Monday, January 4, 2010

Winter Updates

Still alive, just a tad overwhelmed by everything that's going on and will be going on in the year ahead. First comes senior thesis time, then comes graduation from Big State U, and then comes my entry into the working world, just to start with the personal transformations. I'm also attempting to lose a rather dramatic amount of weight, so we'll see how that goes.
The house is changing dramatically, as well. Thanks to foundation and sump work, it no longer leaks and leaves us standing in six inches of water after every good rainstorm or spring thaw. Next comes the gutters, and then my old bedroom gets a remake with new windows and possibly new walls as well as new paint. After that, the old attic windows will probably be replaced with new ones, as well as the old back door. I'm doing my part to help clean up the whole mess, but since I'm off at school it never feels like enough.
I finally got my first interview suit the other day. I apparently look very professional, but I can't shake the feeling that I'm really a kid playing dress-up rather than a real adult.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

A: Hairsicles!

Q: What do you get when you walk back from a swimming session to your apartment in 27* F weather without bothering to dry your hair first?

Yep. My hair froze in its usual waves, and I didn't notice until I heard the wind jingle something against the back of my trench coat collar. It sounded cool, like I had wind chimes on my head, and my roommates were impressed when I walked in with a head full of rattling curls, but it didn't feel all that good once the chill approached my scalp. Brrr.

I'm almost done with most of my end-of-semester assignments (most of which are due the day of the final, hooray), so right now I'm concentrating on surviving without digging into my chocolate stash and studying to make sure I get the grades I want. While it's reassuring knowing that you literally cannot flunk a class due to the work you've done and the points you've accumulated (or several classes, as the case appears to be for me), there's no reason to decide that the job's done and drop everything on the spot.

Granted, I'm very tempted to do that, since I have several piles of yarn and four new pairs of knitting needles just begging to be used, but, as with all things, work comes before playtime. I have to study for my finals and take them before I can start hibernating with several pounds of acrylic, cotton, bamboo, wool, angora, and alpaca and a pair of pointy sticks.

I have no idea where Dr. Moreau is now. We've been incommunicado since the day before Thanksgiving. I hope he's well, and that he ends up just serving someone coffee for his entire deployment. The man's been acting too thoroughly convinced that someone's going to kill him over there.

Knitting has to be better therapy for this kind of separation than stuffing my face. At least I can wear the result fashionably, and I have a ready weapon for stabbing anyone who makes an off-color remark about my choice in boyfriends.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

May they flunk and go home to their unloving mothers.

I have seriously had it with our downstairs neighbors.

Remember how I mentioned they puked in the stairwell earlier? And how the banister was ripped down after their Halloween parties? Did I mention the loud parties virtually every night of the week?

Apparently, the Sunday before Thanksgiving (long after I'd departed for break), they decided they took offense to our repeatedly calling the police on them. One of them wandered down in front of our apartment and pissed on the door. Fifteen minutes later, while one of the roommates who remained was calling the police, the alleged adult in question wandered back and did it again.

No response from the rental company on whether or not they can evict the residents of the apartment who went this far. No helpful action from the police. I'm fucking tired of this.

At least the roommates of mine who were here didn't call and tell me. I had enough to deal with. (Dr. Moreau was sent off for deployment after Thanksgiving with his family. I was fine up until it was time for him to go. Then I lost my shit and had to spend Thanksgiving in hiding lest I send some heads rolling at the dinner table with family members that manage to get under my skin without trying.)

I've got enough crap to deal with during this week and Finals week without their adding to it. May they soundly flunk and be abruptly introduced to a cold, harsh world that does not put up with these boy-child shenanigans.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

And the world (nearly) turned upside down.

Remember, remember, the fifth of November
Of gunpowder, treason, and plot-
I know of no reason that the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, 'twas his intent
To blow up the King and Parliament
With thirty-six barrels of powder below
Poor old England he'd overthrow
But by Providence he was catch'd
With a dark lantern and a burning match!

Granted, the day also marks a personal family anniversary, but it's still fun to wonder what would have happened if the epic fail of getting caught "with a dark lantern and a burning match" had not happened and the Plot had gone off without a hitch. Apparently those barrels would have still exploded, degraded gunpowder or not, and then...hmmm.

Unfortunately, tonight is a night for me to work on homework before taking off for an archaeology conference in the next state over, so someone else will have to do the obligatory History Channel and "V for Vendetta" marathons for me, as well as the bare minimum of setting off way too many barely legal firecrackers.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Superpowered Drunk People.

Seriously, that's the only explanation I have for my neighbors not killing themselves by now through their own stupidity, or flunking out after their weekly celebrations from Thirsty Thursday to Tequila Tuesday.

I was out last night with some friends to hide from the aforementioned neighbors' party that started at two in the afternoon. We had fun and ate dinner while having an anime marathon (Witch Hunter Robin was the series of choice - hey, we're all female and drooled over Crispin Freeman's voice), and I had a few quiet hours away from these drunken idiots. I managed to get back by eleven without being hollered at by too many drunks, but the party was still going strong and getting worse.

I finally zonked out around midnight and somehow slept until seven this morning (flexible work hours are awesome, as is a boss who doesn't care what time of day you work as long as the job is done by such-and-such time.)

