It would seem that I can't win.

Happy May, everyone!

No, we're going to make a list of good things first:

1) I am wearing leggings for pants right now. This is a good thing as they are very comfortable, but I feel a little like Lindsay Lohan. I think I'll be okay as long as I don't go outside in them and pretend they are actual pants.
2) I had pickles and cheese for dinner. Nutritious? No. Delicious? Yes.
3) Bram Stoker's Dracula is on sale at Target for $5 right now! I got it yesterday before I realized my car is actually still broken. It's a very silly movie, but I like it. It's got the Oldman factor, which goes a long way and in fact completely overrides the Keanu Reeves factor. And then there is the Tom Waits factor - sprinkles on a cupcake, Tom Waits is. One thing you may not know about me is that I went through a pretty ridiculous vampire phase in middle school during which I read little other than Anne Rice and anything else I could find with vampires in it. I think everybody has a literary phase they're not tremendously proud of - that was mine.
4) Speaking of vampires, this sparkly lotion makes me feel like Alice Cullen! More sparkles!
5) My car is very clean. I finally took all the stuff out of it (this was a lot of stuff - a LOT of stuff) yesterday and while it doesn't work, it looks nice.
6) Tomorrow is Friday and I get to leave work at noon due to working last Saturday. Hooray! If I don't drive to see The Boyfriend I will take the car to a fix-it place and then take a nap on my couch.
7) The Office and 30 Rock were new today. Yay!
8) I do not know anyone who has the swine flu. Back, Captain Trips, back! I'm not worried until I see Randall Flagg. It is, however, fun to blame problems on the swine flu. I think my car may have it, as did the networked printers at work this morning.

The book, naturally, about eight thousand times better. Stu Redman was one of my first literary crushes. SHUT UP STU IS THE MAN.

9) Keanu just leaned out the side of the carriage and asked, "I say, is the Castle Aarrrrrrgh?"

Oh no, I rewound it and he actually asked if the castle is far. Bummer. "Perhaps he was dictating!"

That's a little better. It's hard to be too upset when the legendary Black Beast of Argh is in the picture.


80's nostalgia, again.

The other day I mentioned my favorite childhood television shows. Today, I would like to talk about my favorite childhood movies.

My first and most favorite childhood movie was the Disney version of Robin Hood. When I was five, I thought this was just about the most romantic movie of all time, ever. Yes, two foxes gazing into each other's eyes amidst the fireflies and the pretty-good animation is just about the most romantic thing in the world. Yes, ever.

I just checked - I still know all the words to this song. (Ooh, he's going to steal Prince John's underwear! Tee hee!)

Today, I don't really get it. For some reason, this was the Disney movie I latched onto as a child - not The Little Mermaid (which is terrifying and horrible), not Sleeping Beauty, not something a normal child would be obsessed with, no. I had to insist on Robin Hood, the red-headed stepchild of Disney films. My theory is that (as you will see below) I rarely liked movies with people in them. Robin Hood has no people, only foxes and bears and bunny rabbits.

I won't lie, I do have Robin Hood and The Lion King on DVD. These are the only Disney movies I own and I still love them both. As I said, I was really into animals as a kid, which brings me to the next movie...

Benji! I don't remember a single thing about Benji, except that he was a dog and that when I was five he was in a movie called Benji: The Hunted. Seriously. I remember liking that one too, because Benji was lost in the wilderness, and maybe had to fight a bear? In For the Love of Benji, he has to outwit some Grecian spies... or something. He's a dog. I don't know.

This is what I watched as a child. It may explain some things about me, particularly the soft-focus on Benji and his lover-dog. Then again, I don't understand it, so maybe not.

Another movie about dogs that I was way too into was The Incredible Journey. This is not to be confused with Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, which is the remake my sister was totally obsessed with when she was a kid. No, this was the original 1963 version, in which the animals did not talk and instead there was an obnoxious voiceover. Also, there's a Bull Terrier in it, which is pretty sweet.

Though I'm pretty sure that if I watch the end (SHOWN ABOVE SPOILER ALERT!!), I will probably get choked up. Because I am a sap. They all live happily ever after, even the stupid cat.

My question is this: Why did my parents let me watch so many movies about dogs and yet, not let me have a puppy? Cruel, that's what it was. That is why it is a life goal of mine to one day own a dog. I'm really aiming high, here.

I was also very into the Muppets.

Really, who can argue with that? The Muppets are still awesome.

My favorite Star Wars film until I grew some taste was Return of the Jedi (it is now Empire, like any self-respecting nerd's would be). Because the Ewoks were cool, and so were the big big trees. Oh dear. I still say that if someone gave me $500 on the condition that I spend it on something completely frivolous and non-functional, I would buy a Revenge of the Jedi poster. Oh yes.

Then, of course, is my favorite movie of them all to this day, The Princess Bride. This is notable because there are only three dogs in this movie, for about five minutes (when Humperdink is talking to Yellin about the Thieves' Forest... there are some Irish Wolfhounds there), but I liked it anyway. I know people who do not like this movie, and I know people who think it is dumb, but the sad fact is that those people are wrong, or perhaps crazy. The Princess Bride is a genius combination of romance, action, comedy, and rodents, and as long as you are in favor of those things and don't care at all about subtext or themes or other Important Movie Terminology like "deepness" it is a nearly perfect film. It is the fault of this movie that I have insanely unrealistic expectations of the opposite sex.

I lose it when he calls her "Pwincess Buttah-kwap." I used to recite this movie to myself in bed as I waited to fall asleep, because I knew every word. I haven't watched it in a few years, because I don't want it to get stale. It is a movie I wish I could watch again for the first time. The major problem with this movie is, of course, that Buttercup is kind of lame. I realize that it is a parody of traditional fairy-tales and that she is simply filling the damsel in distress role, but she doesn't even do anything when Westley is wrestling the Rodent of Unusual Size in the Fire Swamp, AGHHHH! While this is my favorite movie of all time and I love almost everything about it, Buttercup is not my favorite leading lady, perfect breasts aside. She always sort of annoyed me. Buuuuut... it's hilarious and wonderful, and it is still my favorite movie.

"Probably he means no harm."
"He's very very short on... charm?"

Watching these things for most of my childhood and assuming everyone else watched similar films until they were fourteen, is it any wonder that I was 25 by the time I knew that Mary Jane meant marijuana? It's not that I'm dumb, just incredibly sheltered. It's not like the Benji is lighting up.

And for some reason, we all watched this (though I liked She-Ra better... why did she defend a different castle than He-Man, I wonder?):

...including me. He-Man? Why not Boy-Guy? Or Man-Dude? Him-Gent? Manlymanlymanlymanlyman?

Oh right, because he wasn't, really.


Oh, young self.

