Sunday, October 30, 2005

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

I'm sending you all (via this blog) my favorite Halloween e-card. It's a perfect description of what's going on in my head every day. Be sure and play it with your volume up BUT with the door to your office closed (or at home) because otherwise people might think you are strange.

So, Have a Great Halloween, Everyone!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

Worst Week Ever.

Picture the comic book guy from The Simpsons saying that, because that's what keeps going through my head. That, and "The Turkey in the Straw."

It wasn't actually the worst week ever. No one died, I didn't crash my car, my apartment didn't burn down, etc. But it was an incredibly exhausting yet unproductive week, and now I am so behind in school that I'm starting to panic. But I have talked to other 3Ls, and apparently, they are in the same situation--burnout. We are all experiencing a mild panicking sensation in the back of our minds but still find ourselves not actually getting any work done.

But at least the school week is over. I'm so tired I could barely drag myself into class this morning, and I'm seeing the work day is going to be full of moments when I realize I've just been staring into space, but at least I have a weekend full of studying to look forward to.

No, really, I'm looking forward to it. Because then maybe I can catch up and not be so freaked out. That's right, baby! This weekend, Federal Income Tax Law, it's just you and me! Well, and laundry. Just Federal Income Tax, laundry, and me!

Monday, October 24, 2005

No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn

And by Brooklyn, I mean Wednesday. And I thought the last time I'd be pulling an all-nighter was in undergrad. But, alas, 'tis not the case. I'm kinda in the weeds here, so I'll be not posting anything until at least the weekend and possibly not until the next one, unless by some miracle I become un-swamped before then.

I know, you are all so disappointed.

Friday, October 21, 2005

If you were planning on escaping from the bad guys

using your special, super-hero getaway vehicle, equipped with special escape-from-villains technology, steer clear of North Carolina. They take a dim view of such shenanigans.

North Carolina General Statutes, chapter 20.
§ 20 136. Smoke screens.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to drive, operate, equip or be in the possession of any automobile or other motor vehicle containing, or in any manner provided with, a mechanical machine or device designed, used or capable of being used for the purpose of discharging, creating or causing, in any manner, to be discharged or emitted, either from itself or from the automobile or other motor vehicle to which attached, any unusual amount of smoke, gas or other substance not necessary to the actual propulsion, care and keep of said vehicle. . . .

Monday, October 17, 2005

What is going on with me, anyway?

I’m looking a little frazzled today. I stayed up way too late last night watching the Walker, Texas Ranger t.v. movie that was filmed in Dallas (the only reason I was watching it). Then this morning, I was awakened before it was time for to get up by a car in the street outside my apartment honking his horn. Finally, my neighbor went outside and yelled at him that people were trying to sleep, which he didn’t like, prompting him to yell, I’m not kidding, “don’t make me kill you, white bitch.” I’m not sure who he was honking at, but he drove off after that, so I hope no one was counting on him for a ride. I was very irritated, because I really need every minute of sleep I can get.

I made coffee for myself to take to school, but then promptly left it at home. I couldn’t drink it while I was getting ready for school because I woke up nauseated, so I had sprite instead. So I had to wait until I go to work to get coffee.

Speaking of coffee, last week I threw what was left in my mocha in the trash but forgot to put the trash in the hall and forgot that the cleaning staff doesn't have a key to my office. So on Sunday I got to play, "what's that smell," a.k.a. "find the funk." There's just nothing like the smell of milk gone bad greeting you as you walk in the door.

