Also, Budweiser still tastes like water.

Things I have learned so far this weekend:

1) Minor league hockey is a riot! Not literally a riot, more like an actual hockey game. But it is fun!
2) U2 will be playing stadiums later this year! You want to go. One of us, one of us...
3) Books rarely make me cry, but when one does it's like being hit by a train in a good way.
4) The Humane Society has way too many dog-walking volunteers on Saturday mornings. It is best to find another day to volunteer, as you will be useless on Saturday morning and go away unfulfilled.
5) It is much more fun to think of Infrequently Asked Questions to put on the library website rather than to update the real Frequently Asked Questions, like you boss asked you to (Q: "Does the library have a disaster plan in place in the event of a hostile alien invasion?"). What questions do you infrequently ask about the library?
6) It is physically possible for me to go into Target and spend less than $20. Unlikely, but possible.

So much learning! And half of the weekend is yet to come. This time tomorrow, what will we know?

In case anyone out there is interested, I have a Twitter account. I don't really understand what it's all about, but sometimes it amuses. Last week Michael Ian Black declared Twitter war on LeVar Burton (yes, LeVar Burton. But don't take my word for it!) because... he felt like it? Not sure exactly where it's going or entirely what it's for, but apparently librarians do these things so I put things on it sometimes and if you have one, you should let me know.


The wind is playing tricks on me.

I've just discovered an interesting thing about my apartment. When the wind is really howling around the building and I'm in my bedroom thinking about going to sleep, it sounds like there are children fighting with each other in the rest of my apartment. Or coyotes. Or zombies coming up the stairs.

You wouldn't think those things would sound anything like each other, but I'm not lying when I say I'm sleeping with my bedroom door locked tonight.

Once this snowpocalypse is over (I think this is the first time I've actually witnessed March coming in like a lion), I'm looking forward to a weekend full of sleep, puppy-walking, and one injury-free hockey game. Did you know that Yellowstone National Park's 137th birthday is on Sunday? I think I'll make a cake.

You canNOT be serious!

I should really be more annoyed about all this.

To add to the absolutely ridiculous luck I'm having so far in 2009 (if you want to know, ask - there are many stories), Facebook has now decided that I am not who I say I am, and has deactivated my account. I've emailed them about this, but they have yet to respond to me and I'm so completely irritated with absolutely everything Internet-related that I might just leave my account deactivated. I'm about ready to be done trying to do things - I'm doing a lot of failing lately, and failing is surprisingly exhausting. You name it, I've failed at it sometime in the last two months, it's probably some sort of record! I should look into that. Maybe this is some kind of test, or karma (sheesh, I must've been an incredible annoyance to somebody), or God having a really funny joke with my relatives in Heaven to see how insane they can make me act before my head explodes. I seriously don't know what's going on, because all this stuff happening now can't possibly be a coincidence.

Of course I'm not actually going to stop trying to do anything. That wouldn't make sense and might not even be possible. I'm going to try to take a shower in the morning, and I made an incredibly successful and delicious avocado sandwich for dinner tonight. I'm just saying that I'm frustrated. The thing is that frustrations never end and there will always be things in your way, and the trick is how you handle it. I think the way I'm going to handle it is to become less dependent on the Internet entirely and instead do things like write people postcards. And take pictures (I still haven't missed a day this year!) of neat things. I should've taken the picture of my tow truck drivers, they were both sort of awesome. Next time I'm stranded, I'll be sure it's with my camera.

I'm going to a hockey game tomorrow night. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I don't get hit in the head with a puck, because the people I'm going with said they'd have to pretend not to know me if I wore a helmet.

How are you?


Also, I was under the impression that today was Tuesday.

I am having problems with my motor skills today. It probably has to do with lack of sleep, but I prefer to assume alien interference. Somehow, I managed to drip soup all down my sleeve (twice) during lunch, and I just stuck a bunch of potato salad in my eye, not realizing it was on my finger.

Potato salad in your eye is not as bad as shampoo in your eye, but it's not something I recommend trying.


In which I am slightly gross, but this is nothing new.

Oh my gosh, guys!

I've been having a really rough couple weeks (what with my car continually trying to kill itself, someone hacking into my PayPal and Gmail accounts to steal what little money I have, and other things I won't mention on the Internet), and it's been frustrating. However, sometime in the night, a miracle happened.

