Archive for the ‘random thought’ Category


another weird dream

March 23, 2010

So Becca and I were helping Erini out at her toy store on a Saturday because no one else had been able to work.  But instead of selling many toys Erini’s store had all these crazy high tech gadgets for really cheap prices.  The best part was instead of a cash register there was a box shaped computer with buttons on that would turn it into a Wii or whatever else struck your fancy.  Of course this meant that Becca and I had little clue how to help people pay, so I just wondered around looking at cool things (e-books in the shape of credit cards that you could swipe and add to any mobile device/computer) and bam all of a sudden Ben Stiller walked in to the store.

But he was pretending to be this musician named Poison, so he had this rock outfit on and long hair.  Apparently he was pretty disgruntled about something or other, so he just laid down in the middle of the store.  Eventually we all persuaded him to get up (by this time the store was really crowded so he kept getting stepped on) and decided to drive him home.  So there we were driving along, Ben Stiller and I in the back seat and Becca and someone else driving (Jess? Katie? not sure).  So it turned out that Ben Stiller had been born in Elkhart county (pretty sure this is not true) so we chatted about that for a while.  I told him I was from Goshen, we bonded.  Soon we were at his house, but before he got out he agreed to take a picture with me, so we took two.  One nice and normal with my cheesing a huge “I’m sitting next to Ben Stiller” smile and the other of us doing our best “Blue Steel”.

So anyone else have a weird dream recently?


Some quick follow up quandries from my what to buy post

February 23, 2010

As my Dad pointed out in his comment, there are many different ways of viewing this situation that would change my ultimate decision.  In his example, thinking about which of the three would be most valuable in 10 years is a good way of being responsible.  So here are a few of those scenarios in application. (For the purposes of this little experiment I have eliminated the desk option, because over the weekend I did some thinking and decided it didn’t interest me nearly as much as the other two)

10 years down the road:

iPod – Like all techno gadgets, this will probably be completely worthless and almost guaranteed not to be working by this time.  Considering my current iPod is almost 4 years old and hence “ancient” in my mind, the likely-hood of this newer gadget having any lasting value are very low.

IKEA dresser – This is a bit harder to guess, mainly due to the fact that stuff from IKEA can be a mixed bag.  On one hand you have the fold-able laundry hangers that took my family and I almost 40 minutes to figure out how to use, but only cost 25 cents and all three are still working like charms.  And on the other you have the 5 dollar laundry bag I bought that within 3 months buckled under its own weight (and in all fairness the 3-4 weeks of dirty clothes I often tried to stuff in it) and was rendered utterly worthless.

Final Outcome – Dresser wins, because despite IKEA’s hit and miss quality, chances are there won’t be such big breakthroughs in dresser technology that make this current model look like just a hunk of useless wood.

Zombie Apocalypse

iPod – When/If the zombies come the iPod’s life becomes a bit iffy.  While it could possibly provide some aid as a source of comfort with its little plucky tunes and occasional ability to connect to wi-fi, it’s helpfulness would be limited to however long the infrastructure that supports technology lasts against the raging hordes of the undead.

IKEA Dresser – Most likely this dresser would be quickly abandoned after the realization that backpacks are much better ways of carrying extra clothes on our hasty escape from the oncoming zombies.  However in case of the need to barricade within the home, the dresser could prove helpful in its ability to block (only temporarily, zombies never give up) doors or hallways.

Final Outcome – Although neither tool would get Max Brook’s ringing endorsement, the iPod may have a slight advantage in that I would most likely need to be escaping the city, before holing up in my far-off rural hideout.

Republicans/Tea Party members take over and the US becomes a shadow of its former self

iPod – This little device could be very helpful in downloading now illegal NPR podcasts and connecting on the sly with other pockets of underground liberals.  Also its many adaptable apps would offer a range of ways to look things up on Wikipedia when trying to construct arguments with the new conservative overlords.

IKEA Dresser – Its solid construction and classic look would help persuade others of my conservative cover, however its foreign origins in the sketchy country of Sweden would prove detrimental.