Last week was a spectacular display of absent-mindedness on my part, and I hope that the coffee-leaving isn’t a sign that it’s continuing into this week. Last week, I managed to lose my keys and not find them for two days. RR had to drive me to school and pick me up. Then on another day I left my books at home. RR even stopped me as I was walking out the door and pointed out the books that I had left on our entry-way table (in order to remind me to take them). Not only did I tell her that I didn’t need them because they weren’t for my classes that day (this despite the fact that I was rushing around to leave in time for my early class, so clearly I did know what class I was going to), I gave her a run-down on why I brought them home in the first place, a story that didn’t make any sense, and I knew it didn’t make sense as it was coming out of my mouth. But the fact that I couldn’t give a rational explanation for them being there didn’t prompt to realize that I did need them, until I got to school. RR brought me my books. Seriously, she was the only thing holding me together. Then yesterday, I relayed to my mom something my dad had said, and then she looked at me funny and said, “I said that.” See? What is going on with me? My mom chalked it up to stress and “burning the candle at both ends,” which it probably is, but since that’s not going to stop anytime soon, I’m not sure what to do about it.

On the upside, I did finally go walking at the rec center last night. As predicted, I walked for an hour and 15 minutes, and would have walked longer if I hadn’t needed to get home to tape Walker for rr. VH1 was playing Top 100 One Hit Wonders, and I mean really, who wouldn’t want to watch that? For the record, I love Big Country, and I really miss New Wave.

Friday, October 14, 2005

This & That

I don't have any one thing that would make an interesting post, so I'm just throwing a bunch of stuff together.

(1) I have developed a serious affinity for clif bars, and in particular the Peanut Toffee Buzz flavor. So yummy.

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No Trans Fat!

(2) Last night I saw my favorite Simpson's episode of all time, which also happens to be one of my favorite episodes of any show ever. It's the Cape Feare episode. So classic. In my mind, it ranks up there with my favorite episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, in which Patricia's Heaton's character utters the fabulous line that's true, I think, in every marriage: "If smells bothered me, I'd have left him a looong time ago."

(3) I'm going to lunch with a friend today, but all I can think about is a clif bar.

(4) I seriously hate 4 out of 5 of my classes. They are painfully boring. I mean, I actually have to bite my tongue to keep from standing up, yelling "That's IT! I cannot take this anymore!" and running out. It's a miracle that I'm still going to class at this point.

(5) I'm extremely excited about going to the gym this weekend. The new rec center has t.v.'s for each individual treadmill (so I'm told), and the t.v.'s have cable. This was true of my old gym, and I would walk for hours at a time (I don't have cable at home, because I would watch it for hours at a time). Yea! I might actually get in shape, provided I ever actually make it over there. It's all the way across campus, and I don't like to mingle with the undergrads. If you went to school here, you'd understand why.

That's all, folks! It's about time for me to start preparing for exams, so the posts will get progressively more boring as the semester goes on. I apologize in advance.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I hated it so much that...flames. flames. flames on the side of my face, heaving, breaths--

Ok, so a few weekends again, I had to get my car inspected. Because my car is so old, and because I can't afford to fix anything if there's something actually wrong with it, I can't take it to just any place. I always take it to this place near my apartment where they only do inspections, and where I'm pretty sure every car passes. Although they turn my car on, I can't even be sure that they are actually running any tests on it.

So anyway, I'm sitting there in the waiting area, where there is a television. The television is on. I don't know why, but when I'm at those places, I don't feel like I have the right to change the channel, or even turn down the volume, so I usually get stuck watching something like NASCAR or golf. On that day, I would have killed for NASCAR. Instead, they were showing Saturday morning children's programming. And that's when I found out about Lazy Town.

You know how sometimes, something just rubs you the wrong way, so much so that you actually become angry, without really knowing why? You just go straight past irritated and right into "if I could hit something right now, I would?" That was pretty much my reaction to this show. I wanted to scream. And keep screaming, until I passed out.

Apparently, the premise of the show is that there's this town of idiot puppets and their hero is some french guy named Sporticus. The other two non-puppet characters are some pink-haired girl who nods a lot and an incredibly stereotypical villain. Let me stop right there and say that I don't like puppets. Well, muppets are cool. But typically, puppets creep me out. This was no exception. Furthermore, the hero is this big strong FRENCH guy? When was the last time a french guy was (a) healthy, or (b) standing up for anyone? And what's with the mustache? If you're trying to do away with french stereotypes, how about starting with appearances?

