Archive for November, 2007


peices of eight

November 30, 2007

MLE tagged me and because I love having a real important excuse to do a meme, here it is:

8 passions in my life
taking pictures
reading (books, blogs, etc)
the Internet
being aware of larger things going on in the world

8 things to do before I die
backpack in southeast asia/eastern europe (not on the same trip)
travel to Australia and New Zealand
get a Masters (preferably in Library Science)
own a kitten
fall in love
find a job that I love
plant and tend my own garden
attend an Olympic event

8 5 things I often say
“maybe, yes”
“shhhh” what can I say, I work in a library
“like the dickens”
“float your boat”

8 7 books I read recently
Fragile Things by Neil Gaimen
Of Beetles & Angels by Mawi Asgedom
Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together In The Cafeteria by Beverly Daniel Tatum (for class)
Crossing Over To Canaan by Gloria Ladson-Billings (for class)
The Right Attitude to Rain by Alexander McCall Smith
Cell by Stephen King (picked this up in a hostel this summer)
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography by Humphrey Carpenter (bought in oxford, devoured in scotland)

8 songs that hold some meaning for me (and by songs, you probably meant, movies, right?)
Good Will Hunting
Schindler’s List
Cool Runnings
Undercover Blues
The Truth About Cats & Dogs
Little Women
Boondock Saints

8 qualities I look for in a friend
an ability to find my dorkiness amusing
ability to make me laugh
willingness to alternately go to pubs on a friday night and make me forget to be bashful or to curl up, make popcorn and watch movies

8 people I’m tagging to go next
Katie (I can’t link to her, because she has a secret blog, but trust me it is very good and you should be sorry you aren’t reading it right now)
and as an awkward way of saying, “hey I just started reading your blog and I think it is really cool”


did you know

November 29, 2007

Today is the birthday of not only C.S. Lewis, Louisa May Alcott, AND Madeleine L’Engle,  all three of whom greatly influenced my younger years.

via The Writer’s Almanac


kinda in shock

November 29, 2007

This morning I got a real taste of what it can mean to be an educator. While walking through the short hallway between our fiction library and the library I work in, I came across two girls who seemed be horsing around in the hall. Soon I realized that they were not playing around but having an all out hair-pulling, kick each other to the ground fight. The kind of fight where they have stopped calling each other names in order to reserve more energy to wail on each other. Obviously I was a little shocked, my white bread, middle class upbringing has done little to teach me how to deal with these sort of things.

This was during the middle of our passing period so there were other kids flooding the hallways, but no other authority figures in sight. I got closer, halfway expecting them to just stop, or maybe security to come running around the corner, or anything that would prevent me from getting involved. Someone did come, a custodian who had been at the other end of the hall. By this time I was near the two girls, standing there, but very uncertain about the wisdom of placing myself directly between these two forces. The custodian grabbed one girl from behind and pulled her back, but the other girl kept going at her. I grabbed her from behind and tried to pull her back.

By the time a huge crowd of kids had formed around the two girls, but still no safety officers. The custodian pulled the other girl around the corner out of the way, leaving me in the hallway surrounded by high schoolers and trying to restrain a struggling strong teenage girl who was hellbent on either escaping or going after the other girl. At one point she broke away from me and headed around the corner, there a safety officer restrained her. This left me unhurt, but completely shaken. I remember at one point the custodian thanking me and asking my name, I waited around for a little bit wondering if I needed to give my account of what I had seen before walking into the back room of the library and completely breaking down.

I am doing better now and I have to say I work with some great people. If you know me at all you know how much I hate to cry in public, let alone the kind of crying the results in big gasping breaths and blowing ones nose a lot. But my colleagues were wonderful, comforting without too much fuss. But even now I have that slightly shaky feeling you get when you feel as if your reserve is running rather low.


Post Thanksgiving round-up

November 26, 2007

I have half started several posts these past few days, but like most things that one is unwilling to really commit too, they have not grown into much. Sometimes I feel like I have so many different things to write or talk about, but simultaneously nothing interesting to say. In order to attempt to guard against this scatterbrainedness I am going to write in complete paragraphs (I define paragraphs as 3 sentences minimum that tie together one thought) instead of a list, which let me tell you folks is a pretty incredible goal.

The cat threw up this morning. It was chunky, not too smelly, but highly annoying. I cleaned it up with paper towels and biodegradable cleaner.

I discovered that a pair of recently purchased jeans owe their smell not to gear oil, but to the dye used to achieve their dark wash. So I returned them to the store and was given a refund, which I promptly spent on a pair of lighter wash jeans. My personal stylist also persuaded me to buy a blazer, tunic and black knit jumper. I can now successfully impersonate either a business woman or a kindergarten teacher on command.

