Thursday, March 26, 2009

Woot defines me

So today marks the start of my second-ever Woot-off. I have to admit that with all of the work I have to do, I am slightly less enthusiastic about impulsively spending my money on things I "need." Regardless, the HP touchscreen portable desktop (no, it's not a laptop) which is best described as "the giant mutant freak of iPhones" had a description that I feel fits me well:

"Are you like me? My home office isn’t an office at all. It’s just my favorite end of the couch in the common room, where the light’s good and the cushion’s broken in to fit my sittin’ parts."

Yeah. I like working in the living room. Is it because my room is messy? Probably. Is it because I never grew up with a desk in my room, have not once done homework in my room (with the exception of the dorms), and am really not used to it? Most likely. Thought I would share that.

I am in the midst of reading "High Noon" by Nora Roberts. An enthralling story, it has begun to wear on me. It is written in tiny font and has over 450 pages. If it were a movie, it would have to be divided into parts to get everything in. But, I guess, if it were a movie, most of the details would be left out anyway.

Today I posted showing notices with Cait (who came with to better learn the Mansion Hill area, despite not having to work today), and we stopped at Pinkus McBride Deli to get sodas. We were both excited to see that they offered a soda fountain, and I proceeded to fill my 32 oz. cup with Pepsi. Cait, however, went to get Mountain Dew and the fountain went crazy! None of the sodas worked! We thought that they might need to restock their carbonated water, and were surprised to learn that as a result of the city shutting of the water on that block, their machine would not function properly. I took this to mean that it must use tap water to mix with the soda syrup and create delicious fountain beverages. Trust me, Madison tap water will leave a film on anything, and I like to think that my stomach is ulcer-proof as a result of the protective coating of calcium it has established.

I think that when I graduate I would like to move somewhere warm. I love the southwest, and would love to live there (assuming I could find employment in such a location), but I still want to be near water. I love being able to ride my bike and go to the pretty, albeit stinky, lake. I guess what I'm saying is that I am tired of the cold.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Mashed Potatoes Fail

I guess I just stink at making mashed potatoes, and must come to accept it. Rather than using heavy whipping cream like several recipes online suggested, I went with milk, like my mom insisted I use the last time I made them. Again, they tasted weird. They still tasted like cream, rather than potatoes. Since milk makes me feel icky, I know that I didn't use too much. This time around, I think I let them get too soggy. They even smell funny. I just let Cait have a taste and she loves them.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Not "Boogerface"? Yeah, ok...

For the longest time I thought that Lady Gaga was singing about a booger face. Apparently all this time she has been singing about a poker face. Here are the lyrics below, which are easy to mishear.
P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face
(Mum mum mum mah)
P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face
(Mum mum mum mah)
I'm not a fan, so I have found every radio-aired song of hers annoying thus far. For a while though, I did find myself turning up the volume to make sure I was hearing correctly. Apparently I wasn't!

I'm really excited about having orientation for my Athens program on Friday! I already know a bunch of people going, so it will be nice to see everyone else who I've not yet met!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bike, Hike, and The Game

Right now, President Obama is on 60 minutes talking about the economy. Like I've told Ronnie time and time again, most of economic policy is so far above my head that I find little of it interesting. I made sure to clean the apartment, pick up my stuff in the bathroom before Cait gets back, and start hanging my clothes up so that I could watch the Amazing Race. I'm addicted to game shows, and in a way it is like a game show. How? I don't know, but it is. Maybe this makes me a bad American, but I'd really like it if Obama could stop talking about the financial crisis so that I could enjoy tv. I know, I'm terrible. But I cleaned to watch it! Someone call him and tell him the Amzing Race is on! EDIT: It turns out that I'm lame and did not realize that the entire CBS schedule got pushed back on account of the NCAA games. I'm out of it, apparently.

Today I woke up at 10am, read one of my books for Anthro 300, and decided to check my email/facebook/ About an hour later (I always get sucked in when I go online) I found myself putting on my new old navy shorts and shirt and tieing my brown shoes before getting on my bike. I packed a backpack with a jacket and my phone, keys, and ID in it, just in case. I even wore a helmet since I knew I would be crossing Regent St and possibly other busy thuroughfares.

