Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Reasons I hate Lowell, MA

1. I get lost there every time I go.
2. While maneuvering about the city, I always legitimately feel convinced I'm going to die at the hands of either some 78 year old driving a 23 foot long Lincoln from 1974 or a young whippersnapper in a tricked out Honda Civic.
3. None of the turn-only lanes are marked clearly enough that you can see them in time to avoid them if necessary.
4. It is the worst city ever.
5. Nobody there follows traffic laws.

Reasons I have to get over my hatred of Lowell, MA
1. I now work there and have to go three times a week.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


A recent re-watching of Raiders of the Lost Ark inspired me to ask you all:

If you were in a dire situation with your life or your freedom on the line, which fictional hero would you choose to rescue you?

- Indiana Jones of the Indiana Jones franchise
- John McClane of the Die Hard franchise
- Sarah Connor from Terminator 2 (not the sissy Sarah Connor from the first movie)
- James Bond of the James Bond franchise
- Ellen Ripley of the Alien franchise
- Harry Callahan of the Dirty Harry franchise
- Tony Stark/Iron Man of the Iron Man franchise
- Han Solo of the Star Wars franchise
- Trinity from the Matrix franchise
- Bruce Wayne of the Batman franchise
- The Bride of the Kill Bill franchise
- Spider-Man of the Spider-Man franchise
- Aragorn of the Lord of the Rings franchise
- Jason Bourne of the Jason Bourne franchise
- Lara Croft of the Tomb Raider franchise
- Elasti-girl/Mrs. Incredible from Pixar's The Incredibles
- Buffy of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer franchise
- The mutants (all or any given individual) of the X-Men franchise

Who would you want to rescue you? With which of these would you trust your life? Or is there another hero I missed in whom you trust implicitly?

Monday, June 14, 2010

My Day

8:36: Dog wakes me by walking on my face.

9:02: Go back to bed after taking dog out and feeding her.

10:34: Awoken by text message from mother, informing me she has put some money in my bank account. Balance no longer paltry $12.07.

11:22: Get out of shower. Check email. Discover to my surprise and pleasure that have gotten interview for nannying job applied to a week and a half ago.

12:07: Pour bowl of Cocoa Puffs and flip on "What Not To Wear."

12:25: Receive email informing me I did not get teaching job at private school I really, really wanted.

12:26: Cry to roommate about job.

1:52: Speak to mother on the phone, who tells me 1) to keep my chin up re: jobs, and 2) that I can take my car to get its A/C fixed on her credit card. Write down credit card information on small slip of paper.

2:23: Attempt to clean out of my car various items that have been sitting there for approximately 3 months (since I moved in).

2:47: Realize shouldn't hold small slip of paper with credit card information so close to open window. Tuck it under my leg instead.

3:03: Pull up to Sears Auto Center. Have no idea where to go. Do I need to check in at the front? Decide to park on side of building.

3:04: Get out of car and approach building. Immediately see huge sign saying "Pull in here for all services." Mutter to self about idiocy and get back in car.

3:05: Pull into building and narrowly miss hitting car that is backing up. Put car into reverse and narrowly miss hitting large van behind me.

3:06: Pull into services bay. Realize got out of the car without moving small slip of paper with credit card information on it from out from under my leg. Start rummaging through purse (even though know slip is not there).

3:07: Run out into parking lot, looking for small slip of paper. Throw self on ground to see if it blew underneath car I was parked next to. Nada.

3:08: Run back into garage. Rip car apart looking for paper. Start sweating profusely.

3:09: Run back outside, praying. Notice slip underneath car was parked next to before. There is a god!

3:10: Get back into car in waiting bay. Try to make heart stop beating erratically.

3:12: Notice bag of Panera potato chips on the floor of the passenger's side of car. Having not eaten since bowl of cereal, decide to eat them. Cannot quite reach bag. In straining arm to reach chips, something in neck crackles and starts hurting intensely.

3:27: Alex, Sears Auto Center employee, explains to me that front tires are so bald as to be in illegal red "danger zone" of baldness. Oil change and a/c recharge suddenly getting expensive.

3:32: Have to kill two hours while waiting for car. Decide to go to mall bookstore.

3:46: After walking aimlessly for fifteen minutes, finally find a mall directory. Turns out there IS no bookstore. Decide to try to walk to Barnes and Noble across the street.

3:50: On way to mall exit, receive call from Auto Center. Apparently some fluid in car is acidic, needs to be flushed or replaced or some nonsense. Will cost an extra $60. Fine.

4:21: Realize after walking back and forth across parking lot twice that there is no way to get out of mall parking lot without a car. Thus, no bookstore.