I have been watching a lot of The War documentary by Ken Burns recently. The episode I watched tonight was called FUBAR (fuck*d up beyond all reason) and tells several stores of generals who through ambition, stupidity, or just plain incompetence resulted in huge needless lose of life (although the documentary does a pretty good job of emphasizing the absolute randomness of death in war). What I find so fascinating in the series is how different our world seemed a mere 60 years ago.

My family came to Chicago for half a week over thanksgiving and a good time ensued. Games of Tichu were won and lost, much food was eaten, a badly done movie was watched, snow was frolicked in and several photos were taken. We also went to Brookfield Zoo where we got in touch with our inner primate, I saw lions that weren’t wild and a hippo grunted at us. I leave you with this brief pictorial representation of the main event of turkey feast.

post turkey game playing and dessert eating


maybe its the fog

November 21, 2007

or maybe its a recent update from Grace (a fellow traveler I met in Egypt this summer) but all of a sudden I got quite nostalgic about the times spent traveling this past summer.

Grace and I climbing down the easy way from Mt. Sinai

Traveling is always a rather crazy conundrum for me; I love it, yet I always find it slightly less thrilling then expected. I find that no matter how crazy the heat, slimy the guide, breathtaking the hills, or beautiful the sunrise, everything gets better in hindsight.

Sunrise over Mt. Sinai

I think part of this is how when I am actually traveling there is all this pressure to be having the time of my life. Not only does each day cost me more money, energy and time then it does at home, but when I am traveling I am seeing things that so few people have the privilege to experience. And for me that adds extra pressure to absorb as much as humanly possible.

During my last few weeks in China I remember this pressure being especially high, because not only was I never going to be able to replicate the experience, I would most likely never see some of the people I had grown to appreciate so much in my short 3 months in China again.

Dinner out with the roommates

In the end as much as I love to travel, I think it will always be the coming home part that makes any trip special.


all about my camera

November 19, 2007

Today has to be one of the quickest moving days in recent history, which of course is always okay with me. But more importantly I have things to say in relation to my so called life (this TV show is so like on my netflix queue).

Firstly a little known but much lamented story is how I haven’t had a functioning camera in over a month. The story begins with some amazing pictures that my younger brother took when I was back home in Goshen for the weekend.



I was so blown away by them, that I let him borrow it for a two week period. During which he took more amazing photos and also dropped it on its lens.

Grass against the sky

Fortunately (Thanks item number 1) this only kaputted the basic kit lens I got with the camera and didn’t damage the body of the camera.

Really upset by the broken lens

However this also meant that I needed a new lens and unfortunately now is not the most ideal financial time for this type of purchase. Especially because I didn’t want just any lens, I wanted this beautiful one that came so highly recommended from the girl who takes great pictures of lots of things including her cat in doll dresses. So in the end (and out of a desperation to take pictures of all the over photographed, but still oh so pretty leaves and upcoming thanksgiving festivities) I went ahead and sold out my financial plans for the next 3 months and bought the sucker.

So basically when Wednesday and my beautiful new lens arrive, I will be one happy girl.


some of my favorite people

November 12, 2007

are adolescent boys who have recently discovered the joys of a changed voice and therefore spend much of their day producing long remarks and meaningful silences.


how to have an odd, but delightful friday evening

November 9, 2007

Meet two co-workers at a pub for drinks at 5.

Have them buy you drinks.

Consume them (the drinks, not the co-workers) and THEN eat some dinner.

Enjoy the way this makes you kinda dizzy when you get up to go to the bathroom.

After the pub walk home with your roommate.

Spot the local Blockbuster and decide now is the perfect time to buy previously viewed DVDs.

Notice that the grocery store is located across from the Blockbuster and decide that now is the perfect time to buy random prepackaged junk food.

Remember you are a spend thrift so decide on the 12 pack of diet coke because it is the same cost as the 6 pack.

Walk home 1/2 mile carrying the following contents in plastic bags:

Catch & Release
The White Countess
Alias Season 1
History Boys
1 bag of chips
1 dozen day old donuts
12 pk root beer
12 pk diet coke
1 glamour magazine
1 snickers bar

Laugh the entire way home.


pet naming systems

November 9, 2007

A – What was his dog’s name?

J – I don’t remember…. Dog?

S – Oh come on you have to come up with something better than that

J – I don’t know, Jack, Bobby …

A – So basically any of the Kennedy sons?


not cool fact about my wednesday

November 7, 2007

My jeans smell like gear oil, this is due to the whole not washing before first wear issue.  But seriously people, can’t you clean the factory smell off of them before sending them out?