I was thinking the other day about why blogging every day this month was something I felt like doing. I've had a blog for the last eight years, though the first incarnations were before the word "blog" and before blogging sites and sadly have been lost. However, most of them are still around. For example, here is what I wrote on April 30th, 2004:

I had to be very fancy yesterday because I've needed to do laundry for the last week or so, and the only clothes I have left are really very cute skirts and things, but they're skirts, and it's cold, and I feel like I have to wear far too much makeup with them.

Yesterday I figured I'd make it worth my while and go run all my errands while being all cute and hope that Prince AlmostCharming spied me from afar and accidentally hit me with his bike. This would prompt him to apologize profusely and take me inside to the nearest cheese shop, where he would say something like, "You eat these skeezy cheeses that I can't describe," and I would say something like, "Will I look good when I've gotten old? When I get so old and wrinkly that I look like David Brinkley? Oh, and by the way, your eyes are beady," and he'd say, "This is my verse, hel-LO!" then we'd know we were meant to be. He'd give me a glow in the dark band-aid because I hurt myself when he ran me over with his bike, oops. Then we'd have to go outside to find my shoe which had flown off when he hit me with the bike, where he'd find it in a little flower patch and while he retrieved my shoe he'd pick me a bunch of gerber daisies. He would of course give me a ride home on his bike, which would have a little basket in the back with a french baguette and some wine in it, and we'd sit on my couch to drink the wine and eat the baguette and the cheese while he gave me a massage because he felt so bad about hitting me with his bike. (But... really he did it on purpose, except for the running me over part, and he would say so, only funnier, because he'd be very funny, did I mention that?) He would know sonnet 116 and think it's was hilariously wonderfully coincidental that I have that on my door next to a big long Tolkien quote. I'd mention I was getting hungry, and he'd make me dinner using only the things he had in his bike basket and the stuff in my cupboards because he'd have wonderful creative culinary skills. It might taste a little bad because a lot of the stuff in my kitchen is probably stale, but it would be mostly good because he made it. We'd eat this dinner out on the balcony and listen to the pteradactyl in the marsh trying to attract a mate, and then we'd realize after some witty banter that I needed some lovin because I was still a little sore after he ran over me with his bike, and after that I can't tell you what would happen, because this is a PG journal.

Anyway, that didn't happen.

I returned a shirt to Shop-Ko and found stupid little errands to run all over the city in the hopes that someone would appreciate the trouble I went to to be cute because really, it's a pain not to have any clean clothes, but I don't think anybody noticed.

I'll have to try again next week. I can go a few more days without washing my jeans.

This was during my extra-fun senior year of college, and shortly after this I got a job at a really terrible place. It was the kind of place that sucks the joy from everything, not unlike Mordor. I've always used my blog as a sort of escape, and back before I took the job in Mordor it was a rare thing for me to miss a day posting. I didn't post nearly as much while I had that job, because it was very hard for me to find good things to say about it. After two years (I still can't believe I lasted two years in Mordor) the job in Mordor, I went to grad school, and research papers on [insert topic you'd be very impressed to hear I've written a research paper about here] come before blogging in grad school. Since then, I've been out of the habit.

I suppose I was just curious about whether or not I could actually make myself post every day for a month. I've obviously been having trouble coming up with stuff to say, but I haven't missed a day yet. Maybe what I can learn from April 30th, 2004 is that it isn't necessary to have anything to say at all. What did I really say up there? That I didn't feel like doing my laundry, which seemed to be enough.

It seems fitting that this is my 200th post on this blog. How exciting!


Stinging things are bad.

I'm not afraid of many things. There are things I worry about, but I'm not afraid of many things. In fact, there are quite a few things I'm decidedly not afraid of. Spiders, okay. Snakes, cool. Clowns, provided they aren't the kind wielding a deadly weapon, are also all right.

However, when I get up in the morning and there's a hornet flying around the living room... nfsdopi A&(S_ df7 S(*DF 09S D& f9s* U DF)(SD&F)(SDfsd 9p8f7ds9* S&FFS(*S)PF()S8ds 90f 7ds(*&F ()SD*fs!!

Being the kind of person who likes to take care of things like that right away, I got the heaviest notebook I could find in my room (after firmly slamming the door behind me so the evil demon thing couldn't follow me into my zen oasis... I do have a miniature tree in my room) and went back outside to the living room, only to find that the stupid hornet had moved to the sliding door by the balcony. Right. If I were going to open the door to the balcony, that would involve me getting far too close to the hornet, but I did anyway. It was on the screen, so I opened the screen and slammed the glass door, so it had nowhere to go but out. Smart, self. Very good.

His Evilness didn't move! I was all, "You're free! Go! You have been given a second chance at life, little friend!" and it still wouldn't move. Rage! I had to open the screen door all the way and brush it outside with the big heavy notebook. This was the most terrifying thing I did all day.

I can't believe I survived.

I really hate things that fly and buzz and sting and especially things that have the hangly dangly legs. Oh, hangly dangly legs. It's not like I've never been stung before, I've been stung like, two dozen times and I don't even think it hurts all that much. I HAVE A PROBLEM. For some reason, the hangly dangly things make them all the more terrifying. If there's one in the classroom where I'm supposed to be learning, forget it. I'll just watch it the entire class, making sure I always know where it is so I'm not unpleasantly surprised by evil dropping down the back of my shirt.

I played tennis in high school, and I think the courts where we played were poured on some kind of hideous ancient wasp breeding ground, perhaps some sacred place where thousands of stinging insects were wronged and now haunt it and encourage their descendants in horrible deeds of vengeance against the human race. I earned myself the title of Bee Slayer because I perfected the skill of killing bees and wasps and the hangly-danglylike with my racquet. I was good.

Too good.

I think they're out for my blood.

Now, if hornets and wasps and stuff were huge, say, the size of cars, their scary factor would cease to be so paralyzing because you could see them coming from miles away and their stealth sneaking in under the door skillz would no longer be on their side.

However, I guess if you got stung you'd definitely die, and it'd probably hurt a lot more.

You get your ups and downs either way, I guess.


In the middle of the earth, in the land of the Shire...

People have been posting music to their blogs lately. Here is some music I like.

This is Gillian Welch and David Rawlings with Old Crow Medicine Show playing "Wrecking Ball."

It has quite a bit of chatting at the beginning, but this is probably my favorite Gillian Welch song and one of my favorite songs in general. Both Gillian and David Rawlings are incredibly talented musicians and songwriters, but I think what I like best about them is how obvious it is that they love what they're doing. This might not be the best video to use as an example, but Rawlings makes the best faces when he's playing, sometimes you can tell that he's thinking ahead in a song and he's come up with something really awesome to play next, because he starts grinning like crazy, clearly digging what he's doing. I find it very refreshing to watch talented people who pretty clearly do what they do first because they love it, and second because they can make money doing it.