4:23: Wander around mall aimlessly for the next 42 minutes.

5:05: Go back to sit in Sears Auto Center waiting room. Watch a fascinating episode of The Dr. Oz Show about the importance of the spleen.

6:17: Have to pay for car services. Worry that Alex, Sears Auto Center employee, will not just take someone else's credit card information off of small slip of paper. Needn't have worried; he asks no questions and just runs the card. Good to know.

6:38: Drive home in luscious new air conditioning.

Fortunately, after that, was able to spend a quiet evening in with the roommates and freshly-baked cookies.

Friday, May 28, 2010

May has been a busy month, AND IT'S NOT EVEN OVER YET. And I don't just mean that in the sense that there are a handful of days left before June, but in the sense that, in addition to all the other huge things that have gone on this month (finals, bridal showers, dog vet visits, parent visits/graduation) I have another monumental event happening this weekend in the form of officiating a wedding of two dear friends.

But none of that is what I want to write about today. Mostly I just wanted to explain my absence from the blogosphere for the past month and a half. Today's topic is my weirdness, specifically as it pertains to household chores.

For example, laundry. I pretty much like every aspect of doing laundry. Sorting the clothes, pretreating stains (and there are always plenty), washing, drying, even folding. I love the fresh smell of clean clothes. I love peeling the dryer lint off the little screen thing (and marveling at how much pug hair is on it). I especially like that doing laundry here at Jenah and Brian's is a) free and b) easy, because there is a place ON THE WASHER ITSELF to put the liquid fabric softener. No more dryer sheets for me!

Yet for all my love for clean laundry, I have a pathological aversion to putting it away. I would rather (and have been known to) just leave hampers full of clean, neatly folded clothes for weeks just sitting in front of my dresser. Or in piles on top of my dresser. Or in piles elsewhere in my bedroom. I HATE putting it away. And I don't know why. It could be because in the house I grew up, the "system" was there were a bunch of laundry baskets of clean, unsorted, unfolded clothes in the dining room, and getting dressed meant digging through two to three baskets until you could assemble a decent outfit. God help you if you needed a specialized item like a dance leotard or soccer shorts. GOD HELP YOU.

Or maybe it's because even with a huge, five-drawer dresser, I still have too many articles of clothing to fit into my bureau and I just don't want to fight a losing battle.

Or maybe I'm just lazy. I don't know. I just know I hate putting away clothes.

Similarly, I don't mind loading or unloading the dishwasher--actually, I really like assembling the dishes carefully, maximizing the space, and adding dishsoap (I love the smell for some reason) but I hate having to put away the clean silverware. There is no rational explanation for why. I can't think of a way it is different than putting away the cups or bowls or plates, and I don't mind doing that. I usually put the silverware away anyway, though, because I'd feel bad if people saw the dishwasher entirely empty and put dirty dishes in it and then noticed that the dirty dishes were dripping on the (formerly) clean silverware. My fear of roommate resentment is greater than my aversion to putting away silverware.

I'm trying to think if there are any other household chores for which this sort of rule applies. I don't mind vacuuming or dusting or even cleaning the bathroom. I mean, I don't love it, but I do it when it's my day on the chore chart (yes, we totally have a chore chart). So I guess it's really only putting away laundry and clean silverware that are antithetical to me. Can anyone explain why? I can't.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dream Birthday Wish List

Coach purse

Party Down the Complete First Season

Sherlock Holmes DVD

Chelsea, Chelsea, Bang, Bang

Olay Total Effects Daily UV moisturizer and SPF 15 (I love everything but paying $18 for 1.7 oz.)

Amazon Kindle

Daria: The Complete Animated Series

Penguin Clothbound Classics edition of Great Expectations (ISBN: 014104036X) or Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (ISBN: 0141192461)

Pretty much any of the cookware in the new Giada DeLaurentiis for Target line

Lego Harry Potter, Years 1-4 for Nintendo DS (sadly not coming out until June)

A real job!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Resolutions

I've been thinking lately how silly New Year's resolutions are. Not the concept--God knows I love the idea of a fresh start. Blank slates are so forgiving. No, I'm fine with the theory of New Year's resolutions; it's their timing that bothers me. Who decided it was a good idea to make the new year start in the middle of winter? Who is motivated to make any kind of sweeping change when it's 14 degrees and snowing outside? No one. Why try to implement a new fitness regime when really the weather calls for one to be huddled in a Snuggie on the couch, sipping hot chocolate (with marshmallows) and watching trashy television. And why would you choose January to start eating better, when no fruit or vegetable is in season at that point, but there is plenty of Christmas junk food leftover? No wonder no one sticks to New Year's resolutions. It's not the resolutions that are the problem, it's the New Year itself.