I began my journey by heading south down the bike path. I was surprised to find that no one else was wearing shorts. What can I say? I'm simply excited about spring. I passed an old man with two beagles that barked at everyone who passed them, including a little boy who subsequently fell off his bike. The man walked with his back bent, offered to help him up, and seemed truly sorry that the boy fell. After slight hesitation and brushing off his pants, the boy was back on his bike and pedaling quickly down the path. I continued on without interruption until I decided to veer off the trail and head down to Lake Wingra, like Steph and I did freshman year. I managed to find my favorite little "village" off of Monroe, just the other side of Edgewood, and delighted in all of the families and people that were milling about. It is fun to see kids having fun and watching them revel in the new opportunities Spring ushers in. I rode down to the same pier that Steph and I stopped to take pictures near, and discovered a hidden foottrail. I took off my helmet, locked up my bike, and started down the path.

I cannot begin to describe how beautiful the path was. I walked with my helmet clipped onto the right strap of my corduroy backpack, with it grazing the taller plants that stuck out onto the somewhat muddy path. I should have worn my old tennis shoes instead of my nice suede pair since the mud was black, and a lot like a black hole. Every few feet I would find myself looking for a safe place to step as my previous step slowly caved in. My favorite part of the entire path was when I encountered a small brook with stepping stones connecting the path. From then on, the majority of the path was planks slightly above the ground. I managed to only see one person on the path, which made me consider that walking by myself in the woods was probably not a brilliant idea, even during the day. I turned around after I stumbled across a seemingly dead end and started looking forward to the delicious custard that would be awaiting me back near Wingra Park. I did fear that my bike would not be there when I returned, though it was there, of course. Sometimes I'm a worrywart. I passed many of the same kite-flying kids and the couple sitting on the dock, oblivious to the wind that often comes along with being near a lake, and made my way to the stand. By then, my legs were starting to get chilly, so I opted to eat my Bavarian thin mint ice cream inside, secretly envying the families who thought to wear jeans.

On the ride back, I decided that it might be to my advantage to get my bike inspected before the triathlon in April. Upon doing so, the staff pointed out that the sidewalls on both tires were nearly done for. They were less than 10 miles away from having the tubes burst out. I ended up having both replaced, for $56. I had the bigger tires switched out for smaller ones, which made a huge difference even on the one block ride back to my apartment.

Beth and Caitlyn have not gotten back to me so I have no idea when either one will be here. Oh well. I kind of want to see The Game at the Majestic but I have a feeling that I would end up feeling out of place, and I don't really have $30 to drop on a concert ticket. :(

Saturday Night and Trees

Since I have had ample free time, I decided to explore my culinary expertise and make things from scratch. So what did I end up making? Homemade mashed potatoes and an alcoholic beverage, an "orangesicle." Neither one turned out, but that's ok. Here is the drink recipe - I think it needs to be tweaked a little to taste delicious:

1 1/2 oz Bacardi® orange rum
1 1/2 oz cream
1/2 oz orange juice

The mashed potatoes probably would have tasted better had I used milk instead of heavy cream, which the recipe suggested I use. The texture was perfect, but they tasted like cream. It was not so delicious, so I ended up throwing out an entire pot full of potatoes. So it goes.

I think that trees are really pretty and can add a lot to a home. That's why I think that everyone who owns a home should pay $10 and become a member of the Arbor Day Foundation. When you become a member, you get 10 free trees (or you can elect to have them donated to a park), as well as a discount on their other products. All of their trees ship for $5 flat, and few trees are more than $15 (even without a membership)! They are all generally 2'-4' high when shipped. You can even give trees as wedding favors! I got a tiny pine tree back in 4th grade and now it's 5' tall!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

My 100th post

So I've been in Madison since late Wednesday night in order to work Thursday and Friday. It was actually a lot of fun filling in for Jenny, who had a class all week. It seems that I'm the only person in Madison, so I decided that Thursday night I would take myself to a movie. I've done it before, so it wasn't weird or anything. I went and saw Coraline and bought a popcorn and Coke. I had a lot of fun! Weird movie though...

Yesterday, Friday, I decided that I would take myself to dinner. I went to the ever-classy Pizza Hut bistro. I got breadsticks and cheese pan pizza. The servers gave out free samples of chocolate dippers, which is essentially chocolate spread onto pizza crust, which sounds not so delicious. It was amazing. I don't think I'll ever buy it, but it made for a nice appetizer before my food came! The only thing that made me pause was the first few seconds upon entering the restaurant - the hostess said, "Table for one?" and I kind of felt bad for myself, being alone. I realized though, that I am, and always have been, able to have fun by myself, and do not necessarily need someone with me to go out and do something (though it is nice to have company!!).

