Monday, December 31, 2007

Auld Acquaintence

The end of the year is almost here. New Year's Day(/Eve) has always been one of my favorite holidays. Never mind that there are usually fantastic parties to be had, and fantastic strangers to kiss, I love the symbolism of it. I completely buy into the idea of the new year bringing a fresh start to... well, everything. Even though the logic side of my brain says that January first is just like any other day, I look at it as a perfect excuse to put the past in the past and start afresh.

Before I box away this year though, some reflection is in order. Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it, right? So, before I wipe clean the slate, I must look at everything that's written there and see if I can't learn something from it. I'll share it with all of you too. So, tuck in, and enjoy my year in review (complete with visual aids and things to click on!):


2007 started in a less than ideal way. Arrakis and I threw a party that had the potential to be really fantastic, wonderful, classy, relaxing, and amazing. It absolutely didn't live up to its potential. It's easy to point fingers at certain people for this, but the truth is that I would have loved it anyway if I had just relaxed about it. That is something perhaps I could be better about- taking a more zen approach to things. Nearly everyone had fun, that's what should really matter.

At that point, my relationship with El Douche (though at the time he was Boyfriend) was a bit on the fritz. I don't think the party helped things any.

Later in January I went to the Outdoor Retailer Show, which was really awesome, but very tiring. I would actually love to do it again, but no longer have the contacts. Oh well.


Bears got slaughtered in the Superbowl. Right after the game E.D. broke up with me. That started a spiral of messiness with him.

Not much else happened to me in February. Things happened to the rest of the world though: Anna Nicole Smith died and I failed at predicting who the next totally bitchcakes celebrity would be. Some asswipe shot people at Trolley Square. Valentines day was in there somewhere. Meh.


I quit the restaurant and got a "real" job. I started my receptionist gig early in March. I liked it back then. I think any new job is great at first. The novelty hadn't worn off and I didn't come home smelling of refried beans every day. I guess I'm still pretty happy about that. Beans = nastiness

Saint Patrick's Day found me at Piper Down. Not my favorite place to celebrate the holiday. It was fun, and very Irish, but I would have rather been with friends in a less crowded space.

I spent a quasi-disastrous weekend in Moab with E.D. (I think it was the middle of the cataclysmic end).


I have no idea what happened in April.


It seems I was feeling rather
philosophical in May, based on my blog posts.

I also believe that it was near the end of this month that El Douche earned his title. Looking back now, the first 5 months of 2007 were dealing with him and his bull shit. March, April and May were pretty much just one emotionally charged (on my end) and rhetorically saturated (on his part) fight. Now, of course, I can look back and say that he was absolutely not worth all the drama and heartache, but you know what they say about hindsight. Memorial day weekend brought the final event that broke the camels back. The funny thing was that the straw was such a tiny, petty, little thing. He made a big deal of it, and I didn't have the energy to fight him on it. He is a really difficult person to fight with.

I realize that I haven't written much about him here, so those of you who read this and haven't heard the stories from me in person don't really know exactly what I'm talking about. You'll forgive me if I don't enlighten you. There is a reason why El Douche doesn't get a lot of blog space. First, this being a public blog, anything I would write could possibly get back to him, and you can bet your bottom dollar I would hear no end of it. Second, I don't want to taint my pretty blog with so much negative energy. Third, and last, I don't want to go into it now because I am SO done with the whole thing. I don't want to spend time re-hashing things that have been hashed to death already. I wash my hands of the whole ordeal.

And that shall be the last he is mentioned in regards to this year.


June is always a good month. That has a lot to do with the fact that it starts with
my birthday. The weather in June is also usually lovely. I started the month with the Little Red Riding Hood bike ride, which sort of symbolically kicked off the hardcore biking summer. I intended to ride the 75 mile stretch of this ride, but was getting over a cold, so I think I only went about 40. Still, it was a great thing.


July days were wicked hot. Everything was ready to melt or catch fire this month. I bought my
soul back from Amex. Blogically speaking, I gave this place a make-over, probably long over due.

July was a really good month for friends. I bonded with Aaron over bike training for the ULCER (see August). A huge gaggle of buddies went to Lagoon (local theme park). This may seem like a silly, immature thing to do, but don't you dare knock it. Roller coasters are great fun, and why not spend the day outside with a bunch of friends? I can't think of a better way to spend a day. I also went to my first
Roller Derby in July. It was what they call a smashing good time.

(Right: The lot of us doing the ye olde photo at Lagoon)


The big event of August (and probably the whole year) was the
ULCER ride. Kudos to me for riding my first century! Training for it ate up my weekends (not so good to wake up at 5a.m. on Sunday to ride 60 miles if you're up 'til 3 the night before drinking), but it was totally worth sacrificing a little bit of my social life. Props also go to Aaron for riding it with me. Next year I have great plans for several epic bike rides (including at least one century and the MS 150). That reminds me, I should be spending more time at the gym now....

Also in August, my 91 year old grandmother moved out here from New York. That involved the whole (immediate) family going up there to pack and visit with the NY relatives.


Dad and I finally made it to Durango for the beer trip we've been meaning to take since I stopped going to school there.

I didn't miss
WG Vasculitis Awareness Week for the first time since I was diagnosed. That's something to cheer about. That triad of posts also brought a few readers out of the woodwork. Friends of mine who read this blog thingy without comment actually talked to me about what I had written. It's always interesting to see how people respond the it. I'm totally jaded about the whole thing and it's really refreshing to have other people react to it sometimes. It gives me a fresh perspective.

And of course there was
International Talk Like a Pirate Day how is that not teh awesome?


Halloween was, of course, the highlight of October. I always love Halloween. Not much to say now on that subject, but feel free to wander through the archives. I would post links, but it seems I wrote about it a lot. It is easier for you to just click on October in the sidebar.

(Left: Arrakis and Me on Halloween. We were Halloween Faeries. And we kicked teh ass)

October was the month that the bookstore thing was set into motion. A very bookie month in general actually. What with
banned book week and the random book meme I did. Actually, I think that may be the most responded to post I've done. Perhaps I should do meme thingies more often. Or book thingies. Hmmmmm


November was the month I grabbed life by the horns and carpe-ed the fucking diem. I decided to do new things and meet new people, so I went to the
symphony (with Vivace) and I started going to Swing (dance) Club at the U(niversity). I think I only made it to Swing Club once in Nov. but it was thrilling and I've since gone several times and met many fun new people.

I also
went to Vegas with friends, and that was awesome. I spent Thanksgiving weekend in Arches with Dad. It was one of our better Thanksgiving-weekend camping trips.

Cut down my hours at Job from Hell.

Meeting new people and doing new things. That's what makes life so wonderful, and that's what I did in November.


Craziness has been this month. Moved out. Started working two jobs. Christmas. I don't feel like going into much detail because, well, it all just happened. Things have been insanely busy.