Anyway, so in this episode, apparently the writers of the show have rejected the spinach=strong teachings of Popeye and have instead embraced carrots=strong. That's right. Eat carrots and develop incredible strength and the ability to throw carrots with expert precision. Eat carrots and immediately feel better!

Anyway, so the villain of the show decided to pretend to be a doctor to convince everyone that carrots are bad for you and that Sporticus should be sent away. Because he puts on a white lab coat and one of those metal reflector looking things doctors used to wear on his head, everyone buys it. Anway, the show winds up with Sporticus figuring it out and saving the day. I think the thing that bothered me the most was that no one recognized the bad guy until he took off the little metal thing on his head.

Also, I think there may have been a song in there somewhere.

So, yeah, I hated it.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Halloween 1997

I love Halloween. I absolutely love it. There's just something about the decorations, and the getting dressed up, and the . . . ok, ok, it's the free candy, alright? I get very excited about it.

RR and I have always enjoyed it. Well, mostly always. Certainly for the last 10 years or so. I'll go into details about why before that was kind of hit or miss in another post.

Halloween 1997 was a good Halloween. RR and I decided to go a party. But not just any party. An enormous block party. We decided we'd dress up for it.

I decided to go as Little Red Riding Hood. I had the costume left over from a previous Halloween, and it beat my "Halloween costume" t-shirt. It also seemed to go with my hair, which I had recently dyed a perfectly lovely shade of magenta, and which had settled into a very dark color indeed. Going with the children story theme, RR decided to go as Gretel (as in Hansel and), again partly because she had a dress that would work for it.

On that night, someone snapped our picture, which is one of the few pictures with me in it that I actually like. I like it for a number of reasons. For one thing, RR and I look genuinely happy and don't have that stupid fake smile pasted on our faces. RR also looks extraordinarily tan, which she certaily was not in real life. I was pretty thin at the time (before the middle-aged weight gain I'm experiencing now), but that doesn't account for the fact that my stalk-like ankles look so trim and dainty in the picture. Also, for some reason, I am wearing rr's shoes, and she is wearing mine.

I also like the picture because it captured an era in our lives. No fancy furniture in our first apartment, no sir. We had true college student furnishings. In the picture you can see the chair and ottoman that had been in our family for a long time. The chair was missing a leg and would tilt and unceremoniously dump you on the floor if you weren't careful. In that chair my friend Kara would balance precariously and sit for extended periods of time, holding my cat Wally like a baby--the only time before or since that he has ever consented to be held like that. In front of that chair are my "cut boots"--the boots I would wear to Bonfire cut ("cut" is when you would go out into the woods and chop down the trees; "stack" is when you build the Bonfire--we Aggies don't go for creativity in naming things).

You can also see the interesting couch that we got from a coworker of my mom. We needed a sofa after hils moved out and took her far more interesting-looking couch with her. This sofa was huge and quite comfortable. Next to the sofa was our cheap table from Wal-mart that served as our end table. This is exactly the same type of table that BF/R accidentally lit on fire once, a fact which we hid from rr for some time for fear that she would take away our candles (she did).

On the wall behind us, you can see the one tiny picture that we hung up on the wall as our only decoration. It looked woefully out of place. And my favorite thing of all is what you can only see if you look very closely; in the picture it looks like a very small dark spot in the wall. RR was taking French and German and decided that she needed to improve her vocabulary, so she labeled almost everything in the apartment with index cards. On the card would be the French, German, and for good measure, Spanish word for that thing. On the wall behind us, you can sort of see the card for sofa/sofá/sofa/divan.

I love this picture so much that I'm willing to share it--only not with our faces in it (see previous post about introverts and being a very private person).

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Friday, October 07, 2005

State Fair: Round 1

I have to say that tonight I had The.Best.Time.Ever. RR and I went to the fair.

