Sunday, August 29, 2004
Metallica is LOUD. Not as ear-bleedingly loud as I was expecting, but nearly 24 hours later I still notice a bit of a high-pitched whine in my right ear when my surroundings are quiet. The show rocked, and they played a lot of stuff not on their usual setlist because it was the second Chicago show and they were mixing things up a bit. This was great for Mark and other hardcore fans, but I admit it was a little worse for me because I tend to like the stuff the hardcores scoff at. But hey, was still fun! JH is all touchy-feely nowadays, like touring is an exercise in stadium-sized group therapy. Lars had this grungy recluse beard, and I continue to be impressed by Kirk's hair. Godsmack opened and I thought they were really good, especially the drum solos in which they had two drum sets going, with bongos and jungly rhythms. However, their songs mostly sound alike - they either need to branch out, or just stop. And the guys were afraid that because it was indoors, we wouldn't get the topless women like we did at Summer Sanitarium last year...but not to worry. There were so many topless women that it got boring after a while.
Jazzy gave us a scare this morning. His right rear leg sort of gave out on him, and he couldn't get down the stairs or really put any weight on it at all. It faded over a couple of hours, but I'm giving him children's aspirin and making a vet appointment for him. Fingers crossed that it's just a soft-tissue ailment and not something far worse. He's otherwise so healthy and happy, my darling little beany boy.
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Two t-shirts I saw in CCC today:
"I fucked your boyfriend."
"Tell your BOOBS to stop staring at my eyes."
Went to Cubs-Brewers game last night. It rained most of the time, but we were under the upper deck, being taunted by the dessert cart. Cubs won, 13-4, on two Alou homers and a Derrek Lee grand slam, which may have been my first in-person grand slam, making it a truly momentous occasion. We're going again on Labor Day with B., and then of course on my birthday!
Forgot to put on makeup this morning. It was so weird to see myself in the mirror and realize that the wrong Bintie had left the house! Au Naturel Bintie is generally reserved for the grocery store and the vet.
Well, I made it a whole three days into the semester before succumbing to Wendy's siren song. In my defense, I only got a double-stack, and I did *take* yogurt to the lab, I just didn't eat it.
Monday, August 23, 2004
Things that make you go "wha---??"
Strindberg and Helium
Books books everywhere
and all of them half-read.
I have finished cataloging the library, with the exception of textbooks, which I don't see the point in adding (although the dividing line between textbook and not is sometimes fuzzy), and various stragglers that haven't made their way from the first floor to the second. The grand total is just over 700, and I have to admit I'm disappointed because it sure looked like more than that to me. I guess it's time to visit half.com again. I've also mostly finished rearranging the library into a study room. After spending some time in the lab office today, I'm not sure how much space I'll need here for my bio books, since I expect to keep most of them there. I'm probably going to get a short bookcase so I don't feel claustrophobic at my desk, and put Jazzy's chair in front of the closet door because there's just nowhere else for it.
I finished Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix yesterday, and although it was roughly 5,683 pages long, I wished there was more. I keep finding myself being disappointed that I had to go to boring old Rockford public schools instead of Hogwart's, before remembering, oh yeah, fiction, right. I may be forced to dig up some fanfic now, to feed my addiction. It's a long drought before the next book comes out, in paperback no less. Luckily, the GoF movie will be out before then. Ralph Fiennes as Voldemort. Mmmmmmm, the best kind of evil.
Friday, August 20, 2004
And now for something completely different
In the past week, I've become a) unemployed (by choice, so technically not unemployed but rather "not in the labor force"), b) a full-time graduate student, and c) confirmed as one of the planet's worst bowlers. I have also been plunged into a constant state of panic because I don't know what my research will be about. Most of my incoming class also does not know, but it turns out that the Ecology & Evolution folks *do* know, and then there's me, trying to meet other grad students and bumble through the inevitable "So what will you be studying?" question. I spent yesterday on-line, following a stream of consciousness of potential topics from one dead-end to another, and by dead-end I mean someone's already done it. Sometimes something I read triggers a visceral response, a hint of a thought that there's something cool there if I can just zero in on it, but then it doesn't pan out. I desperately need some guidance here. But really, this is a topic for the WILIST blog, not here.
Last days of work were very very busy. I took my crap home slowly over the course of a couple of weeks, so near the end all that was left was some pens that I had brought (I'm picky about my colored pens). I ended up forfeiting a day of vacation to finish up my work, but the good part of that was that the ending was less abrupt and more of a trickling off. A couple of hours after leaving my job, it was like I'd never been there at all, just a strange memory of falling into a job unintentionally along my path towards science-dom. It's clear already that coming from this different background sets me apart from my new classmates, although whether it's in a good way or a bad way has yet to be determined.
Jazzy and Libby found a big ugly possum in the garden last night. It's interesting watching Libby's struggle between wanting to catch the possum and not wanting to cross that fence into Mommy's garden. I had to drag her back to the house and carry her up the stairs, with her quivering and struggling all the while. I tried to flush the possum out but I think it was lying low somewhere behind the spireas and at 11:00 at night, I'm not all that motivated to get the hose. It is interesting, though, that possums don't behave the way we've been taught to think they do. Every child knows one factoid about possums: they play dead when threatened. This factoid, unless tested by actual first-hand knowledge, stays with us our whole lives. I've had the factoid challenged several times here in our backyard, and from what I've seen, the main possum defense is running and hiding, and they only play dead *after a predator catches them*. Maybe not all possums do this, but the Irving Park ones do, and there's nothing more startling to a greyhound than having a mouthful of limp fur. Feh!! Ptui! And off the possum waddles into the underbrush to live another day and hopefully find some tasty triggered mousetraps for dinner.
I'm freezing. It's been so chilly lately, with temps in the 60s. In August!! I'm not actually complaining; I'd much rather have upper 60s than upper 80s. But it does make clothing decisions more difficult.
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
Ready, set, panic!
I give my coworkers *four months notice* and they wait until the last four days to pile on the work? Wtf?!
I have much to relate re: our trip to Colorado last weekend. I also have a strong urge to rant about work, but with only three days to go, it's more productive to just do the stupid work than to bitch about it.
Terrified about school starting up. It didn't help that I got into a big argument with Mrs. Career Civil Service at the ID office when I attempted to get my student ID last week. There must be a huge problem with staff members getting contraband student IDs, perhaps to sell them on the black market. That 10% discount at Greektown Gyros can really add up over time, you know. Mrs. Career Civil Service is our last line of defense against these crimes against humanity, and we owe her a debt of gratitude. I can't wait to talk to her again. Of course, instead of her treating me like crap because I'm trying to put one over on her, she'll treat me like crap because I'm a student. I really can't win...