So now, I guess it's time to sum up the year and make a few profound statements about what I've learned and such. I'm actually pretty impressed with myself. I've come a long way from the beginning of the year. I'm no longer involved with someone who caused me nothing but grief. I've ventured into the real world of full time jobs and responsibilities. Hell, I'm out of my parent's house (finally). I'm also out doing new things and just enjoying myself.

I think November is a good model for next year. I should venture forth and try new things that interest me. I should spend time doing things that I really like, and spend as little time as possible doing things I really dislike. 2008 will be about living life as it should be lived. Seizing the day and what not.

Things to do in the new year (not resolutions, mind you. No one ever keeps resolutions):
1. Find a new job. I'd love to just do the bookstore thing, but I can't afford it. I need something to replace the receptionist gig so I can pay my rent.
2. Get into hardcore biking shape again
3. Eat veggies
4. Shrink my "to-read" list... by reading.
5. Make new friends and strengthen the friendships I already have

Things to NOT do in the new year:
1. Date complete douchewads
2. Waste away in my death job
3. Go on a psycho mass murdering tour de world
4. Waste all my time watching TV and adding books to my "to-read" list that I will never get around to because I'm wasting all my time watching TV.
5. Eat meat (that's right kids, I'm going to give the vegetarian thing a try)

All things considered, 2007 was a good year, I'm sure 2008 will be just as good if not better. I'm rooting for better. I like things when they are better, and I see no reason why they shouldn't be.

Friday, December 28, 2007


I'm working on an epic year-in-review post. In the mean time, enjoy John Cusack being remarkably cool to an interviewer who is... well, an idiot.

John Cusack is teh awesome. Even if some of his latest movies haven't been that great. How can you not love High Fidelity (I actually know people who don't like that movie much. But I think it's great and highly recommend checking out the book too)? And who could have possibly played the part better? No one. (switch to tone that conveys mocking sincerity) Plus, look how down to earth he is. It's so nice to see a celebrity who still has his humanity and hasn't flown off to divaville. He's just so real, you know? (as I simultaneously smirk and choke on my clichés. Now that takes talent.)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Christmas

So.... it's over. I've been home now for a while and all the crazy christmas traditions have played out successfully. It was not too bad this year. I have to say that it all seemed rather anti-climatic, what with all the working two jobs and moving. But that's not really such a bad thing. Christmas tends to be over-done and over-wrought.

As per tradition, we did the big christmas stuff on christmas eve. I went over to my grandma's in the morning to bake pie (minced-meat pie. Homemade from scratch with real minced-meat). Evening brought the whole famn damily (which is now only 7) over at my parent's house for the big x-mas dinner and presents.

Christmas morning dawned at 9:00 with christmas breakfast. When Luke and I were little we used to open our presents from Mom, Dad and Grandma M on christmas morning, but that ritual died out a few years ago. It's nice having a real good breakfast and taking it easy though.

For christmas dinner, we went over to Grandma D's for a light feast (ham, turkey, various salads) followed by stockings and pie. It's a nice couple days with the family. There are many nice things about having such a small clan; holiday gatherings are really easy and pretty stress free, as is holiday shopping and eating.

Leading up to the holiday itself things were pretty busy. The parents had their big party. I went to a party for Aaron, who is in town for the holidays (he's run off to Washington). I went on a hot date on Sunday.

Well, I suppose the only thing left to do is ask the question: What are you doing New Year's Eve?

Friday, December 21, 2007

Happy Birthday Invincible Sun God!

Happy solstice everybody. We've made it to that point in the Earth's revolution around the sun where the north pole is pointed sorta away from the great big star. Thank the pagan gods that we're heading around to warmer (and longer) days. In the mean time, bring on the snow! I love it.

I don't have much to say today, but if you want to be entertained by the blogosphere, I recommend following the yellow brick road over to Cracked to check out some christmas origin stuff. I found it very entertaining.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

im a gemini and i like long walks on the beech

I just met a walking, talking personal add. And not the kind of personal add that makes you actually want to meet the person (not sure those actually exist, but I've heard rumors so you never know). It was the kind you read just to make fun of it.

So, this personal add manifested itself in the form of the guy who delivers the big water jugs for the water cooler. After asking me if I had a boyfriend (no), and asking "why don't you go out with me?" (no), he proceeded to tell me all about himself. I stared at him trying really hard not to laugh. He's a really good guy, you know, he's single, don't got no kids, just moved here from California and he's just looking for friends you know. He works a lot, from like 7 until 5 and then he likes to go work out an the gym and party with his friends. We could text for a while or something. He's a really good guy.

Of course, if his spiel had been written down, it would have been all lowercase letters, completely devoid of any punctuation and various words would be misspelled. If it were on an online site, I'm sure it would go along with a picture of him shirtless taken with his camera phone in front of the bathroom mirror. It's so much fun to meet walking clichés!

I was tempted to ask him his sign. But, you know, he is a really good guy, because if he says so, it must be true. And wow, he works so he has lots of money to spend on me, goody! And he goes to the gym, so he's obviously in really good shape. And he likes to party so he must be pretty laid back and fun to be around. Man, how could resist such a catch?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Wintery Wonders of the Webnets

Just some random fun from the interwebs for your enjoyment. Exercise your clicking muscles and check them out.

Not sure why this entertained me so much, but here it is: A-team fun

Dear Santa: All I really want for christmas is This

Keeping in the spirit of x-mas: Jesus is one very angry baby

Hee Hee buffalo I for one am really glad this information is out there.

Seriously, it doesn't really get better than this:

Spidey and MJ getting their swing on. Weeee! She even has red hair!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Swank New Pad

Holy crap what a busy weekend!

Friday work was actually not too bad. We had our holiday luncheon so I was able to escape my prison desk for a few hours and hang with people from the office. The people I work with (except El Douche, of course) are good people. I don't think I would really hate my job if I actually got to interact with them on occasion. I'm just really not a fan of being stuck out in the foyer by myself all day. After work I went to... well, work. When I got off my receptionist job, I went straight to the bookstore for a 7 hour shift. It was fun, actually, sort of stimulating in fact. It was my first shift there, so it was kind of half intensive training and half trying to use that training. It was kind of overwhelming. I got home around 12:30 and finished packing a few things.

Saturday I got up at 8 and went to sign the lease for my new apartment (more on that later), then I went back to the bookstore for an 8 hour shift. I'm kind of starting to get the hang of it. My favorite part of this job is selling people books they didn't even know they wanted. It's great fun because it gives me a chance to geek out about a book I've read. It's a good thing. Plus the people I work with are a lot of fun. It's kind of the polar opposite of Job#1 - totally a good thing. As much as I am loathe to fall back in the world of retail again, it's really not that bad. We'll see how long I actually like it though. Usually any new job is fun and exciting until the novelty wears off. I don't really see myself getting tired of books though. Of course, there's always the possibility that I'll get sacked after the holidays- hazard of job hunting around x-mas.

After work I took two car-loads of crap over to my new apartment. I went to bed, happy but tired, at 11:30.

