Saturday, September 29, 2007

One Hundred Demons

Thanks to a book exchange on the book club board on the Nest, I received a brand spanking new copy of One Hundred Demons in the mail (thanks, Amy!). I had been eyeing this book for quite some time, and thankfully, I was not disappointed. It was an enriching experience to read this book. And this isn't just any ordinary book: it's a graphic novel. You know, it's one of those that can be found in the section that almost entirely consists of teenage pimply guys who can only dream of losing their virginity. I happen to love graphic novels (so much that I'm writing my thesis on a series of them - but that's a subject for another time).

Here's a excerpt from a review from MadInkBeard:

Autobiographical comics (and their partially fictional brethren) are nothing new, and perhaps are even rather played out these days, the refuge of an artist with little to say. That doesn’t take away from the power of a well-done and original spin on the genre. Barry brings a unique voice to the material filled with humor, joy, regret, and acceptance. She tells her stories with the partial wisdom of experience and age looking back at the hazily remembered days of pre- adulthood. She plays on the friction between those days (as best as we remember them) and the altered view we hold looking back. These are not stories of a woman growing up. They are stories of a woman looking back on growing up, putting some of those demons to rest, and realizing how some still haunt the present.

The rest of the review can be found here.

I felt this review was a really good one and gave attention to all aspects of the book. One of the things that I love about graphic novels is the added visual component. The juxtaposition of cartoon-like drawings and serious subject matter is not always easy to grapple with, but I prefer to have a challenging reading experience over an easy one. This book really took me back to my own childhood and my own demons - and did so with surprising poetic ability.

Life at High Speed

Thursday, September 27, 2007

5 Things I Love About Today

1) I finally got my damn financial aid disbursement. I can finally stop saying, "I'm poor!" For a little while, anyway. Don't worry, I'm sure I'll be bitching about money again soon.

2) I spent my entire workday in training for some bullshit system I will probably never use in my job. However, I did create my own company within that system, and I called it "Your Mom's House." The primary contact of the company is Sigmund Freud, who works as an Official Lollipop Tester. The secondary contact is Carl Jung, who works as an Official Glue Sniffer. You can reach both Freud and Jung by calling 1-900-555-LOVE.

3) I took a 2 hour nap after I got home from work, which means I'm probably screwed as far as getting a full night of sleep goes. But oh, how I love, cherish, and treasure a good nap.

4) I got to watch a couple of episodes of One Tree Hill, thanks to the timely delivery of Netflix. I would say it's a guilty pleasure, but I don't feel guilty about it. Hellz yeah!

5) Roy went and picked us up a couple of bad ass sandwiches for dinner from ToGo's. I'm a big fan of sandwiches. I've even dreamed about sandwiches. I'm hardcore and stuff.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Meet Squarehead!

How sad is it that Squarehead here is the most complicated thing I've done all day? I mean, it doesn't take a genius to open Paint and create Squarehead, being as he consists of a rectangle (which is totally not a square, meaning the name Squarehead is misleading and will probably get me sued) and some circles and lines. Hey, maybe this is the new phase of modern art. Soon I will be discovered by some art agent guy who will want to put Squarehead's picture everywhere! My life as I know it will change forever. People will write articles about the isolation of Squarehead and how he speaks to a post- 9/11 generation and our feelings of loss, alienation, and aggression. My future opens up before me as I sit in my entirely beige office....

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Almost 3 months ago we picked up our marriage license (pic on left). We got our marriage certificate in the mail today (pic on right).

I feel so much better now. Quite haggish, thank you very much.

thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you...

Here's our wedding thank you card! (Design courtesy of Serendipity Design, picture courtesy of Christine Farah Photography)

I really love this picture. We look happy, and I look all glowy and shit. Could my glow be the work of Photoshop or some other photo editing program? No, it's the result of bridal bliss, dammit!

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Return of the Academic Monster

If only getting a Master's degree (or any degree for that matter) were as easy as it always seemed to be in the Berenstain Bears books.

