I still love ya!

The picture from yesterday's post that some of you asked about is this thing:

It's a drill that they're using at this construction site near my house to create the holes for the pilings for a new building. I thought it was kind of interesting when I saw it just sitting there stuck in the ground.

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Decision At Last

My permanent crown seems to be settling in pretty well. It's just a little bit sensitive to hot temperatures, but other than that there don't seem to be any issues. It had better be settling in considering what I had to pay for it. Hell, for what I paid for it it should play "Yankee Doodle" on command, but I guess we can't always get what we want.

I finally made a decision about when I will be finishing up school. As usual the decision making went down to the last minute. I decided to do one additional semester in the summer. Considering my schedule for my internship, two classes, a full time job, and the "paper writing thingamabob" was just going to be too much. For several weeks I'm going to have to come in to the library on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 5 to 7 PM after having worked at my regular job from 7:30 to 3:30. Throw in the Saturdays that I will be working and I think I will have my hands full as it is. I don't need any help going crazy. Since I can't finish until August I also decided to take one of the classes that I was going to take this spring during the summer semester. So August it is. With the standard disclaimer "if the good Lord is willing and the creek don't rise"!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

They Taste So Good In My Mouth

Thanks for the nice comments on my last post y'all. It cheered me up a bit. I did take the advice to get outside today. I needed to do some tree pruning in my front yard so I did that even though it was windier than hell today. Now maybe this summer it will be easier to mow around the tree.

Now for something completely different. I have to tell you about the Christmas food item that I became obsessed with this past year. I had heard about these at some point during the last year, but had never tasted them. This year I was able to get some of the Trader Joe's Candy Cane Joe Joe's. They are like Oreos but the cream in the center has bits of candy cane in them. It's basically a peppermint Oreo. These cookies rock! If you live near a TJ's you definitely need to try these if you haven't. I'm not sure if they still have them, but it wouldn't hurt to look.


The Hermit

I don't know what's wrong with me. Every weekend lately it seems like I don't want to get out of bed and I don't want to leave the house. This morning I had to force myself to get out of bed at 10:15. Maybe I'm depressed. Or maybe I'm just getting old. Or maybe there's nothing wrong at all. It just seems kind of weird. Who knows?

It looks like I was able to recover most of the files from my fried USB drive. Somehow the boot sector got corrupted. It wasn't easy, I tried every free piece of software known to man. I got one to work, but when I tried to copy a bunch of the files all at once to my hard drive the program got hung up so I shut down the computer and then I was never able to get that software to pull anything from the USB drive again. I ended up buying a recovery program for about $30 that worked like a charm the first time. The only bad part is that the filenames were lost so I'm having to look at each file to figure out what it is, which is pretty slow going. Oh well, it gives me something to do while I'm shut in my house.


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

At Least I Won't Have Time To Be Bored

The supervisor for my upcoming internship at the public library sent me a proposed work schedule for this spring. This internship is going to be tougher than I thought. To get all my hours in I am going to have to work 2 or 3 nights a week most weeks and some 6 hour Saturdays. Boo hoo, I guess. I knew it was going to be a big time commitment since I have a full time job. It'll be worth it, but it's making me reconsider trying to finish up this spring. I have a few more days to decide.

Ugh, my USB flash drive went belly up. I took it to Arizona and it was fine when I got back because I had saved a few of the photos I took in San Diego on it and I was able to get them copied over to my computer. The next day, Boom! When I plug it in the computer says it's not formatted. I downloaded this free disk recovery software but all it pulled off of there was text files. Luckily I don't think anything too major was on there, a lot of the files had been copied to my computer's hard drive. I'll keep futzing with it but I won't pay a lot of money for a recovery service or software.
Tomorrow it's back to the dentist to get my permanent crown. Yippee!! At least there shouldn't be any drilling involved.

My mom's Christmas cactus was blooming while I was visiting.

Sunset 12/24/07

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Appy-Hay Ew-Nay Ear's-Yay!

Happy New Year's everyone! I hope Santa brought you everything you wanted. I don't know, today really didn't have much of a special feel to me. Sometimes new year's can feel like some kind of significant point in one's life, but maybe I'm in too much of a transitional period right now. Or maybe it's that not a lot has changed for me in the past year. That's OK. In fact, sometimes it's the best way to go.

I used to not make resolutions, but I did in 2007 since it was the January theme for Self Portrait Challenge. I thought it might be interesting to take a look back and see how I did.

Resolution 1 - Eat More Vegetables: This one worked out pretty well. My desire to lose weight late in the year helped me stick with this one. I definitely need to keep this one up. Thanksgiving and Christmas trips to carb-central (AKA my parents' house) have side-tracked me a little bit, but I think I can get back on track. Side note: January 1st was the date I was trying to hit my weight loss goal - I ended up about 2-3 pounds short of my goal. I think because of the aforementioned trips to carb-central. So I guess I need to keep working to lose those last couple of pounds.

Resolution 2 - Eat More Fruit: This one worked out OK too for the same reasons as the vegetable thing.

Resolution 3 - Go To Sleep On Time: This one hasn't worked out quite as well. Right now the pattern is to struggle through the week and then do lots of sleeping on the weekends. I have to keep working on this one.

Resolution 4 - Spend More Time Outside: At first I thought this one was a failure too since I haven't been outside much lately, but I think for the year as a whole it was a mixed bag. I spent a lot of time outdoors last winter and summer. I can't wait to go bird watching again when it warms ups a little.

Resolution 5 - Clean The House More Often: Whoops. This one didn't work out so well. Although I have been on a small cleaning binge lately, things haven't changed much in the big picture. I need to keep working on this one.

Three out of five isn't bad I guess. I'm only human. I haven't decided about resolutions for this year other than the ones I'm carrying over, but I probably will make a few. Much love to you all and I hope the new year brings everything you want it to. Now eat some black-eyed peas. It can't hurt.