Sunday I got up at the ass-crack of dawn (6:30) to get the hardcore moving done. My brother's girlfriend's parents let us use a truck (and actually her father helped too) that they borrowed from friends to move her (girlfriend) brother on Saturday. They only had the truck until 2:00 so we had to start the hauling process early.

I have a lot of furniture and stuff that we brought back from my grandmother's house when she moved this summer. My little apartment is actually very nicely furnished (or will be when things get settled. We had gathered all my stuff from various ends of the valley and dumped it in my new living room by 10:30. The rest of the day was spent opening boxes, assembling things that were in pieces, and finding a place for everything. All that is very tiring work. Between waking up early, moving all day, and generally staying busy all weekend, I completely ran out of energy around 6:00. I actually nearly fell asleep at the dinner table. I did manage to get a few more things put away after that, but by 9 I could barely move. I don't remember the last time I went to bed before ten. Usually there's no way I can fall asleep that early. But I was dead to the world by 9:15 last night.

I suppose I should tell you a little about my new flat. It's a cute (I hate cute as an adjective, usually, but it really is appropriate here) little place near the University and close to public transportation. Two bedrooms, reasonable kitchen, living room, tiny bathroom, hardwood floors, old-school radiators. It's in an old building so it creaks a little. It has a lot of character and it's really cozy. There is quite a lot of storage space (several closets and a cupboard in the hall). One of the bedrooms is smaller than the other (Clea, wonderful person that she is, took the smaller room). The landlord/property manager is good people too. To my friends who read this: You have to come see it!

The process will continue when I get off work today. I'm very much looking forward to everything settling down. Please, don't ever let me move during the holiday season ever again.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Duke

Impulse buy of the week (last week, actually, but it came today):
Duke Ellington Three Suites

Purchased because:
The first of the three suites is Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker.

Extremely worthwhile purchase. The Nutcracker (the normal way) is kind of overplayed this time of year, or at least as overplayed as classical music ever is. Duke's version peps it up and turns it into something different enough to be fresh and interesting but familiar enough to be, well, familiar. Plus it's less ballet and more swing. Which kind of dancing do you prefer? Me, I dig the latter. Nothing against Tchaikovsky, mind, it's just nice to hear such a refreshing take on a classic. Besides, Ellington makes me want to get up and dance Tchaik (name is too long, fingers are lazy), as pretty as it is, doesn't.
Brian Setzer Orchestra also has a version of the Nutcracker Suite, which also swings, but isn't nearly as good as the Duke. Not really surprising, considering Ellington is one of the greatest greats.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


This is the third time I've started writing today. Hopefully this time I'll get enough down before I get bored with it that I can actually post. Actually, the first time I started, I wrote the title of the post and then stared at the screen for a few minutes before I went off and did something else.

The thing is, my job has become suddenly deathly boring again (no surprise there) and therefore I'm going nuts at my desk but have nothing immediately interesting to inspire me to write. In theory, writing this little blog thingy should alleviate some of the boredom. And, actually, now that I've actually started typing, it kind of is. Not for you though, this post is boring.

That there is the rub, so to speak. Despite the common perception of me, I am not, in fact, so self aggrandizing that I think everyone will be enthralled with whatever I write. I am not so interesting that even the most meaningless drivel that is created by moi is worth reading and will be studied by scholars in years future. *tee hee* I can see it now! Some hoity-toity institution offers the class: Blog Literature of the Early 21st Century. It can be taken as an enhancement to Modern Classics: Literature of the Early 21st Century and, of course, I will be studied in both classes having made it as a famous authoress shortly after quiting my job as a receptionist.

I have cut back my hours here. I now get to leave at 2:00 on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. The idea was that this would allow me to work afternoons at the bookstore. This week I'm working there Friday evening and all day Saturday. I can't say I'm unhappy about spending less time here though. It's already really nice having time in the afternoon to do stuff, and heaven knows I'm going to need it what with moving soon. Speaking of which, yesterday I used my newly empty afternoon to go take a look at the apartment that we're (hopefully) going to get. It's a sweet little place, quaint even. The manager said that he should be finished processing our applications by Wednesday and that he didn't think there would be any reason we wouldn't get it. That means we might get to move in this weekend. And I guess that would mean Sunday for me, since I'm going to be a the bookstore most of the day Saturday.

Enough of this now. I'm going to eat lunch. Mmmmm lunch.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Lite Fried Hay Hew More

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Some Quick News

Last Saturday I took my car to my mechanic to get my emissions and inspection done (tags expire in Nov. I'm not sure I've ever done this on time). Yesterday he called and told me just the news I wanted to hear. In order to pass I have to do about $700 of work on the thing. Stupid car.

Today Clea (soon to be roomie) wandered around the valley looking at apartments. She found one that she really likes and it sounds awesome. It's at a nearly perfect location for both of us and it's an extremely reasonable price. I haven't seen it, but I trust her judgement and frankly don't have a lot of time to go look. The catch is that we would have to move in pretty much right away. Which isn't so bad, I guess, but a hassle on top of all the holiday crap. It's also something else to eat the money out of my bank account.

So between car and apartment I may be getting broke for christmas (I refuse to capitalize it for many reasons I may or may not go into later).

I have a test tonight- a final, I guess, but it's not cumulative nor is it during finals week. Wish me luck. Then later I'm going to the Swing Club. I'm so happy to be dancing again and meeting people I might be able to go out dancing with (like on the weekend).

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

That Time of Year Again

Every December things get crazy busy for me. At least half of the busy is not related to the holidays either. Just December fills up with activities and I find myself running around like the proverbial beheaded chicken.

Even work is busy. Yesterday and today I have had enough projects that I really have to focus to get them done by the end of the day. I'm not used to it, but it actually make my job interesting. It's a nice change, but I know it wont last and the torture will again ensue. But for the last few days I haven't really hated it here.

One really bad thing: being so busy I don't really have time to look for an apartment. Could be a problem. Anyone want to do it for me? I'll make you cookies.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Strange Ch-ch-ch-changes

I hate my job so hard today (and yesterday too) I want to scream.

I just called the bookstore and accepted the job they offered before. I'll cut back my hours at DeathJob to 3/4 time and look for another job so I can quit. Even if the gig at the bookstore is only for a month, it will be nice to have a little extra cash for the holidays.

Even if things are really difficult when I move out in January, I'd rather be strapped for cash than completely loose my spirit to this place. I seriously feel like I'm suffocating. (am I drama queen or what?)

When It Snows Ain't it Thrillin'

I think it's a shame that many people take snow for granted. When it snows people on the street tuck into their coats and rush from place to place without so much as a glance at the lovely phenomenom surrounding them.

Snow is my favorite sort of weather. Especially perfect snow, like what's falling on Salt Lake right now. The flakes are big and soft, there's no wind and it's just like the entire sky is falling down little by little. It's a perfect scene of serenity and simplicity. There is nothing more beautiful than a snow storm and the silence that comes with it.

Next time you are out rushing around in a snow storm, do me a favor; stop and take it all in for a moment. Just pause and appreciate the beauty around you. Breathe in the zen qualities of snowfall before running off to the warmth of somewhere else.