Also, it is a not-so-secret ambition of mine to one day become a proficient bluegrass banjo player. About five years ago in a fit of impulse I bought a banjo on e-bay for $89, and have yet to learn to play it. I was under the mistaken impression that since I already know how to read music, it wouldn't be that hard to learn to play a string instrument when I'm coming from a clarinet/saxophone background, with which you don't really need to think much about complicated stuff like chord construction/progression. Slightly naive, self.

It sure photographs nice though, doesn't it?

I was going to put here some songs that I would play on a nice spring day with all the windows of my car rolled down... if I had a car... but the only decent-quality video I could find of Butch Walker's "Hot Girls in Good Moods" was full of Avril Levine pictures, and I didn't want to subject you to that. And then the only version I could find of "Gin House Blues" was not Nina Simone, but all slowed-down Eric Clapton. Alas.

Well. That did not go nearly as well as I had hoped. Because of that, you may have "The Mariner's Revenge Song:"

And "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins."

You can thank me later.


We named the dog Indiana!

Almost every time I sign in to Facebook these days, another one of my friends is engaged. Let's forget for the moment the fact that some of these "friends" are actually more like acquaintances from high school I freely admit I only friended because I was curious about what they are up to, but everyone is getting engaged. There were two new wedding photo albums on my news feed this week. This week! For a time I was taking some small comfort in the fact that there were a handful of my Facebook friends who were not engaged, I was not alone. This is no longer the case.

The un-engaged, un-married club is becoming much more exclusive, you see. There are not many of us left. We're a dying breed, the reasonably attractive, fairly intelligent, single twenty-somethings who don't have a significant other (here being a fiancee or spouse) with whom to share things like food, student loan debt, an apartment, and a name. This club is awesome to the max. We have to change the secret handshake every couple weeks because people keep getting engaged and leaving the club.

The other scary thing when you get to be my age is that your friends start having babies. Now, I have no problem with babies. They're small and cute and make funny noises and do funny things and make people happy. The thing is that I personally am so far from ready to have a baby that babies are not even on my radar right now. The fact that people my age and younger are having them at a somewhat alarming rate is making me feel left behind. I thought it was scary when my friends were just getting engaged, but now that there are kids in the mix (everywhere) it's as if I'm now two steps behind everyone else.

Two steps behind?! That's like being the one of your friends who has only seen A New Hope when everyone else is finished with Return of the Jedi! You wouldn't know about Yoda, or that Darth Vader is Luke's father! (Spoiler alert.)

Don't misunderstand. I'm very happy where I am. I have a great job, a supportive family, the most amazing boyfriend on the planet and though I'm in my late twenties, I don't feel like I need to get married and start a family right now. A few years ago after I graduated from college I was feeling the pressure to get married and "start my life," but that's (thankfully) passed and these days I'm just happy being happy with what I have - which is a pretty sweet deal. The only things I could ask for is that The Boyfriend and I live in the same city, and for a big, big dog. The irritating thing is a tiny voice in my head occasionally wondering if I should be feeling like a failure due to my single and childless status, based on the information I'm getting from my Facebook peers.

< sarcasm > And we should definitely compare ourselves to our friends,
right? < /sarcasm >

With that in mind, I continue to be two steps perhaps not behind but in another direction, and continue to be content with that. It's not like it's a race.


Perhaps I should invest in a bike.

Oh, today. Today was a weird day, it was all over the place. Mood-swingy.

It all started with last weekend. The Boyfriend decided he wanted to go to the plant nursery near the state park where we camped the morning we left. At this nursery, I found a miniature tree.

Now, this was no ordinary miniature tree. This was a miniature tree that needed me. This was a miniature tree that was less than $10. It was meant to be. Our love is pure.

I brought the miniature tree home (it's a juniper tree). Like all things you find at a nursery, it came in a cheapo, temporary pot, and needed to be replanted. I put this off all week, because I am cheap. Today after work, I decided I would get some soil, a couple pots, some seeds, and re-pot my juniper tree while I planted flowers for the summer. I went to the store and picked everything out. I got the biggest bag of potting soil I could find and three giant pots, as well as a nice assortment of seeds (I'm going to make peas this year!). I bought these things and got in my car. My car started (victory!) and I drove toward my apartment. Everything was going fine, until I got on the interstate exit ramp.

My car stalled. Again. It did not re-start, because my car doesn't do that.

If you have known me for more than two months, you are aware that my car is a continual source of... problem. Particularly since I moved up here and took this job. With this latest incident, I have now exhausted my AAA roadside service, if that gives you any indication of how many times I have been stranded so far in 2009. (If it doesn't - that's a lot. A lot of being stranded time.)

This time, my car stalled blocking traffic at a major intersection on my side of town. AAA informed me that a tow truck would be along in about an hour and a half. An hour. And. A half.

Luckily, Officer Larsen of the GBPD stopped by to see what the hubub was, and Made Things Happen. I've always wanted to be the kind of person who Makes Things Happen. I seem to be the kind of person who Stuff Happens To, instead. Stuff like stopping traffic, not by being hot and naked like Madonna, but instead being sweaty and frustrated and in a non-functional car in the middle of the street. Hooray for Officer Larsen (who was not only able to get a tow truck to me in ten minutes, but was also very chatty and personable, very helpful when one is confronted with Pathetic Citizen)!

After being towed to a service station approximately two miles from my apartment (a service station closed until Monday morning, sadface), I sat in my car and had a good think. I had potting soil in my car, and pots. I also had seeds, some beer from camping last weekend, and a juniper tree at home that needed my love. I couldn't let them down, not all weekend long while I left these things in my car at a closed service station! Heavens no.

So I put my pots, my beer, my fleece, and my seeds into the ridiculously huge bag I was given at the store. I put my purse on my arm and hefted the potting soil on my shoulder. Thus, I set out for my apartment.

It looked something like this.

I may have mentioned in a blog about running that I live at the top of a hill. This is as problematic when walking carrying a huge bag of potting soil and an assortment of garden supplies as it is when running. I must have looked incredibly pathetic, because when I got about halfway to my apartment, a completely awesome woman named Sue ran out of her apartment and informed me that she was going to carry my potting soil the rest of the way.

This was the first time I had met Sue in my life. If I hadn't been holding the potting soil I would have hugged her. That potting soil is insanely heavy. I thanked her but told her that she didn't have to do that, because it was a beautiful day and not only was I enjoying the walk (and I was, except for the fact that the potting soil was roughly the weight of a pregnant manatee) I wouldn't want her to walk a whole mile to my apartment carrying my stupid potting soil. So she gave me a ride.

Sue is awesome. I run into really, really great people when my car dies. That is the bright side to every breakdown I have - I met Officer Larsen and Sue. I am glad I live in the same city as the two of them.

Then I got home and checked my mail, in which was included an invitation to join the library science students national honor society, because I apparently rock. Or something. And that was really, really nice.

