Kicking Myself

Do you ever know exactly what you want off a menu--with exactly the right substitution(s) or subtraction(s) or addition(s)--spend the time in line rehearsing the order and waiting patiently, then order and realize after it's already been entered and paid for that you asked for no onions instead of no sprouts, and you hate sprouts, but the guy running the register has already moved on and the ones making the sandwich don't speak English, so you're stuck waiting for a sandwich that's less than perfect and that you'll have to perform minor surgery on just to make adequate?

Yeah, I hate that.


Uh, Now What?

I'm bored.

At least I know I'm going to Utah. In two months. For three months.


Baby Got Going

... on South I-5.

I imagine that a conversation over the CB radiowaves on Monday and Tuesday (do those even exist anymore? Maybe truckers just use cellphones) might have gone a little something like this:

"Cute one wearing a dress, Bob. Coming up on your left in the number 3 lane, blue honda civic. I've already honked, but you can wave."
"Copy that, Tim."

I'm almost famous! On Southbound I-5 between Modesto and Los Angeles, no fewer than 7 semi-trucks honked, waved, or otherwise indicated interest in me. I was wearing a strapless sundress thinking, 'hey- if I'm going to get sunburned, it might as well be even.' Not to mention I hate the air conditioner and I anticipated hot SoCal weather. Which, as it happens, was chilly SoCal weather, but that's another story.

On the way north, it was a mere 3 who honked, one who kept flashing his highbeams at me, and another who waved.

And other comments about I-5: Too many tumbleweeds; too many cows (or cow biproducts). And if you're going to dump a load of lumber on the highway, at least call someone to clean it up, so people like me don't think they've punctured their tires when pieces get lodged between the brake pad and wheel.

Glad to be home, glad to have been gone.


Don't Fence Me In

I'm headed for Los Angeles tomorrow, and I'm trying to act cool about it.

But somewhere inside of me is a subversive chuckling, a chuckling rejoices in my nonchalant independence. Either that, or indigestion, which is entirely possible given the animal style fries I had with my grilled cheese tonight...

I kind of told my parents, "Hey, Mom and Dad, I'm going to LA for a couple days, so I'll need the car. Alright?" and my dad sort of grumbled a minute because he had to make it sound like a decision or something and said "oh, alright, I guess I can use the truck for work." And this is where and why I am so guilty all the time, because my parents put me through guilt trips like no other. Luckily, I am my father's daughter, and quickly interject his begrudging agreement with: "No, Dad, it's okay if you need it, you can say no, I just want to visit some friends I don't see at school anymore; I can take the truck if you want, or if that won't work I can always take Greyhound."

And that, ladies, gentlemen, and others, is how I get the car for a week.

I'm only going to LA for a couple days, though... I need some fresh air at some point or another. We'll see what happens. In the meantime, I'm keeping my windows and my mind open.


I'm Not an Afghani Goat

But I'm choking on the sweet, sweet air of freedom.

I'll Have the Earlybird Special

Except I'm never up at this hour, so I don't know where the nearest IHOP is, or where to use this doggone coupon.

Poor Jake


If only he were British.

...But then he'd be British.

Two Down, One to Go

Why do I do this to myself?



I didn't like one of the topics on my midterm, so I wrote on another topic I made up.

Is that wrong?


One down, two more to go.

Is this really better than having a worry-free spring break? We'll find out.

I love Liz Phair

The end.


Don't Barns Have Doors?

What is it about an open door that suggests a barn?

Long and Contemplative, with a Hint of Funny

Inspired by today's Milano adventure:

A middle-aged man on Bancroft, tall with a Raiders cap, baggy clothes, thin but not particularly skinny, said “hi there” as I was about to pass him. “Hi” I said quickly, trying to avoid what might otherwise have been a chattermouth. “You married?” he said. “Yeah,” I said, and looked down to avoid tripping on the sidewalk. “Dude’s a lucky guy. You have a good day.” I cut in front of him to get inside Milano, and he kept on walking.

I’m not sure why I said I was married. I mean, yeah… anyone who I marry will be lucky (and I’ll be lucky to have him). It sort of bugged me that whether I was married was the first question he asked, but I shrugged it off as man-on-street-hitting-on-me-syndrome.