Today begins my third year of graduate school. A year from now I will hopefully be starting up my very last quarter, mentally preparing to graduate. I really don't have a lot left to do. I have completed the majority of my coursework. All I need is an elective or two, one quarter of a foreign language, a creative writing class, my internship, and my thesis. It's really not that much, yet I keep dragging my feet. I'm just not really excited about school anymore.

I think I'm tired of the student role. I absolutely love learning, but being a student means that I am constantly in a state of transition. It also means that we're broke a lot of the time, since Roy's a student as well. I can only hope that we can both find jobs after graduation that will actually pay enough.

So, I might be blogging less. I'm not really sure right now. I only have 1 class this quarter - a poetry seminar. Hopefully it'll be interesting and will draw me back in to the academic world so I can do well these last 4 quarters. After how hard I've worked, it would be a shame to lose my hard-earned GPA just because of burnout.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Found Object

This morning, I went to fill up my ugly mug with some hot water to make some hot tea, and I came back to my desk and found this little guy. Excuse the blurry picture, but apparently I'm not that great of a cell phone camera photographer. He's cute, eh? Apparently one of my co-workers found him in a box and left him on my desk for me. He reminds me of some Christmas ornaments I had and treasured as a child.

I really love the found object phenomenon. I have often enjoyed speculating on the travels of the object, wondering who had it before I found it and how it ended up in my hands. I found quite a few things while waiting tables. One thing that I remember the best was a tiger-eye stone. I'm not sure where it is now.

Anyway, Jessica (the co-worker who gave him to me) and I named him Max. Max is a very nice Tuesday morning present, as I'm feeling a bit under the weather today. Once again, I really like how people can affect my life in a positive way without realizing it. It's not the grand gestures that matter, but the small ones.

Monday, September 17, 2007

I Now Pronounce You Husband and Hag.

After 2 months of being married and entirely too much bullshit, our marriage license was finally recorded, and our marriage certificate is on its way to us! I am so excited. We are officially out of Limboland!

I have to admit though, I am sad that I won't be able to call myself "fake wife" anymore. I was getting attached to the term.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Happy Second Monthiversary!

Today is our 2 month anniversary of being married. I suppose I sound like a high school girl counting how many months she's been with her boyfriend. Well, that's cool, because I believe that there is such a thing as too much routine - and we should always find reasons to celebrate and be happy.

2 months is so not a long time, but it has gone by so fast. I am glad the wedding planning is over, and I have mostly recovered from my post-bridal blues. We are settled into our life as husband and wife and are enjoying ourselves as much as we can before school starts again.

Now, if only people would stop asking when we're going to have kids.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Leave Britney alone!

In light of Britney's recent dismal performance at the VMAs, I bring you this video:

Thanks to Melinda for bringing it to my attention. :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


It's been awhile since a book amazed me, but Was definitely did. Think of it as being similar to Wicked, only told like The Hours. I was unable to make it through Wicked, but Was is similar in that it approaches the story of the the land of Oz in a completely new and different way.

First off, a review from Kirkus Reviews:

The Scarecrow of Oz dying of AIDS in Santa Monica? Uncle Henry a child abuser? Dorothy, grown old and crazy, wearing out her last days in a Kansas nursing home? It's all here, in this magically revisionist fantasy on the themes from The Wizard of Oz. For Dorothy Gael (not a misprint), life with Uncle Henry and Aunty Em is no bed of roses: Bible-thumping Emma Gulch is as austere (though not as nasty) as Margaret Hamilton, and her foul- smelling husband's sexual assaults send his unhappy niece over the line into helpless rage at her own wickedness and sullen bullying of the other pupils in nearby Manhattan, Kansas. Despite a brush with salvation (represented by substitute teacher L. Frank Baum), she spirals down to madness courtesy of a climactic twister, only to emerge 70 years later as Dynamite Dottie, terror of her nursing home, where youthful orderly Bill Davison, pierced by her zest for making snow angels and her visions of a happiness she never lived, throws over his joyless fianc‚e and becomes a psychological therapist. Meanwhile, in intervening episodes in 1927 and 1939, Frances Gumm loses her family and her sense of self as she's transformed into The Kid, Judy Garland; and between 1956 and 1989, a little boy named Jonathan, whose imaginary childhood friends were the Oz people, grows up to have his chance to play the Scarecrow dashed by the AIDS that will draw him to Kansas--with counselor Davison in pursuit--in the hope of finding Dorothy's 1880's home and making it, however briefly, his own. This tale of homes lost and sought, potentially so sentimental, gets a powerful charge from Ryman's patient use of homely detail in establishing Dorothy's and Jonathan's childhood perspectives, and from the shocking effects of transforming cultural icons, especially in detailing Dorothy's sexual abuse. Science-fiction author Ryman (The Child Garden, 1990) takes a giant step forward with this mixture of history, fantasy, and cultural myth--all yoked together by the question of whether you can ever really go home.