So I re-potted my juniper tree, and now I am having pickles and wine for dinner. You can do that when you're a grown-up and your car is broken. You're allowed to have whatever you want for dinner.


Ladybugs' picnic - in my pants.

Because it's so late and I had a very busy day, I will now tell you the grossest thing that happened to me today and call it a blog post. Are you ready?

This morning I found a dead ladybug.

In my nylons.

After I put them on.

Thus, my message to you is this: If your apartment has the midwestern abundance-of-ladybugs problem, be sure to check your undergarments for dead ladybugs before you put them on. Otherwise, you will feel yucky. Yucky here being the technical term for how I felt for the rest of the day.

At least it wasn't alive. And at least it wasn't one of these, alive or dead (tip: do not click on that link).



Before I get into more RETRO-AWESOMENESS, I wanted to mention that I think most of you are aware that I am a librarian (if you were not, now you are! Hooray, libraries!). A librarian is not a babysitter or a replacement caregiver. It concerns me when people think that the library is responsible for what their children read. That's called parenting and isn't something I'd be very good at.

The university where I received my master's degree has recently come under fire for supporting local librarians in their fight against the removal of some materials from the young adult section of the library. The amount of hate in the world makes me sad.


First of all, in the spirit of libraries and reading, I present... old-skool Reading Rainbow theme song!

The Boyfriend and I were talking today about particularly excellent episodes of Reading Rainbow. I like the one with the book about the farmer in Mexico who was plowing and then... plowed up a volcano! Oh noes! I think it's called Hill of Fire. That was a good one. I also geeked out over the episode on the starship Enterprise. It might've blown my mind a little bit that Lt. LaForge was also LeVar. HOLY COW!

Reading Rainbow was so cool.

Another program I adored as a kid was Dot and the Bunny. Dot and the [thing of the week] was an Australian TV show that I didn't actually realize was a series until thirty seconds ago. My parents had a free trial of HBO at some point during my early childhood and taped Dot and the Bunny for some reason. I have seen this about 23,875 times and until this evening thought I'd dreamed the whole thing up because nobody else I've spoken to has ever heard of it.

In this particular episode, Dot wanders into the wilderness in search of a joey after a mother kangaroo asks for her help. It's a weird combination of live-action and animation, and is the reason I know the song "Waltzing Matilda." Dot sings a lot of songs and makes animals cry (she might also cry herself, there's a lot of crying in this one), before living happily ever after. I thought it was the greatest movie ever.

I also really dug Square One. Square One was all about math. Apparently watching television shows about math does not make one good at it, because I am math-stupid.

Most of the reason I liked Square One was because of...

MATHNET! One time, Kate Monday broke her leg! Remember? Remember? I felt so bad for her! I think Mathnet was its own show, and they only showed little five-minute recaps at the end of Square One. The first time I saw Dragnet, I thought they were ripping off Mathnet. Oh, silly child.

Then there is 3-2-1 Contact. I remember singing the theme song on my swingset. It was probably really annoying for my neighbors. I'm pretty sure I didn't watch the rest of the show, but this was on after Square One and I really liked the song.


Clearly, I was only allowed to watch PBS as a child. That's probably good. I spent a lot of time outside. On the swingset, playing Mathnet.


I have a dream... a song to sing.

I have insane dreams. So does everyone. Nobody likes to hear about other people's insane dreams.

Too bad. We're nine days from the end of the month and unless you want to hear about the lint I found on my office chair this morning (it was purple), we're going to talk about this.

A few months ago I had a dream, the entirety of which was a cooking show hosted by Barack Obama and Derek Jeter. They made burritos.

Another recent dream involved ordering pizza at The Boyfriend's house. When the pizza arrived I answered the door and discovered that instead of bringing us pizza, the pizza boy was actually robbing us! I had to let The Boyfriend know this in a subtle yet effective way. Luckily I had a giant bag of message candy hearts with me, and while being led down the stairs at gunpoint I dug around in the bag and found one that said "Mystery pizza boy robbery" on it. I threw this to The Boyfriend across the room so he would know we were being robbed.

I'm not sure why he didn't get it from the fact that the pizza boy had a gun instead of a pizza.

Friday morning, between hits of the snooze button, I had a dream that I was sitting in Dumbledore's office for a very important and impressive magical reason. At one point in our conversation, Dumbledore said to me, "I'm sure you're wondering about the sheepdog Ferrari incident."

And then my alarm went off.

Noooo! I absolutely am wondering about the sheepdog Ferrari incident! What was it? WILL I NEVER KNOW?

I could never come up with this stuff when I am awake.


Pictures are good when you're out of words.

Vintage picture day! This is me, dressed as a "Ghostbuster." I had a very special imagination.

Clark Kent My dad and I. My dad looks so awkward in this picture, it's amazing. I just look fussy.

Fun fact that I learned last weekend at our family gathering: I threw up a lot as a baby (one of the delights of hanging out with people who have known you for your entire life is learning these fun facts about yourself). Isn't that nice? It's HOT, is what it is. I grew out of it.

Best rain ensemble ever! Notice Snoopy. I dug Snoopy.

At the state fair! My favorite parts of this picture are my Snoopy glasses (I also had these in red), my alligator drink, and the clothes of the people in the background. Yikes, 1984.

These two dapper gentlemen are my grandfathers. My grandfather on the right was ginger, though you can't tell from the picture. There is also a grandfather missing, because I had three of them. What I really want to do is get a bunch of my grandmothers' old pictures and scan those, because old pictures are awesome. The oldest pictures I have seem to be from the early '80s.

I still like the swings.

Swimming with my mom! I was a very gifted swimmer as a baby. Probably because my swimming suit was sweet.

I like old pictures. Looking through them, I've learned that an abnormally large percentage of my clothing growing up was from Oshkosh B'Gosh. My fashion sense is largely the same (that is to say I don't have any - my mom did when I was a kid, but now that I'm on my own... oh dear), except I don't wear quite as many overalls as I did when I was a kid. It's less charming on someone in her twenties.


The capital of New Hampshire is not "That One Place, Oh Shoot."

Yesterday I went camping. Today I am le tired. This is mostly due to the fact that the temperature dropped about 45 degrees in the night and I spent a good amount of time while I should have been sleeping instead having completely insane dreams which woke me up (thanks to the mini-brats, perhaps... but my my, they were delicious), then realizing that my face was cold, and attempting to re-adjust my sleeping bag in the dark to remedy this problem without sliding off my Thermarest. It probably didn't help that I forgot my coat (and socks) at home. Genius.

I have discovered the new greatest thing to do while car-camping! Find the local thrift store and peruse the game bin. Not only will you find something which may or may not have all the pieces, it will probably cost you about $2.04 and provide hours of entertainment. We played the Discover America game and learned that we are woefully bad at naming state capitals. I knew them all in fifth grade, I wonder what happened.

