Monday, March 31, 2008

wow. i love denton.

so i'm walking up to the auditorium building today to pick up my graduation cords for sigma tau delta. i'm like 10 feet from the door when out from the bushes marches this possum the size of my dog. and not the chihuahua. the beagle. i stop dead in my tracks having flashes of thoughts like "aren't those things aggressive", and "oh my god it's going to claw my eyes out", and "wow. that's a brazen possum". i thought for a moment that cary elwes was going to jump out and wrestle the rodent of unusual size to the ground (and just for reference, i am aware that possums are marsupials, not rodents). the possum pauses, looks at me, then continues waddling across the sidewalk to the bushes on the other side.

again i'm reminded: only in denton.

look what i got!

i got my class ring today! yay! it's so pretty. and the "MA" staring at me from the side looks just right. here are some pics...

Saturday, March 29, 2008


...suck. that’s right. people suck. i make this broad generalization and mean it, with very few exceptions that include, but are not necessarily limited to: erin, nick, gabe, josh, kristy, mom, dad, a.b., and u.p.

everyone else sucks*.

*as previously stated, this list is not all inclusive. if i have not mentioned your name, please ask me for confirmation if you suck the next time i see you.

love in the time of cholera. the movie version.

so i just finished watching the movie for the second time. here are my thoughts:

1) i freaking love javier bardem. i would bear this man’s children. too bad the script couldn’t live up to his acting potential (for those of you who doubt it, see no country for old men).
2) despite the shakira, the music in the movie is lovely. i promptly downloaded the soundtrack.
3) most of you know how much i despise literature being turned into film (take for instance the recent rash of beowulf movies). i’m torn over this one. because it is gabriel garcia marquez, i really want to like it. but at the same time i don’t. bottom line--it’s a smidge slow, but a nice film if you haven’t read the book. basically, cinema will never be able to live up to the amazing portraits garcia marquez paints on the page. except maybe if done by the coen brothers. that i’d like to see.

history in the making. and me.

i was part of history tonight as i participated in the democratic caucus.

it was, to say the least, the most terrible public event i have ever participated in. just awful. organization? non-existent. crowd? enormous. materials? too few. here’s the story:

i early voted on february 20th—well before the actual primary. so by some miracle I manage to get off work early (huge surprise!). so i drive myself to my polling location to scope things out. the line to vote was wrapped around the building—three sides to be exact. i think to myself: "gee. a lot of people turned out. that’s amazing." i park my car two blocks away from the elementary school (the closest spot i could find), grab my bag, and schlep on over to the school.

i politely ask the school security guard which line is for the caucus. he instructs me to go around the corner to the gymnasium entrance. i do. i’m stopped by the line of nearly two-hundred people ahead of me. i ask the lady in front of me if this is the caucus line. she confirms that it is. we make small talk as the line moves, rather swiftly, into the building. we make it to the door of the gym and are told to go the back wall and get in a line. we do.

there are at least 500 people in this tiny, shabby elementary school gym. and about 300 more outside waiting to get in. this tiny little guy with a barry white voice climbs a ladder at the front of the gym. he lectures us for about fifteen minutes as to how he needs us to be in straight lines in order for things to progress quickly. the time is 7:17 pm.

another, very handsome man ascends the ladder. he informs us that there are about 400 people still in the building waiting to vote, and that while we can sign in for our delegate, we cannot tally those signatures or leave until all the polls are closed. so i’m thinking: "this sucks, but it’s worth it to be a part of this". this same man then instructs us to separate into the two precincts we represent. MASS CHAOS. now, i like to think of myself as a semi-rational person, so i found myself wondering and asking those around me: "why did they lecture us for fifteen minutes on proper line formation and etiquette only to have us move in masses across the room?". the people around me agreed. the time is now 7:47.

this same man then informs us that due to the incredible turnout, the people in my precinct are going to go to the cafeteria of the school to caucus. i’m thinking: "sweet. i am in the back of the line now, but this move will put me in the front." we proceed to the cafeteria. once in the cafeteria (where we all lined up with razor precision), we are informed that the election officials did not expect this kind of turnout and only sent twelve of the carbon-copy forms that we are supposed to fill out. each form had room for twelve people. twelve times twelve. that’s 144 people. 144 out of roughly 450. bad odds. he gets us started signing in. the time is now 8:17 and i’m about eight deep in the line.

as the lady directly in front of me sits down to sign in we are informed that they have run out of forms. our caucus guy then informs us that more are on the way from another precinct, and that they have contacted the republican and democratic campaign offices and that the decision has been made that we will be allowed to leave once we sign in. yay for small victories. the 144 chosen ones promptly exit the cafeteria. so there we are. corralled like cattle. it’s hot, the guy beside me has on too much cologne, and i really want to go home. i think: "este es para los pájaros. maybe apathy is where it’s at. no, no. that’s stupid. this is good. the more people vote, the more fair the election. stay. calm down. don’t think about the germs." it’s now 8:37.

about this time too-much cologne guy decides he’s gonna leave. right then caucus leader guy yells that the campaign offices have decided to let us sign in on copies of the forms--we don’t have to wait around for the other precinct to bring us more. yay!

i finally get to sign in my delegate at 8:54. i say: "yay!" and schlep the two blocks back to the car.

bottom line: the texas election system is ridiculous. caucusing was one of the worst, most disorganized experiences of my life, but i would do it again in a heartbeat. afterall, when in my life has my vote ever counted so much? i participated in history-in-the-making, and that makes me proud.

sleep through the static...otherwise known as greatness.