What do I see this morning as I head out the front door of the building?

A splintered banister. Brackets and all. Ripped out of the wall - keep in mind we're discussing a solid wooden pole as thick as my wrist - and smashed on the floor with no obvious blood. Damn, I was hoping one of the jerks impaled themselves on the thing.

A brief conference with my roommates brings out the fact that one of the night owls among us stayed up long enough to hear something that sounded like people smashing into the wall.

If the landlord makes us all pay for this rather than placing it squarely on the guys who did it, I'm ripping an equivalent chunk of meat out of the culprits' asses. What's the going sale rate for college guy meat if it's pre-marinated?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Never say "I'm bored" out loud. It tempts the gods.

1) One of the secretaries in the anthropology department at Big State U has come down with a case of swine flu - a woman who interacts with just about everyone who works in and around that office, I might add. There's the prerequisite panic over whether or not she was contagious and the fact that Big State U has been dragging its heels over getting the H1N1 vaccine (and there was a hell of a run on the normal flu vaccine this year too, I might add.)

2) Someone smashed a pumpkin outside of the smaller grocery store positioned between Big State U and State Christian U. No rhyme or reason, it was just there, right next to some broken bottles and what looked like someone's broken cell phone.

2a) It seems the radiator in my apartment is hot enough to dry pumpkin seeds thoroughly for storage before planting. Let's see if they actually grow next spring.

3) People need to have certain ideas hammered into their heads over and over before they get it, such as a mutual friend of my roommates' and mine thinking I'd automatically get the word about a birthday party via Facebook, or drop everything and come over when my roommate asked me whether I was coming to the party in question.

I've repeatedly told this mutual friend (Jake, just to give him a name) that I'm not on any social networking sites. (Shhh. This blog is meant to be anonymous. It's more fun that way - I can do the internet equivalent of standing on the roof screaming with nobody knowing who I am.) He knows that I refuse to join them for reasons he keeps trying to shoot down. He has my school email address, he knows which apartment I live in and where, and he knows who my roommates are. You'd think that would be enough.

4) I can't tell if my upstairs neighbors are installing a bowling alley or if they're taking turns dropping each other on their heads. Really. Every now and then I hear a very heavy, solid *THUD* that sounds like someone dropped a medicine ball or equally large weight. There are also occasional screams and loud trampling sounds, and then sudden silence. All I can hope is that they're going insane and will soon be forced to move out and finally let the rest of us have some quiet.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Paper Metamorphoses

Considering how little effort I've really invested, I'm irrationally proud of myself at this moment.

Three weekends ago, I invested six dollars into buying two paper grocery sacks at my nearest public library, and then snatched up any book, CD, audiobook, and the like that looked even the slightest bit interesting or useful and packed it away into these sacks as neatly as possible. The various used book stores and pawn/secondhand media shops around here are so variable in what they want that this approach will usually yield more in returns.

This weekend, after sorting through all of the media I had sitting in the bags (and around - one bag ripped open and sent a pile of paperbacks sliding across the floor), I finally started feeding the books I was not 110% sure I wanted to keep or give as they were to family and friends into the different secondhand stores around the two cities Big State U occupies.

This is always an interesting time of year for me, and certainly the time when I get the most exercise hauling around several cubic feet of printed matter in grocery sacks as I attempt to spread out that volume of books, CDs, audio tapes, and the like to maximize the returns. I never know exactly what's going to come out of hauling around all of the printed material, although I'm pretty sure of these possibilities:

1) More books - fewer than I started with, but definitely of better quality, since they aren't just what initially looked good when I scooped them up during a bag sale.

1A) Store credit at the places I bring the books to - this is always a gamble, since the used book stores aren't always stocked with what you're looking for, but it usually pays off.

2) Money - never as much as I expect, but more than enough to recoup the initial investment. Hey, even if it's just some quarters, money is money.

2A) This was an unexpected side effect, since one of my roommates wanted several books of a particular type but couldn't go to the sale. She asked me to pick up one or two of the books and promised to reimburse me. I've had books turn into dollar bills after I feed them through this whole process, but I've never before had them turn into ears of corn to pay the remaining debt.

3) There are just some things that nobody will take, for whatever reason - it's too old, nobody wants it (often the case with video game cheat books), or it's just too commonly available or otherwise undesirable (which is why I avoid picking up romance novels during the initial scoop the way you'd avoid touching someone who had the plague). Those remainders usually get dumped at the nearest library with a donations box or a secondhand store (which means some of the books I've been sorting might have already been through the process two or three times).

Yeah, it takes some work. But I've already made about twice my initial investment in credit at just one store, and gotten back half the money I spent in both cash and food just from doing my roommate a favor. And I've gotten plenty of exercise walking or riding my bike with the first load of books to each of the local stores, which is a heck of a lot better than paying to go to a gym.

Who says you can't see this sort of transformation of books into food, money, a healthier body, or new books right before your eyes? Now, if I could just do the same with loud neighbors (but what would you sell them for? Alarm systems? Pest scaring devices?), I'd make a mint and get two more hours of sleep a night.