I also brought The Field Guide to Bigfoot, Yeti, and Other Mystery Primates Worldwide just in case we needed to identify a mystery primate. I thought I saw one at one point, but it was just a small dog. Another sighting turned out to be an elderly woman in a furry coat. Alas.

All in all, a successful camping excursion despite the lack of mystery primates and the fact that I couldn't remember Lansing, Michigan. Thus I declare camping season open!

Mountains, see you in a few months!


Let me hear that, get me near that crunchy granola suite!

This photo from last summer represents what it looks like outside right now, in that it is dark, not that I have a kayak tree, and also the fact that I am going camping tomorrow. Er, this afternoon. If only this camping involved kayaking. Oh goodness, tomorrow would be an amazing day.

I'm not sure if this is cheating or not since I just made a post an hour ago, but it is technically the 18th and knowing me, I will wake up late tomorrow and will not get to my campsite by the time I said I would. And... well, really nothing too bad will happen, but I'll feel bad about making The Boyfriend wait for me to set up the tent. But should that happen, Blog Every Day April will certainly go by the wayside. Thus, I am posting now.

Here are some reasons I love camping:

- Nature is extremely cool.
- When you get home from camping, your bed is the most amazing thing ever.
- Similarly, your shower is the most amazing thing ever.
- Campfires smell really, really good.
- The only time I eat meat is if it is a brat and it is grilled (or at a sporting event in the state of Wisconsin). I call this being a pseudo-vegetarian. For dinner we are cooking brats over a campfire. I may completely freak out. The last time I had a brat was before the Brewers made the playoffs. Oh goodness. I love brats.
- I enjoy sleeping outside on the ground and getting dirty.
- Sleeping after being outside in the fresh air all day is different than sleeping after working in a library all day. Different and better.
- Usually I go camping with The Boyfriend. Any time spent with The Boyfriend is automatically pretty awesome.
- The birds where we are going are the loudest alarm clock in the world.
- There is some kind of satisfaction to be gained from knowing you can survive a night outside.
- It's much quieter than my apartment.
- It is the only time I feel remotely comfortable accepting that I am, or that a part of me is, sort of, a little bit, a hippie.
- Occasionally I desperately need a break from my apartment, my street, my job, my refrigerator, and my car.
- Really, if you've been camping and don't like it, I can't convince you of its awesomeness. I'd be even less successful attempting to convince you of the awesomeness of backpacking - people who get it, get it, and if you don't... that's okay. We just know you're missing out.

Now is the time when I play Neil Diamond far too loudly for the hour and actually pack for said camping. Holly Holy, now.


Going to the chapel and we're... gonna get loooooost...

Today I went on a quest. You see, in the faculty and staff newsletter a couple weeks ago, the author mentioned a chapel in the arboretum on campus. This is a secret chapel. Naturally, being a fan of both hiking and secret things, I needed to find it. Today was the perfect opportunity because today was the first day that was nice enough for hiking in the campus arboretum. I was extremely pleased. And motivated.

First, I got some directions from my coworkers. These directions boiled down to, "Go to the soccer fields, cross the street to find the trail and go right as much as possible."

So I did that.

And walked.

And met some deer while I walked. I work at a university and we have deer all over campus, because of awesome. HIPPIE U!

And I walked some more.

Eventually (about three miles later) all my "going right" brought me back to the trailhead where I'd started. I had not found the chapel. I was slightly annoyed. I was sweatier than I had expected, you see.

Then I realized that in my excitement of being an intrepid voyager, I had crossed the wrong street after the soccer fields. Oops. This is not terribly surprising, given my horrible sense of direction. Sometime we'll go hiking and I will demonstrate for you why you never, ever want to give me the map.

However, once I realized my error, I easily found the chapel!

The chapel is really neat, and definitely worth a four-or-so mile hike to find. Even though for normal, sane people, with a normal, sane person's sense of direction it would have been about a mile. It was built in the 1920s, and apparently it's a secret. There's an "urban" legend (I say "urban" because if you knew where this campus was... you'd laugh at the use of "urban") amongst the students that there was a serial killer back in the 1940s who killed three or four people back in the arboretum, and then washed the blood off his hands with the holy water in the chapel.

This is not true. Take it from me - there is a serial killer stalking the campus where I went to college, so I know about these things (okay, I admit that I do not believe the serial killer theory at my alma mater and in fact think it is totally ridiculous).

If I can get anything up on this blog tomorrow it will be amazing. Alas. I am going camping (this is not alas, and is, in fact, HUZZAH!) and leaving in the morning, so if I have time I will post, but if I don't... I'm going camping.

Tonight I had a long conversation with one of my best friends. We found great amusement in the fact that he is watching The Phantom Menace against his will while I'm delighting in The Empire Strikes Back. I'm pretty sure I win this round.


Sasquatch, we know your legend's real!

Oh boy, have I got a treat for you today. You will in no way regret spending the next five minutes of your life reading this, I promise.

Today at work a thought popped into my head. This happens often, because as Lucas says in Empire Records, "Who knows where thoughts come from? They just appear." Incredible. The thought that popped into my head today was about the lobizon. Now, allow me to tell you before you click on that link that it seems to be incredibly difficult to find information about the lobizon on the Internet. Here follows the description of the lobizon I was given by a friend: "It's like a wolf, only instead of paws it has human baby feet." Knowing him, this is probably completely inaccurate, but we're going to go with it - like a wolf, but with baby feet.

I'll let you think about that for a second. Okay.

Can you imagine anything less horrifying than a wolf with baby feet? I'm sure it ate the babies to get their feet or something, but the description of "a wolf with baby feet" is completely ridiculous. Below is an actual picture I took of the lobizon on a recent trip to South America:1

See, that just looks clumsy.

This got me thinking about other terrifying creatures. The Loch Ness monster, bigfoot, the chupacabra... and this thinking led me to the library. What I found there was... The Field Guide to Bigfoot, Yeti, and Other Mystery Primates Worldwide!

Here is what I have learned so far from the Field Guide:

- There are many unidentified primates in the world, and lumping them all together under the moniker of "bigfoot" or "sasquatch" is a huge mistake. Don't go there.
- The sasquatch has a pointed head. So if you see a large, ape-like-man-thing-creature and it does not have a pointed head, it is not the sasquatch. Sorry.
- If the creature has a beer-belly, it is probably the Pennsylvania Creature, first observed by Professor Jan Klement in the 1970s.
- In central Arkansas, you might run across a creature known as "Booger." From the illustration, this one looks more like an escaped chimpanzee than a bigfoot. Er, sasquatch.
- If it is eating a goat and has spiky gray fur, it's the chupacabra. I'm not sure why the chupacabra is in a book about apes, but I didn't write it.
- In Siberia, there is a man-ape who wears clothes. Can you blame him, living in Siberia?
- If you encounter a mystery primate, you should immediately take a plaster cast of its footprint. Or kill it. It's up to you.