I will now tell you about this miracle.

If you see me fairly regularly and look at my face a lot, you may have noticed that about two years ago I developed a mysterious bump underneath my left eye (or you may not have noticed, don't feel bad). It looked sort of like a pimple, but slightly less gross. Just this weird little hard white bump half an inch below my lower eyelid that hurt a bit when I washed my face. It showed up one morning out of the blue, and I thought it was a pimple, so I left it alone. However, after two weeks, I was beginning to become suspicious.

I poked it with things (ow). I put hot compresses on it (also ow). I tried different kinds of soap and new acne remedies from the extensive collection at the Target pharmacy. Nothing worked. After about a month I accepted that I now had a weird white bump on my face, in the dark circle part of under-my-eye. Because apparently my dark circles needed help looking grosser. Unable to figure out what it was through an extensive search of various docterin' websites (ah, the plight of the uninsured), I decided to call it a bumple.

Lately, I had become rather concerned about the bumple. Throughout the last two years it has varied in size and soreness level. Lately it had gotten bigger than usual and been especially irritated. What if it was a tumah? What if the bumple was actually under-the-eye cancer? What if it got bigger and bigger and started to obstruct my vision?! OH NO I'M GOING TO LOSE MY EYE!!

This morning I blearily went into the bathroom and washed my face as usual. I was putting in my contacts when I realized - The bumple had vanished in the night. There's a tiny little dry-ish area where it was, but the bump part is gone and it is no longer irritating.

I realize this is too much information and you don't care but I am really very excited about it. It was there when I went to bed, and when I woke up... it was gone.


In celebration, please virtually share these cookies I made.



Know what makes a bad day better?

A dog show.

As I have mentioned before, the second word baby Delightfully Mediocre ever said was "Dog." I used to point at dogs whenever I saw one and say (apparently sort of loudly) "DOGDOGDOG!! DOGDOGDOGDOGDOG!!" I still do this on occasion. Never actually got a dog.

When we lived in Virginia (from 3rd-6th grade) there was a cocker spaniel named Sweet Pea who lived next door to us. Sweet Pea spent most of her time before I moved there in a half-open garage attached to an empty house with owners who were never home, so when I got there and gave her attention it must have blown her mind because she never left me alone. People in the neighborhood thought Sweet Pea was my dog. She was over at our house all the time. My mom did not feed her (understandably) but she followed me everywhere (the dog, not my mom). Eventually Sweet Pea went blind, but she could always tell when I was walking home from school and would come out to meet me and we'd hang out. Sweet Pea was the sassiest, bitchenest cocker spaniel ever. That was the closest I ever got to having a dog, and frankly, it was a pretty great arrangement. I got all the benefits of having a dog with none of the expense or cleanup.

I still want a dog. I really, really want a dog. Unfortunately at the moment my foggy future (and current apartment living situation) is not friendly to getting one, particularly the kind of dog I want. My favorite dog show groups are the Hound Group and the Working Group. This is mostly because all my favorite kinds of dogs are in these groups. Also because I just really like big dogs. The Herding Group is also good, since I wouldn't mind having a dog to help motivate me to go running and I hear hearding dogs like to run. It is my goal to one day own a dog that will be taller than the children I may or may not ever have for the first six years of their lives.



Every year at IrishFest in Milwaukee there is a dog parade. This parade is predictably full of Irish Setters and Wolfhounds. Imagine dozens, perhaps hundreds of 100+ pound dogs wandering around amidst thousands of people! It should be chaos, but it is not, because Irish Wolfhounds are the mellowest, sweetest, most awesome dogs I have ever met. (They were bred to hunt wolves! That's nuts! There was some breed in the hound group in the Westminster Kennel Club show that was bred to hunt bears. I was like, "Come again? Bear-hunting dog? That. Is. Sweet." You may also recall that I have a mild and only slightly irrational fear of being eaten by a bear while camping. Or picking plums in Manitoba.) I like to volunteer at IrishFest when I can and one year I was in a booth run by a woman who had a six month old Wolfhound puppy named Bailey. Bailey weighed more than I did. Bailey could easily walk up to the counter of the booth, about the height of a kitchen counter, and had to stoop slightly to rest her head on it. Bailey was just hanging out. Eventually Bailey decided to take a nap in the middle of our very small booth, and didn't mind in the slightest when someone accidentally stepped on her foot. Or that we were continually jumping over the napping dog to get to the stuff in the back of the booth. I want one. A pox on apartment rules regarding dog size (15 lbs?! The Former Roommate had a cat that was 19 lbs once! That's not a dog)!