Insert a slew of "live in the moment" saws* here.

*saw: (n) a sententious saying; maxim; proverb: He could muster an old saw for every occasion.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Put on Your Reading Eyes, It's Gonna Be a Long One

Another awesome weekend. Made no less awesome by the fact that it started on Thursday (meaning that I worked a total of 7 days in the last two weeks).

I'll spare you the details of the Thanksgiving feast. It was pretty typical- family, friends, food. It's nice to have one holiday that isn't so much about blatant commercialization. Just about gluttony in the food sense. I'd kill myself if I had to listen to Thanksgiving carols or buy T-day presents. Even if the origins of the holiday are a little sketch, it's nice to have an excuse to get together with good people and recognise how lucky we really are. It's just a shame we can't be so thankful all year round.

5 Things I'm Thankful For This Weekend
1. My wonderful family and great friends
2. Not being anywhere near a mall on Friday
3. That there is still some spectacular wilderness left in Utah
4. Heated bathrooms at campgrounds
5. Cute park rangers that look a little bit like Casey Affleck with a beard.

Friday is when the awesome really starts. Early in the morning Dad and I packed up and headed out to Canyonlands for our annual Thanksgiving weekend camping trip. Can you believe we've indulged this insanity for 11 years! Who in their right mind goes camping in November? Anyway, as we approached Moab we noticed the clouds getting darker and the mesas in the distance were covered with something that we refused to acknowledge as snow. When we stopped in Moab for lunch it was snowing. We decided to keep going anyway- a little snow wasn't going to stop us! We're hearty adventurers (or something like)!

The closer to Canyonlands we got, the deeper the snow.
Not exactly great for camping. Even if the sun came out and melted the snow, and we managed to find someplace clear and not muddy for the tent, hiking around in the sludge would have been less than fun. So we turned around and headed back to the visitor's center in Moab to check on the weather and form a new plan.
We ended up camping in Arches. The problem with Arches is that is has become incredibly popular and touristy over the years. It's still a beautiful park, but it's full of people. We don't like people. In fact, on Friday night the campground was full. We're used to being one of maybe five people at the campground when we venture out on these trips. Anyway, it was still really fun, if a little cold. The sky cleared up a bit just before sunset and the rest of the weekend was sunny and clear and perfect.

Saturday after a chilly breakfast we set out to find a hike away from the multitude of people with cameras. (By the way, nothing is more "fun" in the morning than putting on frozen deodorant) Years and years ago when my dad was down in Arches by himself, he found a route up to the top of the Great Wall. We decided to replicate this little adventure. It's not a real trail so we were pretty sure we wouldn't run into anybody else. We spend the day playing around on top of the plateau- climbing out to the ends of sandstone fins and peering down into slot canyons. The entire time there was no sign whatsoever of other people. No footprints, nothing.

We also came across this very strange set of tracks:
It's not terribly clear in the picture, but there are two parallel lines in a wave pattern. They go on like that for 10-15 feet before disappearing onto sandstone. They almost look mechanical, they're so perfect. There were no footprints anywhere nearby like you would see with a lizard or rodent. It's was like there were two snakes doing some sort of synchronized slithering. When we got down, we asked three different rangers (one of whom was the Casey Affleck look-a-like) what might have made them, and none of them could figure it out. Best guess? Aliens. Red ones. From the comet. With RC cars. (if anyone who reads this has any better guesses please share them!)

After an extremely spectacular moonrise, we went into Moab for dinner. We ate at Poplar Place- the food was ok, the waitress' hair was anachronistic, the heater seemed to be broken. After food, we decided to wander around town a little. We came across a sign that read
Cowboy Poetry
Free 7:00
One block
Eh, why not? So one block late we found ourselves in a little auditorium looking at a microphone, red curtains and a 30 year old amp. There was a pretty good crowd (including Affleck Ranger Guy). The poet was ok. A bit of a ham, but that's what Cowboy Poetry is all about. He was also a little effeminate, which lent a bit of a Brokeback feel to the show. We stayed for about half.

Sunday morning after packing up the car we set out up Courthouse Wash in search of the rather difficult to find Tunnel. We had a general idea of where it was and some basic instructions on how to find it from one of the rangers we talked to on Saturday. Even so, it took about 20 minutes of wandering around the genral area before we spotted the entrance. I have to say it's pretty fucking cool. It is, well, a tunnel. It's about 15 feet long and about 4 feet high, totally naturally made (by water). It's amazing the things that nature comes up with. You probably wont appreciate the coolness unless you actually go there. Just a description doesn't really cut it, neither do the pictures.

Top 5 Really Cool Things I've Seen/Done in Southern Utah
1. Peekaboo/Spooky canyons in Grand Staircase
2. Spring Canyon in Capitol Reef
3. Rappel off the mesa into Park Avenue in Arches
4. The view of Capitol Reef from Devils Backbone (I think that's what it's called)
5. The Tunnel in Arches

And that about covers it. Don't you wish your weekend was as fun as mine? Most people get a bit turned off by the cold, but it's totally negligible next to the awesomeness of everything else we did.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Plague of Ducks

Let me tell you about my awesome weekend.

Thursday evening I flew to Vegas with my friend, Val. Arrakis, Johnny, and Cheng met us at the airport and we all crammed into Johnny's little car and went to check into our hotel by way of In-n-Out burger. We stayed at Circus Circus. But not in the main building. We had a room in the Manor buildings out on the back side of the property. The room was (in theory) non-smoking, but it smelled like stale cigarettes anyway. By the end of the weekend, it also smelled like five twenty-somethings who spent the whole weekend walking around Vegas drunk. In other words, it smelled like Death.

After we dropped all our stuff in the room and had a few drinks, we headed out into the night. We walked up the strip from our room to.... well, we walked a lot. I think we finally turned around at The Flamingo. Occasionally, we'd go into some casino or other and play some penny slots. On the way back to Circus Circus (hereafter known as CC, because I'm too lazy to type the whole word), I found a mannequin leaning up against a rock. It was obviously stolen from somewhere and then abandoned. Naturally, I rescued it from it's fate of abandonment and probable dumpsterhood. I think the most entertaining part of the evening for us (and many a passerby) was me carrying a naked mannequin down the street. Her name is Janene and she lives with Cheng now.

Friday morning I was the first to wake up (at 11:30) and take a shower. By the time everyone else was up and ready to go, it was probably 1 or 2 in the afternoon. Val had to write a paper so she went off to the business center and the rest us went off to Slots-A-Fun across the street for 1/2 lb, 99¢ hot dogs for lunch (don't worry, we brought one back for Val. We wouldn't let her starve). They were huge. They were disgusting. They were not for the weak of stomach. They were awesome.