I really loved this book. I thought the interweaving plotlines were well done, and the story was compelling. It was also extremely sad, which gave the book depth that I (personally) think is lacking in the original Oz story. I actually haven't seen The Wizard of Oz in years, nor have I read any of the Oz books. And I really haven't had the desire to, although now I am more inclined to explore this world more fully. (Side note: I do happen to love the movie Return to Oz.)

Overall, this book is definitely a keeper. My only complaint is that the author didn't focus enough on the life of Judy Garland. I wanted to learn more about her, and there were only a few chapters dedicated to her. Some of those chapters weren't even about her directly but instead focused on a family member. That aspect definitely could have been executed better.

Here is my favorite passage from the book: "The world was haunted. It needed to be haunted. The Land of Was was cradled in the arms of Now like a child. Was made Now tender. Death made life precious."

It probably makes more sense in context, but to me, it sounds great out of context as well.

Good-night. I'm off to have emerald-colored dreams.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Nest

This is inspired by some emails that have passed between me and the lovely Kim.

So, those of us who plan our weddings with the help of the Knot are supposed to move over to the Nest once we're married. We all need to learn how to become good little obedient wives, apparently. I have done my fair share of poking around the Nest, and it all seems like way too much of a cliche at times. There's a cooking board, a baby board, a money board, and so on and so forth. While these things have their place in our lives, why are we all reduced to being Suzie Homemakers? I don't get it. I don't like to cook. I don't want to have babies right now. (Even when we do decide to have kids, I don't want to discuss my cervical mucus with anyone. Although I'm telling you right now, it's blue. ;) I certainly don't need ideas for entertaining, as our living space isn't really big enough for dinner parties. Anyway, why would I throw a dinner party? It sounds like a lot of work.

Personally, I think the Nest should create a board called "How to Vacuum in Heels." Now that is useful information for those of us who strive to be great wives.


Well, today is the 6 year anniversary of 9/11. I usually write a little something every year on this day because it was a day that changed the lives of many, including myself.

On 9/11/01, I had been living in California for less than a month. At the time, I was living in Angelus Oaks (up in the mountains) with my ex (who was not my ex at the time, of course). He left that morning to go to work, and I had the day off. It was a scary day, as I spent the entire day alone. We didn't have TV, so I heard about the tragedy on the Net. For the rest of the day, I was fully conscious of how quiet it was. That is the main thing I remember: the silence.

Eventually I internalized the silence. 9/11 helped me grow up in a way. It pushed me out of my utter self-centeredness and showed me a world where everyone suffered, not just me. For so long I had been the center of my own universe, and my suffering was paramount. On that day, I realized that no matter how I had suffered (and I had, for sure), I had never had to pick whether or not I should jump out a window or just let the roof collapse on my head. I had been faced with hard choices before, but they were real choices. So many victims of 9/11 had the choice of death or death. In other words, they had no choice at all.

As if that wasn't/isn't tragic enough, the war in Iraq is still going on. Talk about a tragedy. This is a war that will never be won. Our ideologies are just too different. And people continue to die for this cause. It is, quite simply, horrible.

My thoughts go out to those who have lost loved ones due to 9/11 or the war in Iraq.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Just do it.

