Still Not Dead

I have conquered red meat!

I have a whole new appreciation for this thing called meat.


Good times

The best memories are where the details are fuzzy, marred by time or other circumstances, but you distinctly remember that seemingly odd objects and images fit together in a way no other context holding those things together could hold. It is during such a night that makeshift birthday hats with leather straps and a ukelele and butt cleavage makes sense, when Bulleit bourbon and its bottle's owner just "go together."

The best memories are those you know you probably won't remember later. It must have been a great experience that you'll remember having had and not wanting any other way, despite the lack of details.

And no, I wasn't trashed, naysayers. Just very, very tired.


Not Dead Yet

I've started eating meat after an 8-year hiatus, and I'm happy to report that I have not died from the shock of reintroducing it into my system. Yet.

After a Memorial Day barbeque today, in which I had a modest serving of pork chops and chicken, I'm feeling a little queasy but not bad, especially when I pretend that it's because I snacked on an entire Domino's pizza from breakfast until the BBQ. I've been eating bites of other people's meat for about a week, so I figure I was ready to graduate to a full serving on my own. It might have been a bite or two more than was wise, but at least I know my limits for the next few weeks.

I originally stopped eating meat in middle school because I didn't have the heart to tell my dad I didn't like eating fast food (which we ate several nights a week when he didn't feel like cooking and Mom was at work), so it was easier to avoid eating meat at all than to explain that I was chubby because I ate Whopper Jr combos (no pickles, Dr. Pepper for the drink) like candy.

My mom encouraged me to keep eating fish to keep a regular source of protein, and salmon became the new steak in our household. Since fish sandwiches at fast food restaurants are a kiss of death, and the veggie burger at Burger King is repulsive, I successfully avoided most fast food for almost a decade.

I've started eating meat because 1) it's really hard to find tasty vegetarian or fresh fish in Utah, and 2) when I start traveling abroad, I don't want to accidentally eat something meaty off a foreign menu I can't read and then die, and 3) my body can withstand a lot more torment now than it probably will in the next five years.

Also, I really miss steak. That was the hardest to give up, but it was really more of an all-or-nothing thing back then. They don't really marinate vegetables quite the same way...

If I don't post in the next few days, though, I'm probably dead somewhere on or near a toilet.


I kant find Kant

I couldn't resist being punny...

But it's true! I only found one Kant book in three Utah bookstores, and it was a Cliff Notes-esque "Introduction to Kant" that was part of a whole series of introductions to various authors/theorists whose actual books the store doesn't carry.

I guess if I'm not reading, I can perfect my (ahem, ping) pong skills and acquire a taste for cheap beer. It's still college prep, right?

This exchange has taken place too many times

College Friend: "Hey, we have to hang out this summer; you around?"
Me: "I'm in Utah for the summer, so it'll have to be fall, unless you're into road trips."
CF: "No thanks, with gas prices this high. Dude, they're like, $3.65 now. Woah. Utah? You from there?"

As if no one can ever leave California unless they're from somewhere else, dude.

Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps

I was walking to work Friday morning, admiring the scenery, and I paused at a creek to my right and continuing underneath the sidewalk to watch a pair of ducks.

The male was already in the water, quacking at the female to join him, but she was hesitating. And all I could think about was how perfectly Cake fit the mood with their rendition of these fine words:

If you can't make your mind up
we'll never get started
And I don't wanna wind up
being parted, broken-hearted

Oh, the weekend...


When auditing goes too far

I'm not a huge fan of auditors. They ask questions, offer unsolicited commentary, and if they don't arrive late and make us give up our seats because they're old, they arrive early to get seats in inevitably overcrowded classrooms. I'm paying nearly $27,000 to attend school here, and some bag lady who knocks over my latte on her way to the corner seat gets to chat with the professor about which actor is more attractive.

And now, at least at Stanford, auditors also live with the students. Bear's Necessity and the Clog have already covered this, but that doesn't mean I can't offer my two cents. For those who don't read BN or the Clog and don't care to click the link on the right, here's the deal: earlier this week, a woman was exposed as having lived in the Stanford dorms without ever being a student. Shortly thereafter, a woman posing as a physics graduate student (and a visiting scholar in either the music or German departments-- details of which are unclear) was outed for having essentially lived and worked in the physics lab for four years.

Irrespective of the security concerns about the fact that unsuspecting people of appropriate age (and gender; women get away with being sneaky all the time) can get away with attending a highly selective private university for anywhere between one and four years, this is a case of auditing going a bit far.