After lunch, we wandered around CC wile we waited for Val to finish her paper. Eventually we landed on the bleachers for the free circus show that they put on. We saw two good acts and one really silly one. The first act was a clown who did some Chaplin-esque hat tricks and then some amazing tricks with a
Diablo. Following the clown was an act with three acrobats. Their main gimmick involved the guy balancing a big post on his head or shoulder and then one of the women would climb up the pole and do some crazy balancing thing. It was much more exciting than it sounds. The fine feat for this trio was incredible; One chick climbed to the top of a pole, attached herself to it by her hair and then spun around really really fast like a helicopter blade. It made my head hurt just looking at it. The last act was some guy with a pony tail who spun a net and held on to a couple ropes while he flew around the stage. Very anti-climatic after super-hair-girl.

When Val finally finished her paper, we set off for Fremont Street for some gigantic drinks and cheap gambling. I think the drinks are called yard-long margaritas, or something, but only Arrakis actually had a margarita in her giant glass. I had an orange thing that was made with a lot everclear. Needless to say, I was pretty wasted by the time I finished about half of it (we started drinking in the room before hand so this was strong fruity drink on top of a pleasant vanilla-vodka-coke buzz). For dinner we had the buffet at the Plaza. I hear it was rather tasty. I was so full (and drunk) from my three foot high orange thing that all I could manage to eat was a cheeseburger. It was a waste of a perfectly good smorgasbord of food stuffs. We spent the night wandering around playing slots and collecting mardigras beads from scantily clad women in feathered headdresses. I won ten dollars in nickels at one point. None of us were able to finish our giant drinks. We all stumbled back to the room and passed out around 2 am.

Saturday we got a little bit earlier start. We had lunch at Makino- a sushi buffet; all you can eat for $15. It was actually really good, but I'm not sure I could handle eating that much food ever again. After lunch we took the bus down to the far end of the strip to do all the touristy stuff. We went to M&M world. We tried 12 different kinds of Coke from around the world at the Coca-Cola store. Cheng, Val and I rode the roller coaster at New York New York (It was really fun, but not worth $14 dollars). We got Eiffel Tower shaped drinks at The Paris. We watched the fountains at The Belagio. We went in the Belagio to see the Chihuly ceiling and the gardens. Then we made our way over to Ceasar's Palace for some more gambling and drinks before the best part of the entire trip (for me anyway).

At 10:00 we saw
Eddie Izzard!!!!!! He was there as part of the Comedy Festival that was going all weekend. I can't even tell you how much I love this man! He is hilarious beyond all reason. If you have never heard of him, go forth and seek him out. There are some very entertaining snippets on YouTube from some of his DVDs. Seriously though, by the end of his act my face hurt from laughing. But wait it gets better! Later while we were hanging out in the casino, he walked right by us!


The tragic thing is my camera battery died back at the Belagio. I did get a picture with him (yes! me and Eddie Izzard) on my phone, but it is a crappy picture. He was also wasted beyond all reason and told me he was going to pass out. Also shorter than I expected. Maybe that's why he's so into wearing heels. But the point is I met him. He put his arm around me (for the picture)! I was so excited I nearly cried. If I had died right then, heaven (like I would get in) would have paled in comparison.

Do I even have to talk about the rest of the trip? Fine.

After MEETING EDDIE IZZARD (*ahem* sorry), we met up with Troy and one of his co-workers (Joy) who flew in from AZ while we were at the show. The 7 of us frittered the night away at Caesar's Palace and Treasure Island (TI, if you're cool). We all sort of wandered back to the hotel in shifts. Val and I left Troy and Joy at the roulette table around 3 am and walked back to CC. On the way we met two charming chaps from England. They were difficult to understand but fun to talk to. Nothing particularly exciting happened with that, but it was a pleasant way to end a super fantastic night.

Sunday we woke up much earlier than any of us wanted to, packed up and checked out. We met Troy and Joy for breakfast at the CC Cafe (really not very good, but convenient) then headed out of town by way of a porn store (why not?). I have to say that the ride back was not very comfortable. Johnny drives a sion, which is a very nice car, but not at all comfortable when you have to share it with four other people and a mannequin. I'm a bit stiff and sore from the ride.

We got back to SLC around 11. I'm tired as anything today and not too thrilled to be at work. Still, it was a great trip. I can find nothing to complain about.

As a side note, the bookstore called on Friday. They just left a message to call back, which I will do today. Perhaps I gave up on that job a bit too early.
Update 3:45: The bookstore offered me a part time job at $1.50 less an hour than I'm making now. I had to turn it down- I can't really afford to do that. I guess I could stay full time here, or drop down to 3/4 time, but I barely have time to get everything done and have a life as it is. Oh no! Now I'm thinking about it, I'm regretting turning it down. I've just remembered that I hate my job and working at a bookstore would be really fun. Crap!

Thursday, November 15, 2007


My weekend of excess begins in just a few hours! It's Vegas, baby, and it's where I'm going. Morals and scruples be damned! I'll be good next week. Now, If the next three hours of work would just hurry up and go by.

I am also quite excited for next weekend, being the weekend after Thanksgiving, because I'm going camping. It's sort of a tradition I have with my Dad. We pack up leftover turkey and head out to the desert. It's often been cold and occasionally unbearably so, a few times it even snowed, but it has never not been fun. This year we're going to Canyonlands.
Hooray for weekends well spent.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


I found a site that evaluates your blog and tells you how educated your readers need to be to get it. I apparently write smart(ish).

cash advance

Although, there are some pretty dumb college students. I have had classes with a few of them.

I have to wonder how it is determined though. What makes my blog smarter than Pajiba? That site only got a Jr High level.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Pagans Rock

If you ever have the opportunity to see Stravinsky's Rite of Spring performed live by a good orchestra, I highly recommend taking advantage of that opportunity. It is a piece full of so much energy and vigor that it's as interesting to watch as it is to listen to. I had the pleasure of experiencing the awesomeness of Stravinsky on Saturday.

A long time ago I joined a group called Vivace Uncorked. Their website doesn't really do much to explain what they're all about, but basically they're a group that funkifies the classical performing arts and makes them a little more appealing to 20/30 somethings. Through this group I got discounted tickets, plus they had an after party at one of the swankiest "private clubs for members" around.

Not only was the music incredible but the après musique gathering was quite fun as well. The "smorgasbord" of food (appetizers, ours devours, dessert. And smorgasbord is how it was described on the ticket. I love it!) was all extremely delicious and I met some interesting new people. Well, at least one interesting new person. I met others, but I'm not sure how interesting they really are. The next after party is at a local brewery, which will be more conducive to mingling and therefore to making new friends.

The point is, classical music=good time. I recommend everyone (in the area) check out Vivace and maybe attend an event or two.

In other news:
I still have a lingering cough and a little stuffiness. I need to get over this by Thursday because....

I'm heading to Vegas this weekend. (Viva Las Vegas! <-- that is me singing)

The bookstore thing didn't work out. Oh well. I'll still keep my eye out for a new and interesting job. Of course, not much else would allow me to devote so much time to my blog. I would hate to disappoint my adoring audience.