The lobizon, though. Terrifying.

1 To my dismay, I have never been to South America.


I have never smelled napalm in the morning. Or the afternoon, for that matter.

There are a few things which trigger feelings or memories for me. One is smell, another is music, another is books.

Whenever I read The Witches I am instantly ten years old again, and scared out of my mind. I think the first time I read that book I got close to cardiac arrest. It's so good. When I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone I am a junior in high school and completely enthralled. Neverwhere reminds me of a time before I'd heard of Neil Gaiman. (That was a dark time indeed.)

The scent of wet asphalt on a hot day after a brief rainstorm smells a lot like my childhood (as does grass). This happens to be one of my favorite smells, which some people find gross. To me, it smells like summer and playing on the swings. You know, the swings.

Evergreen trees and campfire and lake water smell like the Boundary Waters, one of two places I consider to be the best place in the world. I developed an appreciation for the outdoors and camping there, I learned to canoe there, and I met wonderful people there. I unpacked my tent a few weeks ago when the weather was nice, and it still smells like Boundary Waters from last summer. Favorite smell!

Scotch (particularly scotch with an especially strong peaty smell) smells like Ireland. Ireland is the other best place in the world. It smells like peat, bread (thank you, Guinness brewery), and grass/mud. If I could bottle "Ireland" as a scent, I'd probably bathe in it every day. Peat might be my other very favorite smell. People would probably think I smelled gross.

The smell of lobster reminds me of my grandparents' house. The musty used-bookstore smell reminds me of high school, when I first discovered second-hand bookstores. A certain flavor of deodorant gives me visions of the high school band trip to San Antonio, where one of my friends with whom I shared a hotel room used it. The smell of latex gloves make me think of dissecting cats in biology, and then smelling like dead cat for the rest of the day. Stinky feet make me think of gymnastics - all gymnastics gyms smell like sweat, feet, and chalk.

I like smells. I'm a very smell-oriented person. I smell things before I eat or drink them. Depending how well I know the person I occasionally smell things before other people eat or drink them. I'm pretty sure this makes me weird. People will ask if I want to try some of their [insert appropriate food/drink/marker here] and I'll say, "Well, sort of. Could I smell it?"


And that is what I have to say about smells.

Music will have to wait for another time.


Things I discovered the other day on the Internet.

I would like, if I may, to tell you about the neatest thing I discovered at work today.

As you may be aware, The Boyfriend was contemplating going to graduate school in a place far away. In an effort to figure out how this was going to work for us, I did some good old Internet investigating and discovered...

GeoMidpoint!! So cool!

What city is in the middle of Cheyenne, Wyoming and Miami, Florida? Gillett, Arkansas. Dublin, Ireland and Volgograd, Russia? Olsztyn, Poland. Halifax, Nova Scotia and Anchorage, Alaska? Middle of nowhere, Nunavut! Isn't that wonderful?

The other thing that I discovered while researching what would make The Boyfriend living far away more awesome is Cost to Drive!

Also so cool!!

You put in two cities, your car's year, make, and model and it figures out where you'll need to stop for gas, as well as how much it will cost based on current prices! You're driving from your home at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave to Eureka, California in your 2003 Jeep Wranger with four-wheel drive? That will cost you $346.97 and your carbon footprint will be 4207.9 lbs. Also, it would cost you $350 to fly, so you might as well save those $4.00 and buy yourself some McNuggets on your way, Mr. President!

So many cool things!

Aaaaaand... 2009 Packers Schedule! Who wants to go to the Vikings game on November 1st? Come on...


Not to mention the avian flu.

Quite often, I find myself awake at a time no human being should be. As How I Met Your Mother taught us, nothing good happens after 2 AM. Except goat adventures. Unfortunately, usually when I am awake after 2 AM it is not because I am having farm adventures and hijinks, it is because I am worried about something. Occasionally my mind is too restless to sleep, so it wanders around from topic to topic until it finds something that distresses me enough to dwell on it rather than sleeping.

This is extremely annoying.

In an effort to avoid this, I have decided to make a list of things that are not acceptable things to worry about instead of sleeping. I present here, that list for your review. If you worry about any of these things, you are probably insane. Also, you should stop worrying about them.

1) North Korea - Though the world would be a much better place if I could, I'm afraid there is absolutely nothing I can do about how much the leadership of North Korea hates the population of the United States. Not only am I a lowly librarian, I also do not speak a single word of Korean. Not worth worrying about.

2) Cavities - There is something I can do about cavities. I tend to get a lot of cavities because I have "groovy" teeth. Groovy in the sense that they have a lot of grooves, not in the sense that they're totally groovy, dude. Of course, the things I can do about this are things I will have done before going to bed, and thus do not warrant worrying.

3) AT&T - There was a longer explanation here, but just typing it up stressed me out and I wouldn't want to subject you to that. Suffice to say I have done absolutely everything I can in this situation, including calling and e-mailing the CEO of AT&T (his name is Randall). I will now consider him my close friend. This warrants no more worry.

4) Zombies and rapists breaking into my apartment - This is simply a silly thing to worry about. I keep a hammer beside my bed for this exact occurrence. Next!

5) Who will win the battle for the cowl? I'm kind of pulling for Dick Grayson. But this is also another thing that does not warrant my worry. Not just because it is imaginary. But mostly.

6) Ebola and Necrotizing Fasciitis - Ebola is probably the scariest disease I can think of and flesh-eating bacteria is just gross. However, there is nothing I can do about either, and I live in a place where it is unlikely I will contract one of them. I used ebola as an excuse once to explain why my homework was not finished. It didn't work. "I had a light touch of ebola," is not such a believable excuse. I'd go with Alice in Wonderland Syndrome.

7) Money - I'm going to be paying off my student loan for the next nine-and-a-half years. However, for now I can actually afford it, and worrying about an imaginary time in the future when I will not be able to does not help at all. I'd rather think about Where's George if I'm going to think about money.

8) Bear attacks - It is well known that bears eat people basically all the time. Luckily this is generally not in apartment buildings.

9) Sleep - The fact that I can not sleep. This should be obvious, but when I can't sleep I get worried about how tired I'm going to be in the morning and how incapable of functioning I'll be and the fact that I might sleep through my alarm clocks (I have more than one alarm clock because I have an amazing talent to incorporate the sound of my alarm clock into whatever dream I'm having... my alarm radio is set to NPR so current events and the president show up a lot in them). This is an especially dumb thing to worry about.

There are far too many things to be not worried about. I have wonderful and interesting friends, a supportive family, and no bad debt. I have a good job and a nicer camera (and more awesome boyfriend) than I deserve. I have four limbs and am not allergic to peanuts. I live in a country where a woman can receive the same education as a man. I am very lucky, and those are the things I should think about when I can't sleep instead of things like the fact that the bonobos are disappearing or whether I will ever be able to retire. Or afford that yacht. On the moon.