Weather-wise, it couldn't have been more perfect. Cool but not cold. Also, it wasn't too terribly crowded, the way it usually is when we go during the day.

First items on the menu: Chicken biscuit and cheddar sweet potato fries. [for review of food items, see RR's blog].

Then we went and got Fletcher's corny dogs. RR has a friend who said hers was disappointing this year, but I gotta say, mine was muy delicioso.

Then we went on the Midway and watched the Killdares, who I wanted to see last year but didn't get a chance.

Then we got to see the last part of the parade. I was unhappy about the blockbuster signage everywhere, but other than that, it was wonderfully cheesy. My favorite part (other than the the world-champion Gymnast in a Wheel)? The Shriners, of course. They play musical instruments.

After that we bought our birthday fudge (every year we buy fudge from this one stand and freeze it, and then we eat it on our birthday--it freezes very well).

Then we walked back and sat on the steps of the Hall of State and watched the last part of an incredible sunset. We didn't want to wait around for the laser light show, although I had never seen it, and we were not yet uncomfortably full, and we didn't want to waste the room in our stomachs (hey, don't judge--the fair comes but once a year). We walked down to the Desperado's stand but then decided we didn't have enough room to do justice to the Desperados Tacos (we love those tacos), so we walked back towards the Hall of State for some fried cheesecake.

By that time, the laser light show had started, so we ate our cheesecake and saw a little of the lights and fireworks. I got to hear them play that classic rock station staple "Dream Weaver," which I love (I know, but I love it, so shut up). Then we beat it out of there before the dancing hamster song came on, because let's face it, if that gets stuck in your head, it pretty much stays for days.

*sigh*

The only thing that could have made it better would have been if our regular fair buddy could have gone, too. I never had me a better time, and I guess I never will.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

I missed my chance

I am so sad that on October 4, nobody asked me what the date was. I waited all day. But nobody asked. So I didn't get to say, "10-4, good buddy."

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Tagging Along

I was tagged by Amstaff Mom.

The instructions are as follows:

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

"We like Raul."

Like RR, I don't know 5 people who have not been tagged. If any of the lurkers would post comments (you know who you are!), then maybe I would. But I don't.


Monday, October 03, 2005

If You Don't Get Fat at the Fair, You Just Aren't Trying Hard Enough

RR received an email today about new food items at the Fair this year. She forwarded it to me, saying "This list will save us some time. We've got a lot of work to do." We are so on the same page on this one.

If you are interested, here is the list. Note the prevalence of the word "fried."

Awesome Bread Pudding Wrap: Special-recipe bread pudding with rum sauce gently wrapped in a flour tortilla. Flash-fried, it's dusted with a combination of cinnamon and sugar and then frozen. Final product is finished in deep fryer, oven or microwave. Located in various Newport Concession stands (look for the yellow t-shirts) throughout the grounds.

Chicken Tender'n Biscuit: Extra-crunchy chicken, fresh from the fryer and nestled inside a hot butter-basted biscuit, is served with a side of warm spiced honey dipping sauce. At the Dock Restaurant, inside the Embarcadero.

Country Fried Pork Chop Sandwich: Crispy-fried and breaded, this boneless pork chop cutlet is sandwiched between two slices of savory onion bread and served with assorted dressings and a pickle spear, Southern-style. Located at Fernie's Funnel Cake stand across from The Old Mill Inn near Big Tex.

Fried Apple Taco: Appetizing Mexican pastry overflowing with apples and sprinkled with cinnamon dust right out of the fryer. Available at two locations - inside the Coca-Cola Food Court at Benavides Mexican Food and on Funway Street in the Midway, close to the bumper cars.

Fried Coconut Coated Pineapple Rings: Newly manufactured product consisting of silver dollar sized pineapple slices, lightly battered with a coconut breading. Deep fried to perfection, sprinkled with powdered sugar and topped with whip crème, a cherry and a tiny paper umbrella! Located in upper Gateway Plaza.