I spent 20 minutes trying to figure out how to put and accent on the e in après. I'm kind of excited that I know how to do it now. Don't make fun of me and say it's not that hard and I should have already known how. That's not nice. But I can also now do this: ¿ © ¢ ñ ... and several other symbols as well. Ha ha foreign alphabets are my bitch!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I've Changed My Mind

It's not a sinus infection, just a cold. And I'm actually feeling a bit better today. I think it helps that I went to bed last night at 9. I'm still stuffed up quite badly, but the pressure is not so bad. Plus my nose is not running as much as yesterday. I guess something in the mass amounts of home-remedies I've been using is working.

I still haven't heard from the bookstore. But I'm not worrying about it so much today. Part of that is because the thingies in my brain are firing slower than normal so thinking about anything is difficult.

I've discovered that I spell much worse when my head is stuffed. You may not be able to tell because I get it right eventually (thanks much to spellcheck). But I have noticed. There are a few words that I have type 5 times because I'm not sure how to spell them.

I bet you are really interested in reading that. Sorry. I'm not in a great state to be writing interesting and intelligent things. Please bear with me until I get back to my lovely, witty, charming self.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Big Badda Boom

I feel like my head's going to explode.

Sinus infection?

Monday, November 05, 2007

Is it 5 yet?

The bookstore is supposed to call me sometime today or tomorrow and let me know about that job. I'm kind of obsessing about it.

The thing is, I'm not sure I can afford to work there. At the interview, C said that she wouldn't be able to match my salary now. Because of the nature of the job, there's no guarantee that I will even get as many hours and I have now. Plus, everyone they hire now is technically just seasonal so there's no guarantee that I would have a job past January.

I could live with a slight pay cut probably. Even with a small cut in hours. I dislike my current job that much. Granted, it would make things really difficult since I'm moving out in January (finally) and am going to have a lot more expensis.

It's the last bit that really gives me pause. If I take that job and it only lasts for a month or two I will be Screwed, with a capital S (hhm, that turn of phrase doesn't work as well when it's written down). Of course, there are things I could do to create some job security, but I wouldn't have a lot of time to get established.

We'll see. It's hard to say for sure what I'll do because they haven't even made an offer yet. I'm kind of stressing about it though. I really need to get out of the job I have.

Wooo! 5:00 is only 10 minutes away now. Sweet!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Halloween Gods are Smiling Gimacing at Me

What a great day it is!!! No wonder Halloween is my favorite holiday.

This morning I discovered that a paper I thought was due Monday is actually due Friday. This is really good because I didn't actually turn it in on Monday. I was going to make up a really good excuse for its lateness, but now I don't have to.*

I'm wearing saddle shoes. It's fun. I dressed as a 1940's hep cat chick. I makes me want to go swing dancing though. God, I miss that.

At work for lunch we had a pot-luck thing so I actually got to escape the isolation of the front desk and mingle with the other people who work here. It makes my job slightly less draining to actually, you know, interact with people. Now that I think about it, it makes a normal day feel that much more draining and soul sucking. But there is this to make me smile about it:

Not that I would actually stab my boss. El Douche maybe. Still it's amusing.

When I went past the break room on my way back to my prison desk, I commented that there was enough food to last us quite a while if there was a zombie invasion and we all had to hole up downstairs. I love being a geek.

Speaking of Zombie invasions (and me being a geek), check this out and be afraid, be very afraid.

*I know my Dad reads this sometimes so I would like to take this footnote to hypnotize him into not remembering that bit about me not turning in a paper on time. And anyway, it all works out in the end. Dad, you are getting sleepy, very, very sleepy....


Myspace Graphics - Happy Halloween

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Halloween: Good WitchHalloween: Good WitchHalloween: Good WitchHalloween: Good Witch

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketPhoto Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Monday, October 29, 2007

Workin' 9 2 5

Good news!
I have a job interview on Wednesday.

Wait... don't I already have a job?

Yes. But it is not a fun job. I have sometimes come home completely exhausted because I was so bored at work. Plus... well, the other day (at work) I made a list of 26 reasons why my job sucks.

Is it really that bad?

I guess not. That is, all 26 reasons were valid, but I was sort of nit picking. The interview I'm going to is for a bookstore though. Yes, it would be retail again (I dislike my current job so much I miss retail), but a part of it would be doing Storytime which would be super cool. Plus (you may have noticed) I'm a bit of a bibliophile so working with books is going to be awesome for me.

Good for you. Wait, Wednesday is Halloween.

I know. The only sad thing about this interview is it gets in the way of dressing up too much for my favorite holiday. This:

is not exactly going to make a good, proffessional impression. Although the sword might help things a little. Hmmmm.

Oh well, I will still dress up a little because we have a costume contest at work and I cant not dress up at all. Nothing too elaborate though. And I'll change for the interview.

Anyway, wish me luck on Wednesday.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Sympathy fo rthe Devil

Here's a thought:

We could rid the world of evil if only we could cure boredom.

I'm sick enough of twiddling my thumbs at work that I have started plotting. Nothing serious yet, but give me time.

P.S. Hooray for two posts in one afternoon.

Feild Mice, Head Lice, Spiders in the Kitchen

Don't think twice 'bout whatever keeps you itchin'

This weekend is the unofficial Halloween, the bestest best holiday ever! I'm super excited to dress up and hit the parties. On Wednesday (the real Halloween) there's a petit fete at work - a pot-luck costume contest thing.

All Hallows Eve has been my favorite holiday for, like, ever. It surpassed Christmas by the time I was 7. I just love dressing up, and the free candy was always grand too. Why don't I get free candy anymore?

Anyway, in the spirit of all things spooky, I treat you all with this:

Bonus points for anyone who can name the song that the headline is from.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Existential Stripping

It is possible I've spent too much time on

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Moving Foward Using All my Breath

I'm rocking out to the hits of the eighties today at work. Why? Because they rock. And because on my way back from lunch I pulled up next to a car that was playing Just Can't Get Enough by Depeche Mode and it got stuck in my head.

This week random songs have very easily lodged themselves in my brain in such a way that they stay there for hours. Earlier I read something stupid on some webpage or another about the Backstreet Boys that casually (in a sarcastic sort of way) mentioned their song "I Want it That Way." I am loathe to admit it, but I didn't totally hate the Backstreet Boys back in Jr High. Apparently somewhere deep in my subconcious the thirteen-year-old me lurks still listening to the music of decades past. I was appalled to find out that, not only did I remember the tune of that horrible ditty, but I actually know most of the words.

I'm afraid I have now lost all musical credibility. I hang my head in shame, and protest: I have good stuff on my i-pod, really! I swear I have good taste! The music I listen to is edgy, eclectic, unique and... not by pop tarts.

Isn't it sad though that so much of my memory is taken up by lyrics to horrible pop songs? That may be one of the worst side-effects of high school. It was impossible to avoid hearing a number of songs that are just dreadful. Not only was I not old enough to have more discerning taste, but I still listened to the radio and went places (like school dances) where the featured entertainment was top 40 tripe. I also have a tendency to remember lyrics really easily. Especially with pop songs with their simple verses. There is probably a dusty part of my brain that still knows every word to "Ooops I did it Again" and every single song by the Spice Girls that got radio play. It's not my fault. I blame the goat!