Final Outcome – iPod wins


two odd dreams and a financial pondering

February 19, 2010

A few nights back I had a very vivid dream in which I was back in school (probably high school) and we took a field trip up into space.  In the dream this seemed both very typical, I mean who hasn’t been to space!, and also really cool because who doesn’t love field trips!  Our group was going at the end of the day (the means of travel seemed somewhat carnival ride related), so therefore we were allowed to just stay up there overnight.  I remember thinking this was pretty cool, but that my parents were probably not going to be thrilled at the cost of the trip (several hundred dollars).  Unfortunately I don’t remember much of the dream that actually involved hanging out in space, other than our capsule resembled those bunk cabins from camp and I got to look out at the stars from my sleeping bag.*


Last night I had a dream in which I was hanging out with my brothers and Jonathan and Tim were running around up ahead with their iPhones (I know, I know, dreams that feature mac products are incredibly dorky) and I was trying to get their attention, because I knew Jonathan had an extra iPod Touch.  Eventually I caught up with them and Jonathan offered to give me the iPod Touch because he had this great way of getting another one free from Apple.  His plan seemed to involve a complicated set of calculations which would eventually steal enough dimes and nickels from Apple to pay the cost of the iPod.  This apparently casual fraud seemed to really upset the dream me, so I decided I should just pay him for the iPod.


Fortunately at least one of these very strange dreams can be explained by my third point in which I ask for advice regarding a possible future purchase.  Thanks to the recent refunding of my money by the U.S Treasury, I have some extra money.  Now the vast majority of that is going into my savings account (otherwise known as the holding cell for tuition payments) and I have some plans on how I will tithe 10%, but I want to do something fun with at least a small portion of it.

So here are some ways I could spend my allotted bonus money:

I have been drooling for a new iPod for quite some time now. Plus with its built in wi-fi I could use it as pseudo laptop if I ever get around to updating my almost 4 year old MacBook to an iMac

While I am not sure I would get this specific dress I have been wanting a nicer desk for a while now and this one would definitely inspire me to stop covering up my current one with papers to be filed

Likewise I have been wanting to replace my dresser (since the doors on the left side no longer close completely) and this kind of fun blue one from IKEA would definitely add a nice splash of blue to my room.

So votes, opinions folks? I love feedback, so also if you have an alternate idea of how I should spend my money, let me know 🙂

*I did find some explanation for my dream in my recent reading of The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe which was a non-fiction book all about Project Mercury and the first Americans in space.


some thoughts about hair

January 15, 2010

Right now my hair is long, actually really long might be  a better description.  In fact it may be the longest it has been in my life, although my high school hair would probably give it a run for its money.  So right now I am really itching to do something different. I am facing some major decisions in my life right now of huge dimension and import.

  1. The first is, should I cut bangs? Right now my hair is pretty long, say 4ish inches beyond my shoulders and I haven’t really done anything crazy too it since I got permed it, grew it out a bit and then got a couple crazy haircuts in china.  Here is a picture from way back in college when my hair was short.  You can kind of see what longish side swept bangs would look like, but hopefully not quite so shaggy and untrimmed in appearance.  So what say you all, should I get bangs or is this a crazy idea?
  2. Second issue: length.  Here are some pictures to demonstrate different options I am considering.

    This is by far the shortest option I am considering and maybe it is just the inclination to change, change things up that makes this haircut fascinating. But I think about the time it would save, the way it would add curl and lift to my hair, I have to say this one is rather tempting in a crazy way.

  3. This is a slightly longer option, closer to a bob:

    This is a slightly less radical option, medium in length and probably fairly easy to style a happy medium between cutting it all off and keeping it long.

  4. These next options are variations on my current length with different amount of layers and probably different styling techniques:

    This would be the safest cut, similar to my current length and layers (long and long), however the big difference is that I have these odd curly bit at my temples which would make the straightness of this look hard to achieve.