Chicks and flowers.

I spent the weekend with family, which was delightful. I have lots of cousins, and despite the number of us I don't get to see most of them often so when we do get together it's an occasion. Usually an occasion with lots of chocolate. I have not yet recovered.

The Boyfriend's parents got me these flowers for Easter. They are quite possibly the most adorable flowers ever. Allow me to argue this further:

I think you see my point. Quite clearly the most adorable flowers ever.


So jokes!

Two pies are sitting in an oven. The first pie looks at the second pie and says, "Man... it's really getting hot in here, isn't it?"

The second pie says, "OH MY GOD A TALKING PIE!"

That is my favorite joke. Because I have the same sense of humor as a five year-old.

Here's another incredibly sophisticated joke:

Knock knock!
Who's there?
Spaghetti wh-

And I'm out.



I'm going home for the weekend where Internet access is shared and limited, so I think blogging every day in April will probably end after today. Alas.

Drive-by posting before I leave! Happy Easter to those who celebrate it, happy Brewers' home opener to those who are Brewers fans, and everyone else have a great weekend!


To-Do Lists

I make a lot of to-do lists. Mostly this does not help me remember to-do things, but is helpful when I'm trying to fall asleep and stuff on my mind is refusing to let me do so. Quite often I make and forget them at work. The next day I get to work and realize I haven't done any of the things I was supposed to. It is not unusual for me to put things on the to-do list that I would undoubtedly do anyway, like "watch The Office" and "eat dinner," just so I can be sure I have something to cross off the list.

I'm not sure why "weekeng?" is an item to-do, but it could probably also be crossed off.

Sometimes I find these lists in my bag weeks later. Usually I have no idea what they mean. "Jane Austen & zombies, yes" refers to the fact that I wanted to remember to pre-order Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. I did.

Apparently I didn't actually do that last one. This was the back of another to-do list, so it was quite lengthy.

Sometimes I also write my future self notes in an effort to remember to do things. (I still haven't found the iron.)

Recently I have decided that this is a major waste of resources. Not only does it take my increasingly valuable time to write these useless lists, but it also takes paper that I almost always forget at work or in my bag (thus rendering the list completely useless). This makes me think that I should probably start e-mailing my to-do lists to myself, which would prevent me from forgetting them at work, AND save a tree. Maybe the next step is to start making sense.

... honestly, I hope not.


I realize it has been for a week, but how is it already April? Huh?

Photo unrelated to the rest of the post! I just hadn't looked at this one in a while, and remembered that I like it. Maybe someone else out there will like it, too. I miss the Milwaukee Art Museum, it's so photogenic.

I went running for the first time since October today. It didn't go well. In fact, it went so astoundingly not well that I may find excuses not to do it again for quite a while. I do this every year, and it's obviously the exact opposite reaction I should have to running but... it's going to be thirty degrees tomorrow! It's hard to breathe when you run in below-freezing temperatures. Perhaps next week?

I have to start sometime. There was talk of climbing a mountain this summer and since I have no small mountains (or mountains of any size, for that matter) on which to practice, running will have to do. And I will have to do it. But maybe not tomorrow.

Story! This is the story of my very first embarrassment.

When I was six, my parents informed me that my peaceful only-child existence of bliss would soon be forever disturbed by the presence of a sibling. I honestly don't remember being particularly happy or sad about this, just interested.

I must have done something to suggest that I was concerned about the attention It would be taking away from me when It arrived, because my parents enrolled me in something called Sibling Class. I used to believe this was something every child had to do when a baby was entering his or her life, but since talking to other people, I have learned that this is not the case and is, in fact, completely weird.

In Sibling Class, children are taught not to hate or be jealous of their new baby brother or sister. They are also taught about where babies come from, presumably to save parents from explaining it themselves. I was by far the oldest child in my sibling class and old enough by that time to be sort of self-conscious about it. I wasn't a big fan of Sibling Class.

At the end of our last Sibling Class, we were instructed to go give our mommies a hug. You may be aware that six year-olds are not very tall. Usually they are very short. I was the kind of six year-old who learned to distinguish people from one another by looking at them from their waist down.

I think you can see where this is going.

I was feeling particularly gung-ho that day (possibly because it was the last day of Sibling Class, or maybe I'd just had too much sugar) and I ran to my mother and gave her my best, biggest hug ever. I then looked up at my mother, only to find a large and very surprised African-American woman wearing the same shirt as my mother, trying not to laugh at the situation. I may have received a pat on the back.

"Oh!" Six-year-old me said. The last time I checked my mother was not a large African-American woman and I was probably as surprised as her to find that we were hugging.

I'm pretty sure my face turned purple. It is the first time I can ever remember being embarrassed. Mortified, even. Isn't becoming aware of how you are perceived by others awful? I suppose it's necessary and makes life easier for all of us in the end, but it might be interesting to meet someone who never realized or cared about what other people thought of what they did. I'd had the audacity to hug a stranger. Heavens. What cheek!

Luckily since then I have done far more cheeky, embarrassing things and this is but a fond memory of learning not to hate my unborn sister and getting a hug from a stranger in return. Which, really, was a pretty sweet deal. And I eventually got a really awesome sister, which I can't complain about.

Happy late birthday, Sister! (Her birthday was last week, but she's getting her present this weekend, see, since I didn't get to see her on her real birthday.) I hugged a stranger at Sibling Class and don't resent you for it - you're that awesome.


This is my boom-stick.

Is this a pigeon or a mourning dove? I honestly do not know. I consider myself a wilderness-and-nature-savvy young woman in that I can survive a week in the wilderness on my own, but apparently I don't know birds very well. This one frequents my balcony. I think I'll call him (yes, of course it's a him! I'm a nature girl, remember?) Steve.

Occasionally, I find that I have accidentally allowed myself to become surrounded by people who do not build me up. You know the type - I don't think they can help it, but being around certain personality types, generally overly-negative, critical people is very draining and brings me down. I prefer to surround myself with positive people, people who allow me to laugh at my mistakes (and can laugh at their own), and people who can appreciate a randomly-placed Army of Darkness reference (that last one is not mandatory, but a big plus).

But what to do when you find yourself unable to escape the presence of someone or someones who are terrible for your mood and self-esteem? It is difficult and not always possible to remove yourself from family members and co-workers who adversely effect your internal (and occasional external) sense of joy. Thus, I have decided that I need to come up with a list of things to try when I find myself feeling like a useless screw-up.

1) First, one must immediately find a way to take maximum advantage of the time one is away from these people. Otherwise the negativity will build on itself like Tetris blocks when you accidentally leave a great big hole somewhere, and then the music will get really fast and you'll get really stressed out and you won't get your rocketship or your running ostriches. And that will be a drag.