At least now I know better. And I only dance around and sing along to the Spice Girls when I'm sure no one is looking.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


My little bro is brilliant.
Let me tell you why.
He gots himself some ink last week yo.
It's the illest tat eva:

Yes, it is real. When he first announced it, none of us believed him. But when I looked closely it had all the signs of a real life tattoo. You can't really tell from this picture (which I took with my phone so it's not great quality), but it's on his fore-arm, just below the elbow.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Lost Language

Some of the things that Manic wrote about on his little website yesterday (oh, he posted it on Tuesday, but I read it yesterday) really made me think about my own Writing and how little I've been doing lately. He doesn't really talk about writing much, but he mentions his process (third paragraph) and the way he describes it made me hunger for metaphor. I suddenly realised that I've been forgoing Writing much longer than I should.

I should explain what I mean by Writing. I don't mean the silly little anecdotes and quips that I write either here or in e-mails or for school or even in my journal. I do that kind of writing everyday and while there is something to be said for getting something down on paper (so to speak), it just doesn't count. There's too much casualness and informality to this kind of writing. What I've been neglecting is really constructed, careful, meaningful, perfectly formed Writing. The sort of composition that makes the best poetry and stories.

I used to Write every day- on top of e-mails and journals and letters and such- but due to a serious case of writer's block, I got out of the habit. Now I've recovered from the block, but I'm out of the habit of getting things out of my head, so I now have a massive population of poems and words and phrases floating around inside of me. I feel like I've lost some of my talent at translating them. Whenever I pick up a pen, everything tries to come out at once and nothing is quite as good as it was in my mind. I lose my courage and walk away.

Part of the problem is that I hold myself to a very high standard. Anyone who has ever heard me rant about "poets" knows part of the reason. Poetry, especially, is so deeply personal and there are so many "poets" out there who are so posturing and pretentious that their poetry (which is usually terrible) gets lost behind their image. I'm loathe to bring an imperfect poem into the world because I want to just be someone who writes poetry. I want my image to get lost behind my poems; that can't happen if they're just a bunch of empty bullshit. So I hide from Writing even though I know all it would take is consistency and some steady work at editing to produce some satisfactory pieces. Now there's so much backlog in my head that the idea of wading through it all is absolutely daunting.

It's high time I got over this! No excuses anymore! I'm going to Write something everyday. I'll force myself if I have to (and I'm sure I will) until I get back in the habit. I'm in dire need of a language laxative (gross). They say that real Writers simply need to write- it's part of who they are. How true it is! I feel like I've lost part of myself since I haven't been Writing. It's time to find Me again.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Book Meme

I don't often do "memes". Or, rather, I don't often call them memes. Anyway, I like this one.

These are the top 106 books most often marked as "unread" by LibraryThing's users (as of 30 September 2007). As usual, bold what you have read, italicise what you started but couldn't finish, and strike through what you couldn't stand. Add an asterisk to those you've read more than once. Underline those on your to-read list.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights*
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi : a novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice*

Jane Eyre
A Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler's Wife
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian : a novelA Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead
Foucault's PendulumMiddlemarch
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
Angels & Demons
The Inferno
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility

The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver's Travels
Les Misérables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela's Ashes : a memoir
The God of Small Things
A People's History of the United States : 1492-present
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake : a novel

Collapse : How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics : a Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an Inquiry into Values
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity's Rainbow
The Hobbit*
In Cold Blood : A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers
Bastard out of Carolina

For those who like to keep track, that's 30 that I've read and 20 that are on the list. My to-read list is quite long (the one's mentioned above are just a fraction thereof). I'm a bit overwhelmed actually.

Friday, October 12, 2007


I am in desperate need of some sentience.

I feel like I've been rushing around lately. There's been so much to do and I've been trying to do it all. I've managed pretty well, I guess. I admit that there are a few things I haven't gotten to and a few friends I haven't seen enough of. I feel almost like I have to schedule simple get togethers weeks in advance because I'm just so busy.

It doesn't help that my job is so exhaustingy boring. Most evenings I leave the office completely drained and all I want to do is stretch out on the living room rug and stare at the ceiling. Plus I'm so isolated at work, it's hard to suddenly switch over to social mode. Maybe I should start talking to myself, just so I don't completely lose the art of conversation. What I really need is a new job- one where I can actually get to know interesting people. And I am looking. I've even applied a couple places. But I digress.

Lately I've been caught up in the rush and I just need a break. So I'm going to be completely anti-social this weekend. I just want to stay still and not go anywhere. I'm going to lounge around the house and read, maybe write a little, just stay still.

Besides, I have have some homework to catch up on and I think I may be coming down with a bit of a cold. A little stillness will be good for me. Next weekend I'll get back to having a life, but this weekend I'm introverting.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

I hereby declare today a good day!

I have a slice of pie. I am happy. Yay pie.

It is pumpkin, by the way.

P.S. Halloween is coming up. Yay halloween!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite

Last night I saw Across the Universe with my family. This movie hasn't gotten very good reviews, but I thought it was mostly good. It may have been better if 5 or 6 songs had been cut. But I'm a fan of The Beatles and, for the most part, the movie treated their music quite well. It was on par with just about any other movie centered on music and a worthwhile geek-fest for any fan of the Fab Four.

On a completely different note:
I don't pay much attention to politics. I do listen to NPR in the morning and sometimes on my way home from work, so I have a general idea of what it going on, but I rarely form an opinion. Concerning a certain Senator from Idaho, this made me chuckle:

Friday, October 05, 2007


So... Cute FedEx Guy has a name. And a myspace page.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Down With Censorship

It is Banned Book Week!

Go out and read yourself a banned book.

"What book should that be?" you ask.

"I don't know any banned books. Why would I want to read that filth anyway?" you continue.

That's it, we're not friends anymore. I personally think that banning books should be a crime. Books are a wonderful way to safely experience extraordinary things. They provoke the imagination and stretch the mind. A book that contains controversial material is one of the best kinds of books because it does evertything I just mentioned but it also can open up dialogue about something that needs to be talked about. It is not filth! I slap you upside the head for saying so.

"Oh. I'm an idiot. I will read TEN banned books to make it up to you. But I still don't know which books have been banned." You say, with your head hung in shame.

You might want to start with the most challenged book of 2006: And Tango Makes Three a true story about gay penguins at Central Park Zoo.

Since you're going to read TEN banned books, you should check out this list of the 100 most challenged books from 1990-2000. I have personally read exactly half of the list. Seriously, I just counted. Check out #88 though. What is controversial about that book?

Happy Reading!

2007 Banned Books Week: Ahoy! Treasure Your Freedom to Read and Get Hooked on a Banned Book

Amendum: I totally lied. Due to a very silly mistake on my part I miscounted the number of books I've read on that list. It's actually only 25. I am a shmuck.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Saga Continues

When we left our heroine, she was in the hospital starting treatment for WG. And now, boys and girls, the story continues.