Someday, I will have a big dog. It doesn't have to be anything specific, it doesn't even need to be a puppy. It could be a mutt. A great big mutt. It doesn't even have to be that big, just big-ish. My big or big-ish dog and I will go riding in my magically non-gas-guzzling Jeep to our favorite hiking spot where we will frolic around in the woods. Then we will camp in my tent, though I will have to purchase a bigger one to accommodate myself and a dog that weighs more than I do, and I will chuckle to myself and say, "This is a one-dog night!" And then the dog will groan at my terrible classic rock joke, we'll play some cribbage before bed, go hiking in the morning before going canoeing and then driving off in the magical Jeep, listening to Gillian Welch and the Kinks, back to my dog-friendly apartment complex. Those will be the days. Of course, I might have to live somewhere warmer because I refuse to be one of those people who puts booties on her dog so it doesn't freeze its feet.

It's almost Valentine's Day. I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to be daydreaming about my future dog.

All puppies are cute, but I believe Mastiff puppies are the cutest puppies. Look at its giant feet! Its floppy ears! Its wrinkly forehead!! AGH. It wants me to hug it.


It's all right, it's all right, it's! All right!

I am a huge U2 fan. I am well aware that U2 is overexposed, overpopular, and not intellectual or deep enough (I defy anyone who says they take themselves too seriously, though. Watch PopMart Mexico City. Or ZooTV Sydney). They have been my favorite band since pre-Achtung days and unless something incredibly bizarre happens, they will remain my favorite band for a long time. If you are reading this, you already know that. What you may not know is that from time to time I forget how much I enjoy U2. One of my favorite things is reminding myself of that.

I've been having a sort of crappy few weeks. Things have just been going wrong and piling on themselves and each other, which is really incredibly frustrating. Yesterday things came to a peak of bad and I had something of a meltdown, involving calling my mother sobbing while in a freezing, non-functional car. When I eventually got home (thanks, strange old guy with no teeth smelling faintly of marijuana!), I futzed around for a while, made myself a fruit salad and sat on the floor in front of my DVDs.

Me: What should I watch? What will help improve my mood?
DVD shelf: How about this?
Me: No Country for Old Men? You are not serious.
DVD shelf: Mmmkay, what about this?
Me: Apocalypse Now? You really don't understand what I'm looking for right now, do you?
DVD shelf: What am I, a mind reader? You always laugh your ass off at the part when Willard and Lance steal the surfboard.
Me: I do love the part when Cap'n Willard steals the surfboard.
DVD shelf: Try this.
Me: I can't watch anything in Japanese. I've been crying and can't read the subtitles.
DVD shelf: Well, Shogun Assassin doesn't have subtitles, it has a terrible voiceover by a horribly frightening child.
Me: Tempting, but no.
DVD shelf: This?
Me: That's better but...
DVD shelf: Come on, it's Flight of the Conchords!
Me: Yeah, but I'm not in a silly enough mood to watch something funny.
DVD shelf: Pan's Labyrinth.
Me: No! Nothing with scary monsters with eyes in their hands.
DVD shelf: Kung Fu Panda.
Me: Ooh, Kung Fu Panda! Except Wired said Kung Fu Panda was for dorks who can't think in their Coraline review, so maybe not today.
DVD shelf: But it's Jack Black!
Me: DVD shelf...
DVD shelf: Ugh. Why don't you just watch Friday's Battlestar Galactica on Hulu?
Me: Are you giving up on me? I'm depending on you, here.
DVD shelf: The Bourne Identity. This is good.
Me: That's not a bad idea, actually... No, Jason Bourne would've figured out a way to start my car despite the fact that it seems to have given up on life.
DVD shelf: The Natural?
Me: That will remind me of baseball season coming up and I don't have money to buy tickets since my CAR IS BROKEN! *sobs*
DVD shelf: Okay, okay, calm down. Sheesh... hmm... Aha! Firefly! You can't possibly object to Firefly.
Me: ...the menus don't have a "play all" option, though...
Me: FINE! I'll do it myself. Wh... what's this on the bottom shelf? Between Top Gun and The Untouchables? It's... it's... OMG U2 DVDs! Yes!

