Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Right, So I'm a Wuss

Got home from work today and the temperature inside was 57 degrees.

The heat's on.

The Scene of the Fog

Waking up at 6 am is pure torture, especially since we have yet to switch on the heat. I swear it dips below 60 degrees in this place as we sleep. But we're not ready to start paying what we've heard are going to be astronomical heating bills, and it's supposed to warm up again, so we're sticking it out. Because we're tough. So we're tolerating the cold. I get home and don sweatshirts and pajama pants and wrap in a huge down-filled blanket. And get into bed. And then I'm totally comfy!

It's not like I'm not used to it - my dad kept the house at 65 degrees all winter. Throughout MICHIGAN winters, people. It was COLD. "Dad, I'm cold!" and "Dad, I can't feel my toes!" were always met with the same response, "Put on a sweater, honey!" Whenever the heat did come on - once in a blue moon - my brother and I would grab blankets or towels or our parents' long robes and fight over who got to stand over the "good" heat register. The bad one was halfway covered by the couch, therefore robbing you of precious heat. We would trap all of that warm air in our blanket togas and get all toasty warm. Seriously, my dad would turn up the heat whenever we asked - which was constantly. But if we touched that thermostat without permission... You'd think the steam coming out of his ears would have warmed the house...

Anyway, it was so cold this morning that it GOT FOGGY when the steam from the shower reacted with the frigid air. It was like my own little science experiment in there. Granted, I was a little worried before I figured out what was happening - I definitely had a "what the hell?" moment.

And then it comes to the worst part of the morning - turning off the shower and counting the seconds until you turn into an ice cube. Most of the time it takes a good thirty seconds for the cold to catch up with you. This morning, it only took four. I've never dried off so quickly!

The scene of the fog...

Monday, October 24, 2005

Shenandoah v.2

No camping this time, though I would have pitched a tent in a heartbeat. Have you ever gone camping this late in year? It's awesome! Of course, make sure you have plenty of blankets -- it gets cold at night!

We hiked in the Matthew's Arm area of the park, about 20 miles south of Front Royal, VA. It was basically a leisurely 45-degree angle walk alerting me to how ridiculously out of shape I really am. And here I thought that walking up and down the metro escalators was exercise enough... Once I got past the searing pain in my thighs and chest, it was quite exhilarating -- especially considering I had only gotten two hours of sleep the night before.

The smell of autumn, though... it was amazing! This time of year is my absolute favorite. Mmmm... sweater weather... Mmmm... cider... Mmmm... donuts...

It was surprisingly chilly, but then again, we were in the Blue Ridge Mountains, so perhaps that was to be expected. Once we got hiking though, we warmed up quickly!

Picked some apples at
The Pumpkin Patch and had dinner at good old Bob Evans. Why is it that I now find biscuits and gravy to be the only acceptable meal when dining there? Or at any diner, for that matter? I'm strange.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Right, so lately I haven't been reading as much as I would like, but I do get some time in during my two-stop commute. You know, like a few pages. Unless it's super crowded or there's a creepy-creep inching too close to me. And Northworst has provided a few hours here and there when I make the hop to Detroit every other weekend :)

Anyway, I've been a member of this fab book club for a few years now - since living in Ann Arbor, I think. Soooo... four or five years? I don't know. I was seduced by the "get six books for a dollar each" dealio, and I got sucked in. I also liked that I could buy naughty books if I so desired, and the guy at Borders wouldn't give me an inquisitive once-over, wondering why someone who looks so young is buying the Kama Sutra (and dammit, what a waste! No pictures! Heh... I mean, what?)

But it's not like the Columbia House CD thing - you don't get stuck with stuff you don't want or have to mail stuff back. They don't make you mail the "main selection" cards back in - you just go online and, clickety click! "please send!," or "no thanks!" And they give you over a month to make a decision.

Of course, I've been burned by forgetting to respond - sort of. The first time this happened, I received two books that I probably would have glazed right over: The Toughest Indian in the World by Sherman Alexie and The Feast of Love by Charles Baxter.

I had to read Alexie for a class in college (American Studies 101: Easiest. 'A.' Ever.), and his tales of life on a reservation were beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. But I had never heard of Baxter. Turns out, he's an English prof at U of M. And The Feast of Love? Easily one of the best books I've ever read. Top five, for sure (and that includes P&P and TKAM). It was wonderful - I've lent it to so many people since then, and it's been well-received by both guys and gals. Definitely not chick lit or whatever you might call it. Since then, I've been a bit disappointed with his other works, as they're mostly about couples cheating on each other or contemplating cheating or divorcing or sadness. A little too depressing, really. But that book, gosh. Let me know if you'd like to borrow it, seriously!