Here are the classes I'm thinking about taking next semester: third semester Latin, Anthro 490 (artifact recording and analysis), Anthro 321 (Emergence of Human Cuture), Art History 505 (Cities of Vesuvius: Ancient Pompeii & Herculaneum). It's only 13 credits, but I only need 12 to graduate. Since I'm on scholarship and applying to grad school, it is to my advantage to take the spring semester to get ahead in my studies before grad school. Hopefully that will be somewhere warm!

Here's what I really wanted to get to: There's something going on with my friends from high school, and I don't know what's happened. Here's the background: Jenny got engaged and now lives back in Oak Creek. Dianah lives near enough to Oak Creek that she often hangs out with Jen. Erica goes to Parkside and I assume lives at home. I understand that the three of them are close, but I have been trying to get a hold of Dianah for a while now, without success. I guess I just wonder what happened, and why my texts, phone calls, and fb messages haven't been returned. Living out in Madison makes me kind of distant, which is why I assume Dianah and I lost touch over the past year. It would just be nice to know what happened between us since I miss her.

I actually called Jenny's house today. Why? I don't have her cell number, and I'm worried that having not spoken to her, Erica, or Dianah for a while that it will look like I'm trying to "get in" on her wedding. I know that that's an awful thought, but it seems legitimate. I mean, think about it: talking to someone you haven't spoken to since high school, trying to hang out with you or one of your close friends (Dianah) after you've announced your engagement. Looking back it seems really dumb to worry about. If I don't hear back from either one, I'm going to stop worrying about trying to reconnect with D. :/

I really miss Liz!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Briefly...I should be writing a paper....

So I decided to take a break from researching so that I can write my paper for anthro 311 (archaeological chemistry). I will try to write fewer than ten words about each point of interest. Why? Because it sounds like a fun challenge, and if I'm taking a break, I should make it interesting.

  • I began reading The Kite Runner last night - wow.
  • I am slightly addicted to Survivor.
  • I am slightly disappointed by this season's Apprentice - booorrring.
  • My lab report is incomplete because I took poor notes.
  • My paper is not finished because I am still conducting research.
  • I am anxious to come home, but I love Madison.
  • I do not like all of the changes Facebook makes.
  • My shorter hair is hard to get used to.
  • The Palermo's pizza I ate for dinner was not delicious.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Unrealistic expectations

I'm beginning to wonder whether or not I have unrealistic expectations about what love is and how romance should be. The book I'm reading now has really changed how I perceive what is right and acceptable by the standards of a culture versus how one feels and behaves. Maybe I need to lighten up and be more casual when it comes to being with Ronnie. I've been so concerned that "other people" might look down on me, that I've completely overlooked the fact that no matter what happens outside our relationship, I really want to be with him right now. It's been difficult lately because I often become obsessed with titles and what our status on facebook appears to be, which I know is petty.

I look back and remember coming home for winter break and how wonderful it was. It was more carefree because neither of us had the time to invest and we both admitted it. I feel like we were constantly holding hands and sneaking kisses behind every corner. We felt much closer then and nothing has really changed since then, other than my worry over titles. It was a lot of fun and I was much happier then than I am now. I guess that I will try my best to stop worrying about how other people see us and concentrate more on us. I want to be with him. No one else.

Exams, impending Spring Break, and a romance novel

That is what my life this week consists of. I am trying very hard to stop compulsively check my email and facebook in hopes that something new has changed, though the thought of this looming research paper is weighing down on me. I secretly enjoy writing papers, and always have, which is why I think I ended up on the humanities rather than the science side of college. I have a hard time beginning a lengthy paper because once it is started, I know that it won't be long (relatively) until it is over and I am without another paper ahead of me. On the other hand, for my cultural anthropology class I am required to study a cultural scene and write a huge paper for it, and I'm really excited to write that one. I chose to go to a Games Workshop type of place, but the one here in Madison has a variety of hobbies to pick up - I will primarily be studying those who play Dungeons and Dragons in the store. I will have to go back a couple of times, which is fine since I do have a car here. It's also nice not having to go to a random person's home to observe (some people in the course are studying people in situations that are just as intimate). My professor told me that I should consider picking up the hobby or at least learning the rules so that I can better observe. I told him that I would, tongue in cheek.