I was in the hospital for a total of ten days. Friends visited bearing gifts (the best thing I got was a bunch of oranges. They were do delicious, especially when all I had to eat was hospital food), I was asigned a social worker who I was snotty and mean towards, I watched a lot of movies, and I slept a lot. On the ninth day, I was well enough to go home but I was anemic and needed a blood transfusion. Of course, as soon as they told me this, someone came in to take more blood- I thought it was funny.

A blood transfusion is one of the most uncomfortable experiences I've ever had. It looked like black-cherry soda going into my arm and it was painful. The blood was cold so I could actually feel it inside my arm until it warmed up to body tempurature. Internal cold feels like a sharp ache. It's not fun.

Finally I was released. I wasn't allowed to go back to school for another week because my immune system was not up to snuff. I did go in to talk to my teachers one day around the time classes let out. I'll never forget the look on my friends' face when they saw me walking down the hall. It was possibly one of the best moments of my life.

The first week out of the hospital I was still sleeping most of the time. Some days I would only be able to stay awake for about two hours. The second week it was back to school. I had to drop most of my classes (thankfully I was a senior and had finished the classes I needed for graduation) because I couldn't handle being at school all day. Things settled into a routine of classes, pills, doctor apointments, IV treatments and sleep. At least my nose stopped bleeding. I suffered huge weight gain and "moon face" at the hands of prednisone (I hate hate hate that drug!).

Life went on. Eventually the doctor appointments were farther apart and the doses of medication got smaller. The physical affects of the disease dissipated, but the mental and emotional trauma continued. I was 17 fror fuckssake, and this completely disrupted my life. Not only did I nearly die at the age when we're supposed to feel like we're infalible and going to live forever, but my entire life plan was thrown off. I had never considered not going away to college right after high school, but it was suddenly not an option. I watched my life as it should be go on without me while I was stuck at home being sick.

I had to completely re-define myself. I could no longer be the energetic, outgoing, do-everything girl I always was; I would literally crash for days if I tried to do half of what I normally would. I had to learn to pay close attention to how tired I was and what was going on with my body. At 17, I had to suddenly think like a 50 year old (I think that's more or less exactly how my doctor put it).

It has been 5 years since I was diagnosed. It took two years to reach remission physically. Mentally, I only recently really came to terms with everything. I finally feel like I can handle what this means for my life. I have found the balance between hyper-vigilance and negligence. As traumatic and difficult as everything has been, in some ways I'm glad it all happened. The whole ordeal has really shaped who I am today. Of course I wouldn't be unhappy if I never had to worry about it ever again, but my life would be much less rich without it. And it's a comfort to know that I've been through all this shit, and I survived. That kind of strength is bound to come in handy sometime in life, right?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

My Story

As promised, here is my personal tale of the Wegener's Granulomatosis beast! Some of it may be stuff I've already talked about in previous posts, but you'll get over it.

Once upon a time, or more precisely, sometime probably in November of 2001, I had a cold. It was a typical coughy sneezey uckiness that colds usually are, but it lingered a bit longer than it should have. After a while, I went to my doctor and he gave me anti-biotics. Funny thing was, the cold didn't improve. In fact, in got worse. I was tired and woozy all the time with a persistent cough. And I was having nosebleeds just about every day.

Nosebleeds are not a new thing for me- I've gotten them my whole life, especially in winter when the air starts to get a little bit drier and colder- so these didn't cause much concern at first. They started lasting longer and longer though and occurring two or three times a day. I was a little worried (and frustrated, 'cause you really can't do anything while your nose is bleeding), but when I mentioned it to my parents, they dismissed it. I had seen doctors about nosebleeds before, and they have never been very concerned or helpful.

Since my cold wasn't getting any better, I went back to my doctor who gave me another antibiotic. When he looked up my nose, like they do, he started a bleeder. After I bled in his office for about 15 minutes with no sign of it letting up, he sent me across the hall to the Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) guys. They managed to get the bleeding to mostly stop and then cauterized some bits of my nose. On my way out the door, it started bleeding again. So I went back in the chair and the ENTs cauterized some more. Again, as we were leaving, it started bleeding again, but there wasn't much tissue left to cauterize so we just left.

The end of December and the beginning of January are kind of a blur for me. I was still coughing all the time. I couldn't get a full nights sleep because I would wake up at 3 or 4 in the morning with a bloody nose that would last an hour or more. On New Year's Eve, I had plans to go to a party, but around 9 I fell asleep on the couch and slept there until 1:30. I slept through the big moment! I hadn't done that since I was 6.

When school started after winter break, I had a hard time getting through the days. One day, my nose started bleeding in the middle of my first period math class. I spent the next hour and a half bleeding in the bathroom. I just barely made it to my next class before it ended and I went home after that. I was light-headed from loosing all that blood, and I was tired (the normal state for me those days).

The nosebleeds started coming with pain. My nose hurt all the time, so I took ibuprofen for that. Not such a good idea in retrospect, as ibuprofen is a blood thinner and I was, you know, bleeding a a lot. It was a good day if I only bled for half and hour.

The week I went to the hospital, I went to school on Monday and came home before first period. I slept all day and went back for play practice. I had a fairly decent role in Macbeth and I didn't want to lose it. The next day I slept all day and just made it to rehearsal; the director ran through my scene really quickly and then sent me home. I didn't make it at all on Wednesday.

Wednesday night I had another nose bleed that lasted 2 hours. I was in tears from the pain and the frustration and the lack of sleep. My parents called my doctor (at 1 am) and he told us to go to the emergency room at Primary Children's Hospital in the morning. So on the morning of January 10, we did. At the ER, they ran some tests and took a chest x-ray. There were spots on my lungs so they said it might be pneumonia, but my other symptoms didn't make sense with that diagnosis. They decided to check me in and run some more tests. Once in my room, I called the drama teacher and told him I was in the hospital and wouldn't be at rehearsal. I also called my friend Cory, who I was supposed to go to Jr Prom with that Saturday and told him I couldn't go.

The next few days I barely remember anything. I slept most of the time. I was on morphine for the pain in my nose. Twice a day someone would come it and take blood for more tests. I must have seen every doctor in the area, but I was so out of it, I had no idea who they were or what they were doing. Finally Dr. Bohnsack figured it out. All the signs pointed to Wegener's, but he recommended doing a biopsy of some of the tissue in my nose just to be sure. So into surgery went I.

After the biopsy, my nose was packed with gauze all the way up to my brain (or so it seemed). I looked like Marcia Brady after she got hit with the football. The results came back positive. I remember not really understanding what it meant, but both my parents broke down when the doctor told them, so I knew it was really bad. The only thing I could relate Wegener's to at the time was AIDS, the only other auto-immune disease I had ever heard of. Naturally I freaked out.

I started treatment right away. I wont go into what it was, because I did that in my post yesterday. Actually, I think I may stop here for now. This post has been awfully long. I'll continue the story tomorrow.