By way of a poster on the Knot, I learned of a blog called Que Sarah, Sarah. It was an extremely heartfelt and detailed account of a young woman's battle with melanoma, which she ultimately lost. From Sarah's blog, I was linked to several other blogs and learned of so many sad stories of people lost to this horrible disease. Currently I am following several blogs written by the spouses of others suffering from melanoma. Daily they break my heart, because all of them seem to be slipping away. You may be asking why I'm following these stories. Well, I feel compelled to listen and to be educated about this horrible disease. So many lost voices have been unheard because melanoma is not a big part of our consciousness or awareness. From what I've read, it should be taken much more seriously, because melanoma is extremely aggressive. If left untreated, it will kill you.

I'm asking you, whatever small audience I may have, to please wear sunscreen. I don't care how dark you may be. (After all, Bob Marley died of metastatic melanoma.) Not only that, tell your family and friends to wear sunscreen too. Slather it on your kids as well. If you use a tanning bed, stop. Get a spray tan instead. It could save your life. Also, go see a dermatologist and have them do a full-body check to make sure that your moles are typical. This isn't rhetoric. It's true. Too much exposure to the sun and UV rays can kill you.

If you don't believe me, then read the stories of some fallen warriors: teb, Heather, and Shannon.

Now, read the stories of those who are currently in the fight for their lives: Bryce, Mike, and Keith.

Roy and I have an appointment with our new dermatologist at the beginning of October to get checked out. I've never been to the dermatologist in my life because I never saw the need for it. However, now I do. We are both fair-skinned and have had sunburns in the past, both of which increase the risk for skin cancer. (I've had several very bad sunburns.) Hopefully, everything will be fine. I am thankful to have learned more about this disease, because, let's face it, I am a prime candidate for it.

So, yeah. Wear sunscreen. Go see a dermatologist. Watch your moles and freckles. Just do it. If not for you, then do it for those who have suffered because they (sadly and unfortunately) didn't know better.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

The Little Things

This weekend was pretty low key. As I prepare for another week back at my boring and unfulfilling job, I've realized (yet again) that the weekend just isn't long enough.
On Saturday, we went to a baby BBQ for my friend Holli, who is due with her first child in October. (No, we did not BBQ a baby. Holli chose to have a backyard BBQ to celebrate instead of a baby shower.) It was a very mellow event. Roy and I sat the whole time and talked to Candice, one of my bestest pals. Unfortunately, I don't get to see Candice or Holli that much anymore. The three of us met at Chili's as lowly servers before the days we had college degrees. Holli and I have since moved on, while Candice is on her way out. I got to hear all the Chili's gossip and also hang around with Candice's daughter Madison. Maddy is one of my favorite kids of all time, mostly because she never gets tired of touching my nose and saying "Boink." I don't get tired of touching her nose either, and I certainly don't get tired of saying "Boink." It's the novelty that never wears off. It was awesome seeing Candice and Holli, because Saturday was also my 1 year anniversary of my last day at Chili's. Those who know me well know of my extensive experience as a server. I spent 8 years of my life waiting tables! 6 of those years were at Chili's. So it was a huge deal when I finally got my first "real" job and said good-bye to the world of working 3 hours a day, putting up with enormous amounts of crap, and living off tips. I think that everyone should work as a server at least once in their life. It taught me so much, and I met so many different kinds of people. Candice and Holli are 2 of those people. Here's us at the BBQ (Holli's in the middle):

And here's me and Candice from my last day at Chili's:

I suppose it might sound weird, but my life was much less complicated as a server. Working in an office has made me more grown-up and probably less fun. Now I have to think about insurance, 401K, and life insurance. How boring - and yet, how necessary.

But I digress. After the BBQ, we stopped off for a few minutes at our friends Nancy and Jenn's house. Their daughter Lily just turned 2, so they were having a party for her. We only stayed about 20 minutes, and I didn't really get any good pictures of Lily. Like any normal 2 year old, she was running around like crazy. Here's an okay shot of the birthday girl:

But because that picture does her cuteness no justice, here's one from when she was a baby:

Yep, she's dressed as a chicken. In her defense, it was Halloween. Last Halloween, to be exact. And she was not even walking on her own yet - and now she's running around like a crazy person. It's fascinating to watch kids grow.