Here's the answer to the question most often heard on campus this week: Nothing. I am doing nothing for spring break. I am actually coming back to Madison early in order that I may work Thursday and possibly Friday for Jenny, who is the assistant property manager. At the least I will work one eight hour day, which will be nice. Though actually doing something for break, for once, would be nicer.

Sometimes I feel like the Latin I have learned has caused me to be even more critical of my own grammar, and sometimes leads to uncommon, though grammatically correct, sentences. I appologize if at any point my blog becomes unitelligable and causes major headaches. I cannot recall the last time I said "I forgot" as a response. Rather, I catch myself explaining that "it escaped me." O tempus fugit!

I have been reading before bed nearly every night, which is a nice return to the days when I was not so overwhelmed with schoolwork. I finished The Ghost (Danielle Steel) a while back and was hoping to pick up another historical fiction. I browsed and browsed and picked up and put down dozens of books until I finally found The Mistress Diaries (Julianne MacLean). I have read a fair amount of Danielle Steel - Wings, Lone Eagle, The House and most recently, The Ghost, but was very disappointed that the last two listed were very alike (same main character name, age, and appeal). I've read everything of John Grisham's work but for The Street Lawyer, The Appeal, and The Associate, though I tire of his works too. That's why I picked out a book and judged it by its cover, and picked an author with whom I am unfamiliar. So far this book is amazing, and I may consider reading more of her books.

Monday, March 9, 2009


Okay so I'm a little nervous, but I'm finally using ScribeFire, which I downloaded quite a while ago so that my blog would be amazing. I guess I'll just continue as normal...

I'm feeling somewhat overwhelmed this week. I really shouldn't have gone home, but I did. I feel like Ronnie and I really needed to see each other, plus my mom was anxious to see me. This weekend is the start of Spring Break, so I guess I could have, and should have waited to go home. So it goes. Anyway, I have a huge research paper due (previously mentioned in an earlier post) and apparently the exam I thought was on Thursday got moved to tomorrow! Ah!

I also started receiving more information about the Athens trip! Katie and I will be roommates, which will be a relief. I don't mind rooming with someone random, but it's like a bonus getting to room with someone you know, and having shared a room with them before.

I'm still waiting for the official confirmation on Pylos. I don't know why I'm nervous about getting in, despite it being a first-come first-served program, but I am. I'm also nervous about coming up with the money for these trips. Without airfare I'm looking at about $8,000. Not to mention, I'll be paying rent in hopes that I'm able to come back in July and work for JSM (if there's work to be done). Fingers crossed!

Next year's housing situation is getting complicated [next year we are staying in the same apartment but two girls will be abroad in the fall and one might be gone in the spring]. For a brief time I considered moving in with Ashley, who lives next door and needs two more roommates, but I really can't afford $520/mo with just water included. With the plan I came up with for next year, I'll be paying $294/mo which is just fine with me, since I have to share a room. Trust me, next year might not be everything we hope it is since there were four of us last semester, three of us this semester, three and a sublettor next fall, and potentially five of us next spring, in a three bedroom apartment. We'll see...

JSM gets its 15 minutes!

The other day while distributing delicious candy-filled bags to potential residents on the corner of Charter and University for JSM, we were greeted by a company that sells shoes. Random, you say? Not exactly. Apparently the people that we met are traveling all over the world to get the word out about Tom's Shoes. They look to meet interesting people and take photos with them holding the Tom's Shoes shoebag and mini statuette (which they explained, but I cannot remember the significance of), and what could be more interesting than a giant red bird (Kelly), a duck (Jill), Kermit (Caitlyn), and his froggy lover (me)? Not much, I would argue. Here is the link to where we are featured on their blog. Below is the picture they took:

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Snow - again??

I was just getting used to this lovely springtime weather when Mother Nature decided that she was just going to tease us all and bring back the snow. I am growing tired of the dreary mornings filled with snow on the ground, meaning that riding my bike is next to impossible. Even a few days ago when it was muddy I was happier. I guess I'm back to wearing my yucky winter shoes.