And Frasier. Okay, so I don’t watch it often, mostly because 1) it’s all sort of the same, and 2) I don’t control the television and my roommates don’t watch it, either. But it was on last night (probably because we were far too engrossed in various facebooking activities), and it was an episode guest starring Laura Linney, who later in her career played the wife in Kinsey and some main/supporting character in Love, Actually. Needless to say, she falls into the love narrative just about everywhere she goes. Maybe that’s actresses in general. Who knows.

My coworker, Miguel, is convinced that I look like Laura Linney as she appears in Love, Actually. I haven’t seen this movie so I have no idea whether or not I agree, but he brings it up every single time we work together, which, thankfully, isn’t often since he forgets to show up sometimes.

So I’m considering whether I resemble Laura Linney as she appears in Frasier. Her character is a professional matchmaker promising to save Frasier’s love life for a mere $10,000. He coughs it up and goes on several bad dates, then asks for his money back, at which point Linney breaks down and admits she has already spent it on rebuilding her life that has been disheveled ever since her divorce. A divorced matchmaker with a fake wedding ring has set up Frasier with various dumb or crazy women for $10K. She hits rock bottom; Frasier offers to buy her a couple drinks. They hit it off and Frasier totally falls for her. She continues on her merry way with her young and handsome outdoorsman boyfriend, while Frasier pines after her. She and the boyfriend have a huge fight, she ends up at Frasier's place, they chat for hours and he is foiled by his family walking in as he’s about to confess his love for her. She thanks him for being such a good friend, promises to find him a great match, and leaves to make amends with the boyfriend.

She Doesn’t Get It.

He spends hours staring at the ceiling thinking about her, despite her problems. It doesn’t end that way, but Linney’s screen time does, so obviously I stopped paying attention because I no longer had someone to compare myself to, except Daphne, who is very pregnant and has an accent.

It made me wonder whether I don’t get it. Whether there’s someone thinking about me at night, whether they think they’d be lucky to have me.

I hope it’s not the guy on the street, but at this point I guess that’s good enough.


News Flash: Different types of information differ!

Selected quotations from tonight's Milano adventure, for your pleasure.

From a frizzy-haired blonde, vaguely acne-ridden girl wearing a gray cable-knit sweatervest dress over an unbuttoned white blouse (with tuxedo shirt-type pleats) with large gold chain, white leggings and black knee-high boots:

"It's, like, not a prompt. It's just randomness and stuff. I mean, it's only four or five pages, but still. I had to ask the teacher, 'what do you want me to say' and she like, wouldn't even give me a straight answer."

"I don't even know when to cite stuff. This one paper I did really good on, I made up all the citations. I decided that every couple paragraphs I needed a citation, and the professor was all, 'wow, you really did your research.'"

"I worry sometimes that my major isn't legit enough to get my into a good business school. It's pretty cool, but some people don't know how cool it is, you know? I heard about this cool program with Haas and Columbia, but I don't think it's competitive enough."

And my favorite of the evening,

"I have to talk about the information available about nuclear power, and about how different types of information differ. It's kind of intense, but I think I'll make it through."


ProgressiveU's Blogging Progress

It's like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride over there...

The site is a little confusing to navigate just because there's so much text, but I finally found the site for my blog:


There are some heated debates afoot! Sort of. It's kind of becoming a definition debate, which I hate, but I hope to work it out once I have emerged from the Tunnel of Academic Doom (eta Thursday evening). I would encourage you to read other blogs, but then they get points for you reading them. It's weird.

I have a feeling this is not worth the effort, because there are probably tons of high school kids with way too much time on their hands and way more friends than they know what to do with who load their blog every five minutes and have tons and tons of points.

We'll see.

Update: my trip throught the Tunnel of Academic Doom will be slightly more leisurely now that I've acquired a 12-hour extension on one of my midterms, but this also means the ETA for escape is now Friday afternoon/evening.

Greetings, Mormons!

This might be counting my eggs too soon (or whatever the cliche is), but I've been offered an interview for an internship in Utah about which I'm inextricably excited.