I, for one, am a proponent for making the New Year start sometime around the end of March beginning of April. There's the obvious Christian argument--Easter is all about rebirth and renewal--what better time to make resolutions? And even if one doesn't do the Easter thing, one can still hop on the logical bandwagon of the renewal of spring. Flowers are blooming, animals are having babies, the Sox are reporting for Spring Training...it's time for a new start.

All that said, here are my Springtime Resolutions. Feel free to make some of your own, if the spirit moves you!

  • Eat healthier. I've already gotten started on this, thanks to my awesome new roommates. They have slowly cut out both hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup from their diet, and have inspired me to do the same. It's relatively easy (especially once I figured out that some of my essential foods don't have HFCS) and I feel better already. It also helps to be in a house where other people are eating healthy because I monitor my eating better so I don't look like such a heifer in comparison.
  • Exercise more. Once again, I've gotten a bit of a jump on this too. Thanks again to my roommate, I learned that Verizon FiOS has workouts On Demand, even easy ones for my poor unfit body. I also got a Pilates for Beginners video from the library and even though the supposed "beginner" in the video was apparently made of rubber (very discouraging) I still plan to keep up with it.
  • Be nicer. This one I really have to work on. I'm hoping if I take care of the first two resolutions and start feeling better about myself, I might have a better outlook on life in general. Fingers crossed.
  • Start going back to church. I was never the kind of person who hated church and couldn't wait to go to college to escape. I actually always kind of liked church, largely, I think, because I really liked the people at the church I went to my whole life. That was in fact why I didn't really go to church in college--I did try going to the church in Amherst a few times, but I ended up just getting homesick instead. Now, however, my "home" church has changed a lot and I don't think it would feel the same going there. But I might start going to the Congregational church in Tewksbury. We'll see.
  • Try to be a little more sustainable. I did a little push on this senior year, but slowly chemicals (in the form of beauty products and junk food) have made their way back into my life. It's mostly laziness; I have to get back on that wagon.
  • Be better about money. This is especially important in light of the fact that I will be unemployed as of May.
Though there is undoubtedly plenty more about my life that could probably change, I'll stop here. Happy Spring!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Controversial Conservatives

Some of you may be aware of some of the controversy stirred up by this Superbowl ad:

In it, the mother of Tim Tebow, a Heisman trophy-winning football player, talks about how she has "almost lost" her son Timmy a number of different times. Then he tackles her (for no apparent reason).

Watching the ad, it's hard to figure out exactly why there might be controversy surrounding it. Unless you notice that the ad was sponsored by a group called Focus on the Family and also happen to know that FOTF is a conservative Christian group that is staunchly pro-life (among other things).

The controversy is likewise more understandable if you watch the full-length interview with the Tebows that Focus on the Family has on its website, where Mrs. Tebow explains that she conceived Timmy while living in the Philippines and because she was high-risk at age 37, coupled with a dangerous health condition, the doctors there suggested she have an abortion. A confluence of factors, however, prevented her from taking that course. First was the fact that her and her husband's (and presumably her children's) religious beliefs prevented it. Moreover, Mr. Tebow is a pastor and he had decided even before Timmy was conceived to pray to God to send him Timmy so that Mr. Tebow could make him a pastor. The family had prayed for Timmy to be conceived, and now that he was a-cookin' in the womb, they weren't going to disturb him, whatever the cost to the baby or the mother's lives. In the end, Timmy arrived mostly healthy and went on to win the Heisman trophy and star in commercials for FOTF.

My problems with this whole scenario are as follows:

1. How creepy is it to pray for a child by name that hasn't even been conceived yet? Not to mention assign him a profession. Quote from the interview: "And I prayed, and I said, 'God, if you want another preacher in this world, you give me Timmy'--and this was before he was conceived--'and I'll raise him to be a preacher.' And so I went home and the next morning at breakfast shared with my family my prayer that I had begun and everybody joined in, and we started praying, by name, for God to give us Timmy."

2. How much must it suck to be one of the non-Timmy children? Seriously. I mean, this interview clearly shows that the parents didn't believe that any of the four children they already had would be good enough for this magical vocation that Pastor Tebow had picked out. As my friend Aubrey put it: "Listen, we know none of you have what it takes to spread the word of God so we're asking for another."