2) Keep a list of people who are good for you and interact with them as soon as possible. This evening, I called The Phoenix Friend. The Phoenix Friend is always good for a laugh. Unfortunately, she lives in Phoenix and I live in Wisconsin. This is a problem. Enter Alexander Graham Bell and his remarkable telephone invention! Yesterday The Phoenix Friend and I had a somewhat exasperating-yet-hilarious discussion about who the other would be if we were characters in Twilight. I say she would be Rosalie, and she says I would be Alice. At least neither of us is Bella. I have a feeling tonight will be Harry Potter. She likes to insist that I am Hermione and that she is Narcissa Malfoy. I may tell her I think she is Tonks, just to see what happens.

3) If you have a journal, go back through what you've written to find the stuff that proves how awesome you are. It's there, trust me! Remember that dream you had about the cooking show starring Barack Obama and Derek Jeter? That was awesome.

4) Cook something while listening to whatever kind of music makes you dance. Currently for me, shamefully, this includes Beggin by Madcon and that Hot and Cold song by Katy Perry. Don't judge me. Seriously though - cooking and dancing? It's great. Just make sure you've rinsed off the spoon before you start drumming with it, or you'll get mushroom alfredo sauce all over the kitchen.

5) Take some online quizzes. You will learn so much about yourself! Today I learned that my inner pop princess is Kelly Clarkson, my inner celebrity is Tina Fey, if I were a character in Lord of the Rings I would be Eowyn, if I were a fantasy/sci-fi character I would be someone called Delenn (who?), I have a North Central accent, I'd be a Temaki Hand Roll if I were a sushi roll, if I were a classic Nintendo game I would be The Legend of Zelda (yes, I do enjoy collecting triangles!), I'd be Lord of the Rings if I were a literature classic, if I were a Star Wars character I'd be Lando (what?! "Lando System?"), and if I were a superhero I'd be Superman or Robin. I had no idea I had so many personalities.

6) Break bread (or accidentally drop your caterpillar roll in your soy sauce and splatter the table) with friends. Eating brings people together in a very specific way I've never really been able to define. It is different than playing a game or talking on the phone. Different and better. Sometimes, depending on how busy your friends are, this might take some time to accomplish. It will be worth it.

7) Take a bubble bath. If you do not have a bathtub, take a shower with some fancy-smelling soap. You can find it cheap at Target.

8) Have a solo dance party. Maybe it's just me, but dance parties of any kind (cooking, solo, brushing-your-teeth...) make everything better.

9) Start a conversation with a fun-looking stranger at the library/pharmacy/toll booth/next place you go. I don't usually come away from this with new friends, but I find talking to strangers about random stuff (usually stuff like, "Oho - The Killing Joke is nuts. You should get it.") is fun.

10) Give an animal a people name. Like Steve. Animals are much funnier when they have people names.

11) Make a list of things that make you happy. My lists usually end with puppies.

Anybody else have things to do when The Man gets you down?


Link! He came to town... he came to SAVE! The Princess Zelda!

I have UNC to win the NCAA tournament on my bracket, but I'd really like Michigan State to take it. Go upper Midwest! And (grudgingly) Big Ten! Rep-r-sent! Also, Ford Field is a ridiculously cavernous place to play a basketball game.

Speaking of the upper Midwest and where I live, this place is a geographical oddity. It takes one hour to get anywhere (even Lambeau Field, as previously discussed. Which I can get to in about five minutes except on game day, when it's about an hour). The Boyfriend and I have discovered this multiple times as we attempt to do things in the area and are unable, unless we're in the mood to sit in the car for two hours round-trip to get there and back. This weekend we went to the above, a lovely state park on Lake Michigan.

I noticed when I lived in view of the lake in Milwaukee, but Lake Michigan has moods. Yesterday it was in a teal kind of mood. You know, tealish. Like it was sort of in the mood to watch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

And poor The Boyfriend. I asked him to stop by my parents' house before he drove up here this weekend and pick up a bag they had for me. He had no idea that the contents of this bag would shape our weekend together. What was in this bag?

Oh yes. It took about three-dozen tries, but we now have The Legend of Zelda.

I think Link was better at this game when I was a kid.


A haiku.

Drive-by posting so I don't miss a day!

A haiku:

Bloody, bloody blood
Rub-a-dub-dub in a tub

Alas, I didn't write it. A Physics teacher at my high school wrote it and it went around like wild-fire for about a week. Feel free to pass it on.


18 Things I Did Today... Sort of.

Today's shoes are red and sassy (I was judging some local high school students' National History Day projects - they were so much better than anything I could have done!). And that's my bathroom.

Here is a list of 18 things to do that Maureen Johnson posted (it is her fault you're getting so many posts from me).

1. Blog every day in April - Well, this one I am still working on.

2. Make some soup


Wait, does opening a can and heating it up constitute "making" soup? And wait again, I don't eat bacon, so I won't be doing this anyway. Who put bacon in my potato soup? Bummer.

3. Get a hat


4. Read a book

I enjoy reading! What should I read?


Aha! Much more delight!

5. Make a friend

This is my friend, Michael Jackson. He is called Michael Jackson because he is baaaaaaaaad. Get it?

6. Say something nice to someone

You look especially nice today, has anyone told you that? Also, you are funny. Not in a you're-not-trying-to-be way, but you're legitimately funny. It's true.

7. Work on your moves

My moves could use some work.

8. Speak for an entire day in a fake accent

Today I shall be Northern Irish.


9. Cultivate a completely imaginary relationship with someone famous

This one could be tough. I mean, not that I can't imagine a relationship with someone famous, just tough to illustrate with a photo.

I didn't know what to do.

Then my good friend Daniel Craig called and told me everything would be okay. As usual, Daniel was right. Oh, Daniel. You always know just what to say!

10. Do something completely sekrit

Obviously, I can't show you this one.

11. Go into a store and pretend not to know how something works

What the heck?

They go on your nose? I don't get it.

Michael Jackson was able to help.

12. Spend one week completely offline


13. Plan to go somewhere

I do have this passport.

Whoops, it's an American passport and as we have discussed, I am from Northern Ireland. Why else would I be wearing this Northern Ireland National Team soccer jersey?

Luckily I'm already planning on going to Rock Island, which doesn't involve a passport at all. Nobody will know.

14. Hit the shiny red button

I will have to find it first.

15. Write to me Maureen Johnson

I'll use this creepy pen my grandmother sent me in a box of cookies!


16. Learn to sew on a button

Well, I can do that, but what are these for?

17. Admit it

Fine. FINE. I do have them.

18. Try again tomorrow

I try to be my best.

Well, not always. I could have Photoshopped all the Photo Booth pictures to be the right way, but I am busy picking the bacon out of this soup.