From what I can understand, the Utah Festival Opera is kind of like the Ashland Shakespeare of Opera. They're kind of a big deal in Utah, but really-- how hard is it to be a big deal in Utah?

Anyway, if I get hired I'd be doing box office and marketing stuff, which I imagine would be a lot of fun. According to the initial flier, they pay for transportation and housing, in addition to a stipend whose size depends on experience. I'm not sure what their definition of experience is, but I feel pretty experienced in box office, so hopefully that goes over well.

Wish me luck!


Hippie Liberals Probably Behind the Times

High Times, that is. I'm not sure whether they'll read this blog, but I've signed up for ProgressiveU.org's Blogging for Progress contest, which is essentially another excuse for me to avoid homework and sound pretentious and smart.

This website's scholarship opportunity appeared on Fastweb.com's scholarship search, and I decided to do it because hey, Mom wants me to apply for more scholarships, and heck if I'm going to waste any opportunity to procrastinate homework.

How is the thing judged? The more who read (i.e. load the page) the more 'points' I get, and the closer I am to winning $500-1000. By June 15, the company will note how many reads I've gotten for my posts and how many points I've accumulated as a result of blog reads and me commenting on other blogs.

I have a feeling the self-proclaimed progressives running the website shop at Whole Foods, because this is a lot of work for so little money. They must have wanted to feel charitable, but spent so much money on Organic Flax and Double Organic Happy Happy Vegan Eggs that they only had a couple $1000s to spare. But I'm not complaining... it's more money to pay for school, and that's pretty neat.

I'm not sure yet how to actually find my blog on this website, but my username is kfed (like here) and I'm sure there's some search function for that.


About as much as my favorite green canvas bags popular in Berkeley, but not nearly as uncontrollably pervasive.


Happy Birthday, Amanda!


I declare to the World Wide Web that Amanda Ott is 20 on this 16th of March, 2007.

I do this specifically because I know that she would hate this, but given that 1) I have quite a small readership and 2) she doesn't know this blog exists, I don't think she'll mind.



Not that pretty, but done. I have some good pages and choice phrases. Would have liked more time to edit; could have happened if I had procrastinated less, but then-- what couldn't have happened if I had procrastinated less? Maybe I'd have a boyfriend, who knows.



There either is or is not a way things are.

Just so you know.


Urethra Franklin and Philip Pirrup

Page one, paragraph two, sentence three of what should be "no more than" eleven insightful, analytical, and comparative pages.

There's a lot of tea involved (very British, puts me in the mood, and a delightful change of pace from coffee) and less sleep than I want and need, but it'll get done. By Tuesday morning, it'll get done.


This Just In

Great Expectations is a promising title, but does not live up to its, uh, expectations, in just about every interpretation.

Dickens was clearly paid by the word, not the point. And the film versions aren't much better.

The 1982 animated version wins for shortest running time: 69 minutes. It, naturally, is oversimplified so children can understand the plotline, but admittedly my own understanding of major events benefitted from that oversimplification because, well, let's face it-- at 479 pages I'm bound to miss something.

The 1998 Gwenyth Paltrow/Ethan Hawke version benefits from the star names, but makes significant interpretive changes that were, according to the director, based on countless viewings of the 1946 version. Part of this was to modernize the movie, but it puts Ethan Hawke in prime candidacy for the Keanu Reeves School of Acting (that's a Kyle original), not to mention the stupid overuse of voiceover. Maybe that was supposed to suggest how unnecessary the tomes of narration in the original book were? And please, I love the color green, but this was too much.

The 1946 version is, well, from 1946. It's in period dress, black and white, and kind of boring. It sticks to the text closely, so the film is pretty darned long, but it does a good job of condensing confusing characters and essentially redundant scenes. Also, Pip is not very attractive, young or old. I guess that doesn't make too much of a difference, but I always imagined that he'd have something more than his benefactor's good will to make him into the gentleman he so desperately hopes to be. I almost feel sorry for Estella.

I saw scenes from a 1970s (I think?) PBS-esque version, which also did not seem exciting, and from another PBS version (or maybe the same one?) that reminded me of nature-safari shows-- you know, camera positioned far away, zooming in every once in a while for a closeup of the lioness chowing down on some fresh gazelle. Much more observant than involved. I'm sure PETA loves those.