3. Of course, that's nothing compared to what it must be like to be Timmy himself. Can you imagine the pressure y
ou must feel every second of your life when you're constantly told that "God has a special plan" for you and you are "a miracle baby" and all that. And don't forget--Mom almost died having you, Miracle Baby, so don't mess it up.

3a. Interestingly, for all the Tebows talk of praying for Miracle Timmy, is he fulfilling his destiny by becoming a preacher? No. He plays sports. That's a little disingenuous, Tebows.

4. Naturally all of these points are secondary to the fact that a) this was all happening in a country wherein thousands of women die because they don't have the right to choose or access to good medical care and b) these people are basically telling women that they need to choose the life of their fetus over their own health or they are bad Godless people.

Perhaps the worst part of this, as Aubrey pointed out, is that the above ad seems innocuous (it doesn't even mention abortion!) and presents Focus on the Family as a reasonable, approachable organization (even though they believe transgenderism violates God's intentional design for sex and sexuality and construe stem cell research as evil). In the end, I prefer this response ad instead:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Abject Apologies

As usual, it has been far too long since I've posted. Though I did just reread my last Cosmo post and I have to say, I LOLed. Oh, Cosmo. What a gem.

Sadly, my subscription to Cosmo is about to lapse, and though I enjoy Cosmo's tips and tricks, being witty blog post fodder is not a justifiable reason for spending $15 to renew. When I first subscribed, I paid $5 for a year's worth of issues, which calculates to approximately 42 cents an issue. That's a price I'm willing to pay. So, ball's in your court, Cosmo. Make me a sweeter offer.

Anyway, back to the apologizing. The end of the semester brought a lot of busyness and stress (surprise, surprise). Here is a list of my excuses for my lackluster posting record. I could not blog because I had to:
  • Take the GRE and the MTELs
  • Drive to Maryland for Thanksgiving
  • Have my car's alternator replaced
  • Write a 15-page final paper and a lesson plan
  • Sit for the second of three MA comp exams
  • Grade 15 portfolios
  • Help Matt move out of the apartment
  • Spend Christmas in Connecticut
  • Fly to Maryland to have Christmas with my family
  • Rearrange the surprisingly empty-feeling apartment
That's enough, right? I'm forgiven? I hope so. One of my New Year's resolutions is to post more frequently. Wish me luck!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Some More Tips and Tricks from Cosmo

Hey ladies! You've been struggling to find things to say that you know would make your BF happy, right? It's so hard (that's what she said)! I mean, you could go the boring route and say stupid crap like, "Oh, you're so important to me" and "I really like the way you make me feel" and "I'm so glad we can communicate on a meaningful and intellectual level." But that would make you sound like a chump. If you really want to wow your guy, use these Sentences He'd Be Psyched to Hear:

  • "Boy, nothing helps me wind down after a long day at work like giving you a blow job."
    Oral sex: America's pastime.
  • "More of my homemade jerky, darling?"
    They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach with dehydrated meat.
  • "Ooh, it makes me so hot when you explain the intricacies of baseball's infield-fly rule."
    Because lying is the foundation of any solid relationship.
  • "That pile of laundry isn't going to do itself...which is why I'm gonna do it!"
    Just like his mom used to say. Wait, what?
  • "It feels like you've put on a lot of weight...in your penis, I mean."
Wait, what do you mean, these lines don't sound realistic/they are sexist? Well, if you're going to blather on about "equality" and "compromise," then here's some examples of deals you and your significant other can make that I think will make everyone happy.

Convincing him to do chores:
Him: He's unfazed by a messy desk, dirty dishes, and unfolded laundry.
You: Have an organized MO.
Compromise: Agree to feather-dust topless...but ONLY while he's straightening up.

Making Hookups Hotter
Him: He digs doggie-style
You: Prefer positions that feel more connected.
Compromise: Lie facedown with him lying on top of you. Voila!--intimate doggie-style. Slash date rape.

Solving the Toilet-Seat Feud
Him: He leaves the seat up.
You: Don't like hitting cold porcelain at midnight.
Compromise: A padded seat cover--it makes it virtually impossible for the seat to stay up. OR YOU COULD JUST LOOK BEFORE YOU SIT DOWN. YOU KNOW.

If these don't solve your problems, your relationship is probably unsalvageable.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I know it's been a really long time since I've posted, and I feel bad about that. If it makes anyone feel better, I have been thinking about potential posts, it's just that with school starting (and beginning my first semester as a teacher!), I've been really busy. Anyway, here's a little teaser trailer for what to expect in the next few weeks:

  • Thoughts About Brazil
  • Advice from Cosmo--the September/October edition!
  • The Wonderful World of First-Year Writing
And much, much more!