Now that I'm starting to sound like the embarassing old aunt at the family reunion, let me move on to the biggest event of the weekend. I got a new phone, courtesy of Patty, my mother-in-love. (I've given up on the mother-in-law thing; it just sounds too formal, considering how much I love her.) I know, I know. The RAZR is basically old news, but for me, it's the coolest thing. Not quite as cool as the iPhone, but the coolest new thing that I've gotten in awhile. I am especially excited about this because Patty has put me on her family plan, which means that I'm not going to have to pay my cell phone bill anymore. (She pretty much insisted on paying for the cell phones for her kids that are still in school.)

After hanging out in the Verizon store, we went to Cold Stone Creamery and had some sinfully delicious ice cream. I hadn't been to Cold Stone in about a year! We sat outside, ate our ice cream, and talked. I love talking to Patty because it's like talking to an old friend. I feel sorry for people who aren't able to connect with their in-laws; it must suck. I feel very fortunate to have Patty (and Cherie, her partner) as my California mommies.

From Cold Stone, we went to one of my favorite places in the world: Borders. I'm always up for going to the bookstore, but today's visit was especially welcomed, since I heard about a new series called Twilight. I got the first book in the series (only $10!) and can't wait to start reading it.

I spent the rest of the day at home reading and hanging out. In the evening I went for a bike ride through downtown. The weather has turned a bit cooler, and the bike ride was refreshing. I rode by this cool cemetery a few streets over from where we live. It has always fascinated me, because it's old and the headstones are upright as opposed to flat. It carries with it the energy of time past and life lived. I always can appreciate old things, because they have a life all their own. In the right light, the cemetery looks amazing. I would love to photograph it someday when I actually have a decent camera.

So that was my weekend. Nothing big or terribly exciting (okay, so I'm thrilled over the fact that I have a pink phone), but it's the little things, right?


Thursday, September 6, 2007

I have nothing interesting to say.

I have never had a job as boring as this one. Day after day I surf the Net, take care of personal business, send a ton of text messages, and get very little work done. There is no work to be done. It's all given to people who are much more capable than I am, apparently. I am, however, grateful for my job because it allows me to talk in an English accent for most of the day.

I have become aware that my job breeds laziness. By not having enough to do, I take forever to complete a project (probably because I stretch it out to make sure I am working on it awhile so I won't be bored for days on end). I will probably never advance in this department because the hierarchy is firmly in place....or maybe I'm just making excuses. I actually don't really want to advance. I just want some more challenging work that actually interests me.

People interest me. I am more social than I ever realized. I spent years working as a food server and loved talking to people, except for the many idiots that I was forced to wait on. (I still run into idiots now, but most of them are on internet message boards.)

There are some people that fascinate me to no end. One of them is my friend Myra, who works with me. She would make a perfect character in a novel. She's one of the most absent-minded people I know, but she is extremely smart, funny, and well put together. Well, that last one is a subject to debate, because today I walked in and she had a binder clip holding the front of her shirt together. She also uses binder clips to hold her hair back. (I used to use paper clips to do that.) Myra also has some nervous habits that I find extremely endearing. For example, she bites her lower lip to the point that it bleeds. She drives incredibly slow. But she has no problem busting a move with me if we hear awesome music somewhere or engaging in English accent talk with me.

I suppose that I should be grateful for having this boring-ass job. It'll probably give me time to write my thesis, just like it gave me time to plan my wedding. But I still have nothing interesting to say. I blame the job. It sucks all the creativity out of me.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

A Spot of Bother

I finished A Spot of Bother this morning. While it's not a keeper, it was an interesting book in that it examined a highly dysfunctional family from all points of view. And of course, nothing brings out dysfunction like a wedding, which took place near the end of the novel.