Anyway, gazelles aside, I need to write 11 pages on two of the film adaptations aforementioned, and compare to the 479-page novel. By Tuesday.

Woohoo! What a phun wiknd!


Spring Fever

I'm getting antsy!

Internship applications are starting to be due, I have to start looking for housing, and I still haven't talked to Flexcar. As of two days ago, it was a month since I spoke to them last about an incident that (we haven't even established) occurred three months ago.

I could go on for years about how much I hate Flexcar, but let me just say that if I thought they were worth my time, I'd spend it lobbying against them. If they're going to keep losing me in the cracks, they don't deserve me checking in every few months to see how their "investigation" is going. I'm betting they go out of business before they even remember I existed, and as they clean out the furniture in their offices, they'll find my file lodged between a trash can and a mouse hole. At least then I can say I kept their office from imminent infestation.



500 Words for $500

My mother has worked on the same floor of the same unit of the same hospital for over thirty years. She has watched it change hands twice to its current and final ownership by Sutter. She bore her children there, watched her brother pass away there, and most recently, treated her mother there. Many life-changing moments happen in that hospital, both before her eyes and the eyes of those around her.

This essay isn’t about my mother, but this hospital, now operated by Sutter, has played a significant role in my life since the day I was born. My education did not begin with experiences in grade school, or the rigors of college, but on the Rodgers Creek earthquake fault on which our community’s best hospital precariously perches.

The recent announcement of this hospital’s imminent closure signaled the beginning of a new era for me, one that makes me question an individual’s contribution to one’s community—be it the immediate family or the family of doctors, nurses, and technicians who will leave our town in less than a year.

I’ve learned from college and from life that nearly everything is about weighing costs and benefits. It’s about balancing homework with a social life, about taking responsibility for the consequences of judgment calls. It’s about that fundamental balance—asking questions, preparing for the worst so that one day I can counter disaster with effective response.

The birthplace of my citizenship—UC Berkeley—rests as precariously on the Hayward fault as my birthplace on the Rodgers Creek fault. Evaluating risk is part of my daily life; it has taught me that my education doesn’t prepare me for a career, but shapes me into a citizen capable of applying my skills to any field.

I don’t know what profession(s) I will pursue with a degree in Rhetoric, but I am confident my education will hone my skills as a cognizant, proactive citizen, which will impact my community as meaningfully and enduringly as the impact my mother has had on the lives of her patients.

If I pursue a path in an organization like the Sutter Health network, I realize now that weighing the choices that I make for myself, my family, and my community is the most valuable application of my education available.

Sutter has done a lot for my family and me, but it can do more by helping fund my education with this scholarship. For it is through learning to be critical of actions, through balancing good and bad, and through taking responsibility to be as prepared for anything as possible that valuable citizenship can thrive—it is these skills that no community, no family, no self can afford to be without.


Well, I Declare!

It's official-- my transcript reflects that I have, in fact, declared my major (Rhetoric).

The Costs:

1. I'm no longer the free-spirited, hip, undeclared student.
2. None of my study abroad credits will apply toward this major.
3. Should I decide to stay a couple years longer and change majors, it'll be a bitch to get all the paperwork done.

The Benefits:

1. I'm no longer an undeclared gray-area, in-limbo student.
2. I'm on my department's email list for mostly unnecessary forwards and messages.
3. I need special codes to get into classes.
4. The special code means I might actually get into the classes I want.
5. I've been initiated into the secret club wherein I learn what a major in Rhetoric actually means. This will be impossible to prove to non-majors.

I am not a math major, but I think the benefits outweigh the costs both in quantity and quality.

I Could be Working

...But then I wouldn't get financial aid.

The very fact that I earned enough money to pay my rent and part of school expenses deems me financially less eligible for loans in the '07-'08 year, which is great except for the fact that I won't be working at all next year.

Financial aid is a bureaucratic mess that benefits the few poor kids who made it to college, and for the others (like myself) who don't actually have $22,000 a year sitting around to throw toward college, we're stuck avoiding work and kicking ourselves for being nice enough to the boss to earn a Christmas bonus.

Can't a workaholic get a little help here?