Sunday, September 30, 2007

Do you ever feel like your life is a Choose Your Own Adventure book, but you can't skip a few decisions ahead and return if necessary?

Whenever I read CYOA books, I would always read a few twists and turns ahead before deciding for real on a particular course of action. I wish life were like that: before a major decision, you could travel that route a while, or see into the future, before absolutely committing.


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Who knew?

Despite the fact that I disagree with the current political consensus in Texas on most issues, and the fact that G.W. Bush was our Governor, and many other things that cause many progressive people to have a deep antipathy towards Texas, I think it might just be the best state.

Public school was largely ineffective in inculcating a sense of national pride. Don't get me wrong, I love my country. But I see, quite clearly, its faults, and they sadden me. They succeeded, however, in instilling in me a sense that Texas is completely unique and something quite special. I didn't realize how much state pride I had until I was no longer there. I tried to grow some bluebonnets here (state flower, for you unfortunate non-Texans), and they died. This is probably my fault, though, not necessarily Arizona's.

Was your state ever its own country? Can your state split into four (five?) others at will? Can your state fly its flag as high as the U.S. flag? Do you have an Alamo? I didn't think so.*

*Um, so, this is not entirely true. The thirteen original colonies were, for a time, separate states until the ratification of the first US Constitution. Also, the Republic of Vermont and the Bear Flag Republic (California) were countries before becoming states.

Monday, September 24, 2007

What does this mean?

Whenever I see people doing good things, or standing up for something they don't necessarily have a stake in, I am very touched, and tend to start crying (depending on sleep levels, etc. I cry a lot when I have a lack of sleep. This is really common lately.) So when I see people going down to support the Jena 6, for example, I tear up. Or when I see people protesting the war. Or when I hear stories of people harboring Jews during the Holocaust. Or even something as simple as people volunteering at a soup kitchen.

So, here's the worrisome part: I tend not to tear up at unequal justice systems or the mere fact of homeless people. I don't cry when I think about children without health insurance, and I don't break down when I see war coverage. Sure, each of these things makes me upset and could make me cry. Goodness knows I've bawled at enough stories about soldiers. But--the quickest way to get an emotional response out of me is to show me people reacting to it, doing good deeds. Remember that story CNN covered a while back, about the kid in Iraq who was disfigured? What got to me most was not the story itself, but the comments and responses, and eventually, the Americans who provided the means for his family to come to the U.S. and have restorative surgery.

What does this say about me? I thought about this for a while today. (Introspection is a good way to procrastinate.) Perhaps it indicates that I am too cynical: I expect the world to suck and to be unfair. I don't expect people to care enough to try to fix the injustices, so that is emotionally surprising, not resonant with the way in which I intuitively understand the world. And that's scary... that on some level I accept the horrors of the world as inevitable, but don't expect people to fix it.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Friday curse

This is the second week in a row in which I have managed to lock my keys in my office.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Sunday, September 16, 2007

How sad is it that this was inspired by "Body and Soul"*?

Since I've come back from Texas this summer I've been on and off sick the entire time. In addition, despite working out semi-regularly, I've gained weight. This is not surprising, as I have been less than regular about taking my thyroid medicine, and been eating not entirely healthily. Because of a refrigerator mishap that I took my sweet time about dealing with, for the first few weeks I subsisted solely on takeout, things like Subway (not so bad) and Panda Express (awful). Even now, with a working, non-smelly refrigerator, I still find myself eating out a lot. And I have rediscovered Wendy's Caesar salad dressing. Which is one of the nutritionally worst salad dressings ever. But one of the best tasting.

So, here's the thing. I'm now counting on you blog people to keep me accountable. I am going to re-start the diet I was on the summer before last. Which means going back to eating meat, primarily boneless skinless chicken breast. Ugh, it gets old after a while. But I'm going to stick with it. Except for perhaps one exception of using salad dressing that has sodium in it. I know it can work. My mom lost a lot of weight on it and looks wonderful (hi, Mom!). It didn't work when I last tried it due to unknown thyroid problems. But they are now known, and I am (supposedly) taking medicine for it.

So, here I go. Starting tomorrow, I am working out every morning, and following this diet. Wish me luck!

*Which, for all of you non-sociologists, is a book by Loic Wacquant about his ethnographic study of a Chicago boxing gym.

Edit, 10:56--I might not start first thing tomorrow. I will definitely be working out tomorrow. But I still need to go grocery shopping, which I won't get to until tomorrow evening. Then, I will start.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

book-related misadventures.

In the past week I've been dealing with problems having to do with books, some of these problems are with Amazon and one is with the University of Arizona library.

I'd write more about it now, but the library problems were around 2 this morning, when I decided to go check some books out, and ended up staying until around 4 to get it all straightened out. So, in short, I am too tired to write.

I'll update you soon, though, have no fear!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

I kind of blame this on Travis.

I should never have started watching The Office. But now that I have, I can't stop. So, because I'm too busy* to create a real post, you get these two Pam and Jim videos I found on Youtube.

*Too busy watching The Office, that is. Watching The Office is also making me too busy to do my real work.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Note to all kindergarten teachers: there is a break in the pipeline somewhere.

There are some who have reached the age at which they can drive themselves and another person to a restaurant but who have yet to master the concept of an "inside voice."

Note: while I am studying, I do not care to hear you describe what you are eating to your friend on the phone. If I were sitting next to you, or even a few feet from you, I realize that hearing your voice would be unavoidable. Sure. But if you are across the room, and there are several other people and groups of people sitting, talking, closer to me than you are, and I can hear vague mumbles from them, but distinct words and sentences and freaking paragraphs from you, you are not using your inside voice. And when you're describing all the movies you've seen in the past year to your "date"? Not only does hearing your voice annoy me, but so does your cinematic taste.

(I'm sorry to be such a complainer of late. I'm not getting enough sleep and am amazingly busy. However, you do have to admit that you kind of sign on for this sort of thing, when you read a blog that has "rants and ravings" in its title.)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Dear Coffe XChange,

I go into your store regularly to sit and read or study. I am not sure why I keep going, because nearly every time I am there, you are playing a radio station that is playing commercials rather than music at least half of the time. Maybe it's just me and my almost attention deficit disorder, but I get distracted anytime there is talking near me. I cannot concentrate on one thing while a conversation is going on around me, when that conversation is as loud as your sound system is. I have, over the years, learned to be able to listen to music with words while studying, but I have not yet perfected these skills when it comes to commercials and talk show hosts.

Now, I do not expect you to change your musical habits because of my (perhaps unique) problem. But, I suspect that most people do not enter into a coffee shop in order to hear someone selling Billy Bob's plumbing services.

Also unhelpful: not having any chai tonight. And when I got a nonfat vanilla latte instead of my chai, I'm pretty sure it was whole milk rather than skim. And, the store was really, really cold.

[Sorry for ranting. I just felt the need to complain.]

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Procrastination through irony.

Instead of working, at the moment I am browsing around on, checking out books about procrastination.