Fried Italian Meatballs: Delicious Italian-style meatballs battered and fried to a golden brown; plump and juicy inside, and crunchy on the outside. The meatballs are served with a side of dipping sauce. Located on Cotton Bowl Plaza at Bert's Burgers.

Fried PBJ and Banana Sandwich: An old favorite kicked up a notch for the State Fair! A carefully made peanut butter, jelly and banana sandwich, that's frozen, dipped in a special batter, quick fried and dusted with powdered sugar. A delicious hot-and-cold sensation! Located outside the Embarcadero on Nimitz Dr.

Fried Strawberry Empanada: These deep-fried, rolled flour tortillas hold a yummy strawberry filling and are finished with a dusting of powdered sugar. Located in the Thrillway section of the Midway.

Going Bananas: Regular & sugar-free Banana Pudding, Banana Splits, Bananas Foster, Coconut Banana Cream Pie, Rum Raisin Banana Cake and Old-Fashioned Bread Pudding with Caramel Banana or Raspberry Sauce. Also, Turkey Salad Sandwiches on a Roll, Turkey Taco Salads in a Tortilla Bowl, Italian Panini Sandwiches and Brownies. Located inside the Coca-Cola Food Court (Tower Building).

Nutter Nana Sandwich: A new spin-off from last year's success, banana filling is sandwiched between fried Nutter Butter® cookies, then battered and deep fried. Located in the Midway near Guest Relations.

Pappy's Strawberries, Cream and Cake: Real strawberries and real strawberry juice are poured over ice-cold special cakes filled with vanilla cream or chocolate. On top? Sweet whipped cream and shaved chocolate bits. Located across from the Old Mill Inn near Big Tex at Proud Pappy's Pretzels.

Potato Crisps: Fresh-cut spirals of Idaho potatoes, fried, and then scrumptiously dusted with vanilla and creamy powdered sugar. Located on the lagoon-end of Cotton Bowl Plaza at Benz Foods.

Rio Grande Chicken: Meticulously seasoned and oven baked to a golden hue. Located in Cotton Bowl Plaza at the Cajun Gourmet stand.

Steak Salad: Grilled Philly steak tossed with mixed greens and tomato to make a deliciously different salad. Located at the Tower Steak Shop in the Coca-Cola Food Court inside the Tower Building.

Stuffed Baked Plantains: Baked and stuffed with peanut butter, island spices and topped with marshmallows. Located at the Coca-Cola Food Court inside the Tower Building at the Texas Caribbean Foods stand.

Sweet Potato Fries: Piping-hot sweet potato fries sprinkled with Lawry's seasoned salt, covered in shredded cheddar cheese and broiled to perfection. Brown sugar and cayenne pepper are dusted on the fries followed by a topping of crumbled bacon. Served with a side of Ranch dipping sauce, sweet potato fries are available at the Dock Restaurant, inside the Embarcadero Building on Nimitz Dr.

Taco Twister: A cone-shaped corn tortilla filled with either taco filling or fajitas, mixed with lettuce and topped with sour cream and guacamole. Makes a delightful walk-around meal! Located in the Midway on Funway Street near the bumper cars.

Texas Crab Cakes: Handmade and pan or deep-fried like their Maryland counterparts. Located on Cotton Bowl Plaza or Nimitz Drive at the Cajun Gourmet stand.

Vegas Fried Ice Cream: Combination peanut butter/bananas/and rock 'n' roll in a tasty fried ice cream ball. Topped with a special banana pie sauce, it's accompanied by a guitar-shaped buñuelo striped with peanut butter. So good it'll make your leg start a-shakin'! Located on Funway in the Midway close to the Lost Children Shelter.

White Chocolate Bread Pudding: Generous chunks of fresh French bread soaked in a creamy custard of rich white chocolate and baked until golden brown. Hefty portions are served warm and drenched in a white chocolate cream sauce. Available at the Dock Restaurant inside the Embarcadero Building.