so here's my thought: i f-ing love jack johnson! i've listened to the latest album about twenty times now and LOVE it. who puts plato's allegory of the cave, biblical allusions, and homer into song lyrics? jack johnson does. that's who. i have loved this man's music since the days of brushfire fairytales, and will continue to buy up everything he makes. here are a couple of my all time fave lyrics:
"your point of view was chosen by the serpent's ruse
with all it's do's and don'ts
the future is an empty promise unconcerned and so tired of waiting
we could sell it wooden horses full of nightmares and when they open
this all might recompose
there's no going back to the good old days it's just a phase bring in some new life
archaism is a dusty road leading us back to nowhere" – jack johnson, "they do, they don't"

"well plato's cave is full of freaks
demanding refunds for the things they've seen
i wish they could believe
in all the things that never made the screen"—jack johnson, "inaudible melodies"

"all of life
is in one drop of the ocean waiting to go home
just waiting to go home
and if the moon
can turn the tides it can pull the tears
and take them from our eyes
make them into monsoons
yurn them into monsoon-er or later
they'll weep their way back to the sea
going to finally be free
free for a while
until they break
like waves of sorrow always do

all in due time
because time never waits"—jack johnson, "monsoon"
"what about those shoes you're in today
they'll do no good on the bridges you've burnt along the way"—jack johnson, "gone"

"the west winds often last too long ?
and when they calm down, nothing ever feels the same ?
sheltered under the kamani tree ?
waiting for the passing rain ?
clouds keep moving to uncover the sea ?
stars up above us chasing the day away ?
to find the stories that we sometimes need ?
listen close enough and all else fades
fades away"—jack johnson, "constellations"

on the eve of a new year...

so here we are at the end of another year. 2007 has been, to say the least, extraordinarily difficult. In a year full of relationship drama, hospitalizations, carjackings, and praying that the remaining months of the year would pass fleetingly, it feels odd to look back. but, it seems that reminiscing is merely a byproduct of this time of year. so here i go:

worst parts: mom's surgery and recovery, daddy's illness, dilemmas combined with lack of trust, grandmother falling, then falling again, f****ng teenagers with guns at my car door, missing crucial classes to go to court

best parts: eli young band and getting my tshirt signed by all the boys, paula deen with mom, lunches with nick in between classes, galveston with daddy and kris, reconnecting with erin, buying the piano, fishing, mardi, bohemian rhapsody in the car with gabe

all in all, it has been a busy year. there have been moments of extreme hurt mixed with the highest of highs. i wouldn't want to repeat it, but i feel that this year has forced me to grow a little.

i normally ignore the whole new year's thing--thinking that it, and the resolutions it brings, are para los pájaros. that being said, i am breaking from my normal solitude and going to a party this new year's eve. this is the first step in what will be my first ever new year's resolution: be less scared. starting this year i will be braver. i will take more risks and accept more challenges and not back down no matter what kind of anxiety they produce in me. i will be more spontaneous and appreciate the opportunities i am presented with.

so there you go. my plan for the new year. afterall, if i survived 2007 i can survive anything.

to split or not to split: the perils of graduate school

so i get my grades for the semester. very sad day. i made a 'b'. i know, i know. i'm stupid, what am i doing in graduate school...yada, yada, yada.

so the prof that gave me a b said that she would send our papers back to us via e-mail with comments BEFORE monday. i wait. and wait. and wait some more. nada. i text a friend who was in the same class as me. she got comments and a grade. i wait some more. nada.

so grades finally post and i find out about my b. finally i break down and send said prof an e-mail asking if she could please send comments. afterall, if i made a b, i want to know why and how i can prevent it in the future (see what a good graduate student i am?).

she sends me comments. and her e-mail has a slightly condescending tone. it went something like this:

"i've attached your paper again. i used word 2003 so you may want to try to try that. contact me if you still have problems."

first and foremost, i never received an e-mail in the first place, so it would be rather impossible for me to "still" be having problems. this whole debaucle is a "yp" not a "mp" (some of you will know what this means).

secondly, i read the comments. they are, for the most part, fair. i could have pushed the paper harder. but then there were a couple that made smoke come out of my ears. yes, i occasionally will split an infinitive or two for emphasis. this is not a mistake on my part. i mean to do it. it's a style choice that i make. this does not make me a bad person.

i understand that there are certain facets of the academic community who feel that this is like sin numero uno in the grammar world, but come on. can you really call a sentence with a split infinitive "grammatically unsound"?

take a sec and think about it. it would be much different if it was to go boldly and not to boldly go. i'm just saying...



here's how you play: once you have been tagged, you have to write a blog with 10 weird, random things, facts, habits, or goals about yourself. at the end choose 10 people to be tagged, listing their names and why you chose them. don't forget to leave them a comment (you're it) and to read your blog. you can't tag the person who tagged you. since you can't tag me back, let me know when you've posted your blog so i can see your answers.

1) i can recite all fifty states, in alphabetical order, in under 30 seconds
2) my dogs all have multiple nicknames including, but not limited to: taco, rat, pork chop, muffin, peanut, pumpkin, stinky, doodle, sauerkraut
3) when i was little i was horribly fascinated with dinosaurs and had them painted on my walls. i even wanted to be a paleontologist (until i discovered that that involved science)
4) i took ballet and tap lessons as a little kid
5) i used to write childrens' books
6) i'm creeped out by the baby corn things in chinese food. i mean is it just a miniature variety of corn, or, is it just a baby big corn? either way, we don't eat the cob part of a big corn, so we shouldn't a baby corn either. just plain creepy...
7) if i could travel back in time to live in any era it would be the 1940's
8) i can recite song lyrics to just about any song on the radio--any genre
9) i have played classical piano since i was seven
10) despite being a serious tomboy, i can cook, bake, sew, and knit