Here is a review from Publishers Weekly:

Recent retiree George Hall, convinced that his eczema is cancer, goes into a tailspin in Haddon's (Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) laugh-out-loud slice of British domestic life. George, 61, is clearly channeling a host of other worries into the discoloration on his hip (the "spot of bother"): daughter Katie, who has a toddler, Jacob, from her disastrous first-marriage to the horrid Graham, is about to marry the equally unlikable Ray; inattentive wife Jean is having an affair—with George's former co-worker, David Symmonds; and son Jamie doesn't think George is OK with Jamie's being queer. Haddon gets into their heads wonderfully, from Jean's waffling about her affair to Katie's being overwhelmed (by Jacob, and by her impending marriage) and Jamie's takes on men (and boyfriend Tony in particular, who wants to come to the wedding). Mild-mannered George, meanwhile, despairing over his health, slinks into a depression; his major coping strategies involve hiding behind furniture on all fours and lowing like a cow. It's an odd, slight plot—something like the movie Father of the Bride crossed with Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" (as skin rash)—but it zips along, and Haddon subtly pulls it all together with sparkling asides and a genuine sympathy for his poor Halls. No bother at all, this comic follow-up to Haddon's blockbuster (and nicely selling book of poems) is great fun.

I don't think I would have given this book such a glowing review, just because it seemed to be missing something. However, towards the end, there were two kernels of wisdom that accurately described my own wedding experience. Katie and Ray, the newlyweds, have just been subjected to high drama at their reception:

"Katie held Ray's hand. She didn't know whether to laugh or cry. 'God. This is meant to be our wedding day.'
Then Ray said something wise. Which took her by surprise. 'We're just the little people on top of the cake. Weddings are about families. You and me, we've got the rest of our lives together.'"

Wow. I have never heard the wedding experience described so well.

And just when I thought that I couldn't hear anything wiser, I read this paragraph:

"A fine drizzle began spattering the windscreen. It didn't matter. Snow, hail, driving rain. She understood now. You got married in spite of your wedding not because of it. She looked over at Ray and he broke into a smile without taking his eyes off the road."

As simple as it was worded, I would call that fine writing. (Although the grammarian in me would definitely add a comma between "wedding" and "not.")

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Tag, I'm it!

I am so not part of the cool club, so I'm tagging myself and posting 8 random facts about myself. Usually another blogger has to tag you, but I'm more of a lurker than a commenter, so here I am with my own memememe post. :)

1) Even though the wedding is over, my bride brain is still hanging around. My memory used to be razor sharp but began to decline during the final months of planning the wedding. I anticipated it improving after the wedding, but it hasn't. Case in point: I forgot my lunch at home on the kitchen counter this morning, even after I labelled it with my initials for the work fridge. Now I have no lunch and don't want to spend extra money to buy one. But I will, because a full tummy means a happy girl.

2) Despite the bad times, hurt, and disappointment I have experienced in my life, I am still very much an idealist. I still try to see the best in people. While not easily offended, I find myself becoming appalled at the way people treat and talk about others. More often than not I will say something about how I feel and then second guess the decision to do so. The second guessing comes from my not knowing if it's my place or my business to say something in defense of the wronged person. And then I realize that too many people are hands off and thus let fundamentally wrong things go too easily. This is how prejudice and injustice are allowed to exist in our world: by dismissing seemingly small things too easily.

3) I have a big food phobia. I don't like for certain types of food to touch each other. I don't like it when people mix up their food (certain types, like corn and mashed potatoes) in front of me. It literally makes me feel ill. I am also not an adventurous eater, although I have branched out so much in the last 6 years that I've lived in CA. I am likely to reject trying certain kinds of food based on the way it looks or its texture, because I often have physical reactions to it (feeling sick, etc). I am not exactly sure why I have this phobia, but I have some sound theories that (of course!) go back to my childhood days.