This weekend I went home. It was nice to be back - and I definitely surprised my parents when I was sitting at home reading when they got back from Sam's Club. My baby dog must have peed in the house about six times while I was home, which was naughty, but cute, since he only does that when he's really excited. My family and I went to Golden Corral on Saturday for lunch which was nice since I know my dad hasn't had much work lately. I swear we were served by Diego Luna. He had braces, but the Dirty Dancing charm was still there. Anyway, my dad was hilarious because he was the epitome of the "meat and potatoes" guy. He had chicken, catfish, steak, and cod, with a side of mashed potatoes and peach cobbler for dessert. Needless to say, I had a baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, a small salad (lettuce, lol) with Mandarin oranges, a small scoop of chocolate ice cream, four gummy bears, a packet of saltine crackers, spaghetti and sauce, pineapple tidbits, more Mandarin oranges, three onion rings, a tiny slice of apple pie, and a few tortilla chips. The mashed potatoes were amazing. They were probably my favorite part, unsurprisingly. Well, I guess that if you did not know that I began liking mashed potatoes this year, that would be surprising.

While home, I noticed that Mark Verhalen lost the primary for Oak Creek mayor, and Tommy didn't receive enough votes to move on to the election for alderman. I'm bummed about Tommy not making it, but it looks like he's going on a European tour, which will probably be more fun anyway! As far as the election for mayor goes, I really hope that Dick Bolender wins again. I can't stand what I've read of Dimity Grabowski through the common council minutes, and I think that Dick really has brought a lot of business into Oak Creek. (Not to mention a Sonic that has just been approved on Howell!). I just hope he wins the actual election!

I have a ton of stuff to do this week, including taking an exam for anthropology, writing a research paper on X-Ray fluorescence for my archaeological chemistry class, studying for a quiz on interesting case uses for Latin which is on Monday, and doing homework for Italian. I may not have mentioned it here, but I am taking Italian pass/fail so that I can better concentrate on my other three classes. I'm still getting an A in it (maybe I shouldn't have taken it pass/fail!) because it's not that bad after having ancient Greek, Spanish, and now Latin. But I think that if I stressed about making sure I did well in Italian, I would not be doing so well...really, I think so.

I'm really excited to watch the Amazing Race and the Apprentice tonight. I just hope that by 8pm tonight channel 15 (NBC) comes in. Gotta love digital....not.

P.S. My mom now has facebook. Updates will follow... ;)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Missouri - MI? MS? MO?

I know, I know, having been born in Missouri I should probably know the abbreviation for my own birth state. I just realized today that it is "MO," and thus I have now decided to finally commit it to memory. Today I turned in my application and $500 deposit for my Pylos program, which is run through the University of Missouri - St. Louis (UMSL). When it came to addressing the envelope I had to ask the mailperson what the appropriate abbreviation was, and that is why I now know it.

Along the same lines, Beth knew that she had once visited St. Louis, but did not realize that she had been to Missouri...:0

I forgot my love of Jessica McClintock dresses until Cait complemented me on my profile picture, which features me (when I was still a size zero!) in a beautiful JMC dress. Lovely!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I Can't Have it All...

I've noticed that in the last week or so, I've really become a slob. My stuff seems to be everywhere, which is ironic because that is one of my biggest pet peeves: clutter. I've done my best to pick up what I can, though that means throwing it in my room and letting it accumulate. I've never really kept a spotless room, but if anyone other than my roommates were to see my room in its current state, I would be highly embarrassed. Usually I clean on the weekends, but this past weekend was so weird that I never got around to it. A likely excuse, I know, but I just never came around to doing it. So it goes. I will clean it, however, next weekend...

I recently signed up for the President's Challenge, a fitness program where you log hours and eventually complete the program, where you can order a certificate in the mail. I doubt that I'll actually go and buy the certificate, but the program is good incentive to train for the triathlon in April. I'm pretty excited. I even bought a new swimsuit! It's a black, full-piece, sexy little thing (right...) that will serve its purpose well, I hope.

I think I am too bossy sometimes. I can't help it and I'm really working on it.

I cannot fall asleep just yet. Ronnie and I have spent a good chunk of the past few days talking on the phone about "us." I think my earlier post upset him and so we again spoke this evening about where we are and what we are and why we should and should not be together. This is heavy stuff and it has been a long few days, though our conversations are full of wonderful things that remind me of how things used to be. Perhaps there is still hope...