So really, even in the few instances when I forgot to respond in time, I've always been pleasantly surprised with the selections I receive. The club is really up to date on hot new authors and whatnot, so I feel like I am reading all of these great books before the rest of the world has caught up!

QPB is where I discovered some other gems. Memoirs of a Geisha? Read that four years ago. It's going to be a movie soon, and I can't wait! The Eyre Affair? If you enjoy English/American literature, this book is a must-read!

I just finished The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, a fat book I picked up at the used bookstore at Eastern Market - but only because I bought one of his other books from QPB and discovered that K&C won the Pulitzer. And now I know why. It was amazing! Hence the title.

There are way more -- too many to list. They have a fab selection of history, nonfiction, cookbooks, etc. And you get stuff in "early softcover," which is perfect for impatient little-ol'-me.
Try it out!

Monday, October 17, 2005


Oh, how I love you, Nalgene. Look! Look at the cuteness!

I want it!

I have this one, you see - the tiny one (16 ounces):

I just don't think that it is fulfilling my hydrating needs. (Well, really, what it's not doing is being completely adorable by wearing smiley faces).

Flexible. Brilliant!

Started the Flex schedule today. For those of you not in-the-know, this is yet another way that the government allows its employees to slack off even more than they already do (see: here for other worthy examples of federal slackitude). You see, my babies, in a two week period, I will now work eight 9 hour days, one 8 hour day, and I have that second Friday off.


Listen! Let me just tell you how awesome this is.

For example, Veterans Day just so happens to fall on my second Friday. Or, FuckOffDay, if you will. I always thought that the government would force me to forfeit that day, but as it is a lovely federal holiday, I get to take my Flex day the day before. Sweet! Four day weekend, without even trying!

But this is what happens - I wake up at 6 instead of 7 in order to avoid bathroom war with the roommates. I the "work" from 8-5:30 instead of 8:30-5. I really don't see how working one extra hour a day is manually equivalent to an entire day. Well, I mean, obviously the hours are the same in the end. It's just that I pretty much plan on using my first 45 minutes at work to wake my ass up and finish the crossword. And I'm sure that I'll space out several more times during the day (
Yeah, I just stare at my desk, but it looks like I'm working. I do that for probably another hour after lunch too. I'd say in a given week I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual, work).

Long story short, this is a good deal for me. It should help me more productive, not that I need any encouragement,but work to do might be nice. Now, as long as I can avoid falling asleep at my desk again, I should be fine.

Right, you know those squishy "wrist-saver" things that you place in front of the keyboard so you don't get all carpal-tunnel syndromed? Those make awesome headrests. So if my building doesn't do something about the air conditioning blasting into my office, I am going to have to haul a freaking quilt to my office, and being warm will make me fall asleep. And I know where to find a great pillow...

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Tagged. Again.

Here you go, Deals:

The instructions are as follows:
1. Go into your archives.
2. Find your 23rd post.
3. Post the fifth sentence or closest to it.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag 5 other people.


When I was still in grad school, procrastination was an art form.

And, I tag:
1. Emily
2. Lynne
3. Gabester (because I know Deals already got him)


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Potbelly Wishes, Chinatown Dreams

"Hey! Want to meet for lunch?"

"Sure! What'd you have in mind?"

"I don't know... How about the Potbelly in Chinatown?"

"That sounds great - it's right by my work!"

Sound familiar? Doesn't Potbelly sound sooooooo good right about now? The Chinatown Potbelly, especially?

WELL, TOO BAD. Because as of yesterday (or earlier - but who knows? I barely left the house all weekend thanks to that sweet cold/cough thing I had going on), it is a cavernous HOLE on 7th street, forcing me to walk to the Potbelly at 11th and F instead.

But I was, apparently, too wrapped up in my phone convo with the bf to notice that it was no longer a bustling eatery in the heart of Chinatown. I had noticed that the sidewalk was blocked off, however, and I had to go into the street to get around the chaos. But when I was safely off the street and on the remaining sidewalk, I paused, turned around, and suddenly realized that I had just passed my beloved Potbelly. That was now a hollowed out store. With the menu hanging on the wall.


They probably sold the space and made serious BANK. I wonder what will go in next? Maybe an authentic Chinese restaurant! In Chinatown! Heh. Right.

Just a quick question to those of you not accustomed to 60-degree weather: Scarves? Really?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


Man, I sure love me some Simpsons.

Mmm... Unexplained bacon...

This site rocks!