  5. Option 5

    This would be closer to the haircut I got around 10 months ago, but longer in length. More layers and a more shaped looked, but still fairly similar to what I have now.

  6. Option 6
  7. A slightly shorter hair cut, this is both more layered and incorporates bangs. But I like the way the bangs are not obvious and transition well, into the rest of the hair.

  8. Option 7

    This is again slightly shorter in length, but has face framing layers instead of bangs.

So what do you all say, which option is your favorite, or do you have a completely different idea of what I should do with my hair?


so winters in chicago get pretty dry

December 14, 2009

In fact they get so dry that when you leave an orange peel out overnight, it turns into this:


the globalization of the local

November 23, 2009

Yesterday while driving home from class I heard a story on NPR all about polar bears, who are apparently quite doomed.  The expert was talking about how the melting of the ice caps was unrepairable at this point and that it was only a matter of time before all the polar bears starved to death.  Kind of a depressing thought, you have to admit, but what it really made me think about is how I am, in my Midwestern little cocoon, upset by this idea.  How much time do I spend thinking about polar bears on a daily basis?  Not a lot.  How much does it actually effect me, who has never seen a polar bear and am unlikely to do so, if polar bears cease to exist?  Not a lot.*  But because I was sitting in my car, listening to NPR, I know about this and it makes me sad.

It is pretty easy to go on and on about the ways that the globalization of information is radically changed our perception of the world over the past 100 or even 50 years ago.  For instance, this weekend I spent around 6 hours researching a very old book.  I found journal articles, read biographies, examined old maps, all through the wireless connection of my laptop.  In other words I did research that would have required numerous letters, trips to libraries, and possibly even travel to do only 100 years ago.  But in the end, it was the part of the research where I held the book in my hand and looked at its strange, but very cool, illustrations that really connected me to story of one book and the many hands that helped produce it.

Friday night I had rather bizarre experience when I ended up entertaining both a young homeless woman with mental issues and a volunteer recruiting for ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals).  The young woman, Mary, is a known person to the neighborhood.  She used to come around more frequently, but this is only the second time I have interacted with her since moving into Cana.  There is something about sitting there drinking tea with a young woman who spends nights on the streets and a man explaining the difficult work of helping animals after natural disasters and bringing down dog-fighting rings to make one think a little more seriously about issues.  Normally would I think to offer tea to the homeless or sign up to give money to help pet animals? Probably not, but when someone comes to your home, or to the radio in your car, it makes those big national/global issues seem more important to my tiny little life.

*It should be noted that I understand the huge issue of global warming and how that will indeed effect me, but this one small part of it probably really won’t effect me at all.


living in the world of modern medicine

November 17, 2009

Apparently  I can be a bit clueless when it comes to connecting how I am actually feeling to preset medical diagnosis.  For example I would often get really irritable and moody for around a week before certain monthly events.  I would grumble and decide that all my friends secretly hated me, in essence I was a joy to be around.  Eventually (and I won’t disclose exactly how old I was when this happened, but lets just say I may or may not have already graduated from high school) I made the huge leap that this condition was actually already discovered by the medical community and known most the world round as PMS.

Other lightening bolt moments of revelation include the time I discovered that those itchy watery eyes I got in September, might be related to my childhood diagnosis of dustmite allergies.  Or today when I finally figured out that the odd slight burning in my chest, possibly located near my heart, may actually be what some people (silly doctors) have already heard about and call heart burn.  Also have you guys heard of these radical pills called pain relievers, apparently they, get this, take away pain, will wonders never cease!


Stuff on my Bed: Birthday edition

October 5, 2009

Stuff on my Bed: Birthday edition, originally uploaded by AbbyN. For the explanation of all that stuff, click on the photo and head over to Flickr.

I got home from work today and unloaded my stuff and was struck by the odd but very typical accumulation of things on my bed today.  Unfortunately my current habit is to just transfer this all to the floor when I actually go to sleep instead of, you know, actually putting things in their place.  But at least in the morning I know exactly where my purse is, right there next to my bed.