First I put in the Slane Castle DVD, which is amazing. Then I put in the Vertigo in Chicago DVD, which is awesome because I went to that show. Then I put in Elevation 2001 Boston DVD, which would be my favorite U2 tour if not for ZooTV, which trumps pretty much any tour by any band ever. But Elevation was especially good.

This inspired me to dig out the bootleg of the 5.12.01 concert. I put said bootleg into my stereo, thoughtfully put on my giant headphones and turned it most of the way up. You're welcome, neighbors.

Let me tell you about the May 12, 2001 concert. This was the first U2 concert I ever attended. I sobbed for days when I couldn't go to PopMart in Madison (apparently 15 is too young to convince your parents to take you to a concert which you will be attending alone because they certainly won't be going). When ZooTV came around I was eleven and was only vaguely aware of the existence of concerts and certainly had no interest in going to any - even if my favorite band was playing.

Stupid, ten year old self.

So this May 12, 2001 concert came at the culmination of years of longing to see a favorite band and I was particularly excited. It was one of those deals where I truly did not believe I was going to see U2 until they came on stage - I didn't believe it. It's possible MoPo was annoyed with me for a large portion of it and I don't blame her at all, since I'm certain I was fairly obnoxious (particularly for someone on the upper deck of the United Center), but what do you expect from a nineteen year old girl who is seeing her favorite band for the first time ever? Who has just realized that she and Bono are in the same building? And will soon be in the same room?! It's too much! (Sidenote: Until the September 25th, 2005 concert I had convinced myself that I was the kind of person who could be three yards away from Bono and remain perfectly composed, clapping and cheering but not freaking out like a crazy person. I was embarrassed to find that this was not true.)

Last night I listened to the May 12, 2001 Chicago U2 show. Not only was the tour fantastic, this show was completely fantastic. During Stay, Faraway (So Close!) the band brought a guy from the audience named Jonathan onto the stage to play the piano. Bono informed him that "if you're crap, you're off." He was hard to hear during the first verse because he was playing along with The Edge, but he changed things up in the second to go a bit more with the studio version of the song and everyone went nuts because it was perfection. It was a really amazing moment and I'm glad I was there for it. Whenever I listen to other bootlegs from that tour or watch the Boston DVD I feel like something is missing from that show's version of Stay, and then I realize that there is something missing, and it's the piano.

That song started what was the most amazing 30 or so minutes of my concert-going life. Maybe it's because it was my first U2 show or because they sounded so good that night (seriously, the balance on that tour was incredible), but nothing since has matched it or even come close. Those five songs flowed into one another without a pause between them. After Stay they played Bad (which you may be aware is my favorite song of all time ever) - and on the bootleg, you can hear me shriek with joy after half a second of the first sustained chord. Everyone else caught on with what song it was after about ten seconds when The Edge came in, but I had it right then (there may have been a few tears). This went into "40" - which I knew was coming but was incredible because listening to "40" on Under a Blood Red Sky I always wished I'd been along on the Joshua Tree Tour to sing along... and then I was. After that was Where the Streets Have No Name, which is a required favorite for any U2 fan and it's sort of... magic. Streets turned into With or Without You and it was then my brain exploded because I couldn't fit any more awesome into it.

I had to e-mail a dozen different people until I found someone who would send me the boot of that show free of charge (U2 doesn't have a problem with taping as long as people don't charge for the recordings, but it happens), but I'm glad I found it because it made a crappy string of days infinitely better.

(U2 is going on tour in 2009. The rumormill has it starting at Camp Nou in Barcelona which is neat on a number of levels. You can come if you want, but I'll probably still act like a spaz.)

So there you go. If you're having a bad day, listen to a particularly awesome concert with the volume up to 11. It will help.


In which the picture has nothing to do with the content.

I occasionally check my spam folder to make sure nothing interesting is in there. Today I found a piece of mail with nothing but a link, the text of which was "Crisis! And you does feel badly? It is not needed to take a recipe. Come to us!"

Um, no. But thank you.