4) I am one of those people that will never be satisfied. And yet it truly doesn't take much to make me happy. If you give me some Post-it notes, a book recommendation, or some good conversation, it'll make my day. If you laugh at my jokes, I feel all warm and fuzzy. My dissatisfaction stems from the big things in life, like my job, career path, school, relationships, money, etc. I always tell myself that if I can accomplish certain things, I am going to be happy through and through. To be honest, I have accomplished many things in my life, and I'm still dissatisfied. Part of me always will be, and that seed of discontent is what drives me.

5) My husband is truly one of the best people that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. He has the ability to be truly gentle, tender, kind, and accepting (in addition to many other things, of course). I think that he is probably overshadowed by my AW tendencies, but I know he doesn't mind and probably prefers it that way. He is very much a behind-the-scenes person. He doesn't make grand, showy gestures. Instead, he operates subtly and quietly. He is secure enough within himself to know that he's doing a good thing, and he doesn't need the whole world's approval. I admire him so much for that and just for being a wonderful person. I have never felt so honored as I did the day he accepted little ol' me as his wife. I love him so much, more than I ever thought I could love another person.

6) Lately I have wanted to buy three things: new clothes, new music, and an awesome camera. I cannot wait until we have more money so I can do these things. (Okay, so I still might not go for the camera, because that's a lot of money to throw down right now.)

7) I am not a big fan of making plans, because something always goes wrong. Lately the future has become clearer for me, and I feel ready to buckle down, finish my Master's, try to pay down debt and save money, and seriously think about getting the hell out of Southern CA. The thought that we could be out of here in less than 2 years is a huge motivator. I am so ready to settle down in a place that is more us.

8) I am a packrat. I develop attachments to material objects that have sentimental meaning for me. For example, I still have the shirt that I wore on my first date with Roy, even though it doesn't fit anymore. I still have all the letters that I've received in my lifetime (except for the ones from my junior high boyfriend - those got burned). I have all the journals that I've filled up through the years (and there are quite a few). There are some things that I don't want to get rid of, because they are a part of my personal history. Who knows, maybe our future children will cherish these items someday.

So, due to my small audience, I'm tagging a couple of people who meet certain criteria: 1) read/comment on my blog regularly (that I'm aware of), 2) have not participated in this recently, and 3) actually have a blog.

Melinda, Angelina, and whatever-your-real-name-is, you're it!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

In the Hot Zone

Today it was about 106 degrees outside. If we were normal people, we would hide out in our air-conditioned home. Unfortunately, our abnormal air conditioning situation keeps our apartment comparable to the great outdoors. We live in the upstairs portion of an older house, so there is no central air. We have window units in each of the bedrooms (one of which we use for our computer room/library). Several months ago we bought a swamp cooler to cool off the living room. It keeps the air circulating but doesn't really cool off the room. Finally we decided to take matters into our own hands. Roy retrieved a window unit we had in storage and "installed" it in the kitchen. By installed, I mean he put it on a table, pushed the back of it out the window, and tied it down so it wouldn't fall out the window. Oh, and he also taped up the rest of the open window with cardboard. The word "ghetto-fabulous" comes to mind. (I call it one word because it's hypenated.) Check it out:

Yes, those are books and magazines propping up the unit. Nice, huh? It does a good job cooling down the kitchen, naturally. However, the living room is still toasty. I figure that this is a character-building experience. That's what I'm telling myself anyway.

In other news, we went out to escape the heat and to see Stardust. However, upon getting to the movie theatre, we realized that we really shouldn't be spending money on movies right now. That is how broke we are, my friends. Instead we went to Target and bought a few necessary items with gift cards left over from the wedding.

I also finished reading Memories of my Melancholy Whores. It took me a little over a day to read it. I am a huge fan of the 3 Marquez books I have read, but this one was not nearly as good, in my opinion. Reading this book made me realize how long it has been since a book has come along and absolutely swept me off my feet. I miss the feeling of being absolutely satisfied by a book.

I can't believe it's already September! Kerwin is also alarmed by how fast time is going by:

Roy and Woogas are both pretty zen about the whole thing:

Happy September! Let's hear it for the end of summer (but apparently not the end of the heat).