In other news today has been a very good birthday for a work week celebration.  I started out the day with a cinnamon scone and cinnamon latte that Jess brought me from Brothers K and the rest of the day went by smoothly with very few hassles.  Of course my attempts to dress up for my birthday have left me with a little birthday blister on my toe, but the shoes were still worth it.

Also I got lots of birthday messages on Facebook, two voice messages from family (Charletta and Tim (calling all the way from London!)), one birthday card in the mail, one birthday text and two birthday emails.  Days like today always remind me how blessed I am in all of my relationships.


a fascinating article about race, violence, chicago, bicycling and youth

September 3, 2009

I know I have been silent for close to a month now and have posts in my head to get you all up to date on many of the random happenings in my life.  However all of that will need to wait for a while longer, because I just finished this incredible article by John Conroy about his experience being mugged while ridding his bicycle home on the West Side of Chicago.

I was ambushed on the West Side last year, an attack that on its face made no sense. I’d never seen my assailant before; he’d never seen me; no words were exchanged; nothing was taken. Like many crime victims, I wanted the incident, which changed my life for the worse, to have some meaning. I’m white, he is black, and in time it was hard not to wonder if race had something to do with it.” published in the September issue of Chicago Magazine

As someone who works in a school filled with teenagers, I was fascinated by the discussion about hate-crimes and their connection to violent thrill-seeking.  Also both my older brother (who actually commutes through a very similar part of Chicago as the author of the article) and my Dad are frequent bikers and so the reality of this type of random crime strike home in a different way.

I found this to be both an incredibly well-written story and a powerful discussion starter.  Let me know what you think.

– via kottke


summer cooking, mowing and a little music

July 6, 2009

So I have been a bit of a no show around these parts, as of late.  And I don’t really have any good reason for that other than – summer.  But now I am back from my Monday night class (the one where I get to read lots of young adult books), sitting here in my pajamas, and drinking hot mint tea.  I don’t know what it is exactly about mint, but I tend to find it cooling even in the context of hot tea.  Which reminds me, a few weeks ago just past the peak of strawberry season, my housemate made this incredible dish which consisted solely of sliced strawberries, a dash of sugar and crushed fresh mint.  Along with being crazy simple, it was probably the best thing I have tasted all summer.  Oh, that is one thing I have been doing as of late, taking more time to create full meals on my designated cooking night.  Recent dishes include black bean burgers with cilantro-lemon mayo, whole wheat peach kuchen, homemade pizza, pasta salad full of olives, tomatoes, fresh basil and topped with Parmesan.

What else have I been up to?  Well today I mowed the lawn for the first time (rather sad, considering I have been living at Cana for almost a year) and I used the push mower, which was actually rather fun, if not slightly like combing the grass.

The part I am referring too starts around 2:40, but seriously the whole clip is great.

In other news I recently bought Moby’s new album Wait for Me (it is what I was listening too before I went off to search down the above clip), for two main reasons.  First it got a rather positive review on NPR (which I also recently became one of those sponsoring members of – the draw of the messenger bag was just too much for me) and second it was only 3.99 on amazon!  I mean who sells a whole new CD of music for only 4 bucks, crazy sites, that’s woo.  So I have listened to it for a few times and it is definitely more mellow and much more instrumental than Play (the other Moby album I own), but I really like it.  That and Far by Regina Spektor(also quite good, and I would say a great follow up to her first album) make up my summer music purchases.

Well I think I want to go read a bit before bed, but here are some talking points for later.

  • I “saw” John Mellencamp, Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson perform a concert on July 4th in South Bend.  My good friend Crystal provided the tickets, the pick-up from the train station and the hosting for the weekend, it was a blast (despite almost half the concert taking place in the rain).
  • I have read a bunch of books since my last YA post, so many that I may have to just reduce my next post to highs and lows
  • I am going to paint my room this summer, so far sunset beige for three walls and boston fern as the accent are winning out, but I still have to make up my mind.
  • Becca and I are going blueberry picking on Thursday!