Auditors: we pay good money to go to school. The point of "auditing" is that you are neither seen nor heard, and that you don't interrupt or undermine the efforts of us starving students. If the class is full, don't come. Don't live in the classrooms OR the dorms. And if my latte gets knocked over one more time, you'd better have a replacement in that giant bag of yours.


Behind the Times

Me and the Berkeley Housing Authority have some updating to do in our records.

I haven't been paying much attention to local news, so I was, alas, not the first blogger to cover such a story. But my fault is surely lesser than that of the Berkeley Housing Authority, who has been paying rent for rich or dead people for at least a couple years. I guess they just forgot to check in?

See my Alter Ego in the Procrastination Station for more insights; basically, this doesn't bode well for the city's already ridiculous rent and evil landlords.

Yet another blog about American Idol *spoiler warning*

Disclaimer- this is the only season of American Idol I have ever watched; I'll be honest though, I watched it pretty religiously.

Okay, okay. This is the girl who should have been kicked off after that AWFUL, AWFUL performance the week after that good will week when no one was voted off.

Granted, I had this suspicion early in the season, because Jordin was always consistently alright throughout the shows; Lakisha and Melinda and Blake had the knockout performances, but when they had bad performances, they were nearly unbearable. Jordin's may not have been great, but she only had one terrible performance.

So I suppose I'm not that surprised Jordin won; she has the wholesome image, she's a good singer, and a pretty good performer. I was distraught over Lakisha's loss, and shocked at Melinda's, which left me to root for the underdog-- the guy. Blake's a better performer than Jordin, but girls pull off that annoying cute thing which makes Jordin much more American of an idol.

Enough. Back to my TiVo-less summer.


Wait, what season is this?

Apparently, all of them.

I walked uphill in snow, hail, rain, lightning, thunder, and brisk sunshine today... you know, May 22nd. Just shy of a month before the summer solstice it's about 40 degrees, and my only warm jacket is a lightweight REI fleece. What fun!

I am lucky enough to avoid working until 10AM, whereas most other departments arrive at 7, 8 and 9AM. Once the season opens, I'll be in at 10AM until the end of each performance, but that hasn't happened yet so I'll complain about it later. In either case, it means that if I want to sleep in, I have to walk or bus to work instead of hitching a ride with everyone who has already left. The walk today wasn't bad; I haven't seen any bus stops, so I have no idea how to use that, but I suppose if it keeps snowing I should probably figure it out so I don't break my back on an icy sidewalk.

One of my bosses offered to give me a ride back to the UP, and though I appreciated her hospitality I declined in favor of taking a leisurely (albeit cold) walk. For whatever reason, I get better acquainted with a town once I walk it. The distance isn't much longer than that of my Berkeley apartment to campus; I'm not sure whether that means I live far away from campus, or whether everyone else is just a wimp for being aghast that I attempted The Walk.

Oh well. At least I discovered that 40 degrees, without the rain/hail/thunder/etc, is the perfect temperature in which to walk without getting sweaty in a light jacket and pants. Sorry, Kyle.


The ABCs of University Pines Apartments

Colleges represented by my apartment in Utah:
-Alabama State University
-Northern Arizona (state?) University
-Columbia University
-UC Berkeley

Alabama and Arizona found their jobs while at a theater technology conference that, interestingly enough, my boss lectures at every year. Columbia found hers because her professor knows the production manager here, and I found mine because the company handed my boss a stack of fliers at that conference A and A attended, and what else could she do with them but binder clip them and put them on a bulletin board for people to leaf through. Like me.


First Observations

-Everyone is Nice; an uncanny many are Very Nice.
-Gas is $3.15/gal
-Many unattractive, happy-looking people.
-Wide roads.
-At least 15 church steeples on the highway between Salt Lake and Logan.
-Parking lot of apartment complex sparsely populated; various-sized grills, kiddie pool, raft, and large stump occupy three spaces.
-KFC is across the street from a funeral home.
-The proportions of different types of food are inverted here. For example, the "Natural Foods" section at Albertson's looks like the Albertson's/Safeway in Orinda, and the rest is seventeen kinds of Cool Whip, the entire Hostess and Kraft line, and tons of cheap beer-- cheap beer that isn't sold on Sundays. Also, Post cereals are much, much cheaper. Family size Honey Bunches of Oats: $5.33 in CA, $2.96 in UT.

But I always save the best for last:
-Stump: a drinking game in which one tosses a hammer, catches it, and immediately attempts to lodge an opponent's standing nail into a stump. There are few and many rules, but in any case the game is played with beer in one hand, hammer in the other. As it turns out, I am remarkably terrible at catching a flying hammer.


Leaving California

I have not fallen off the face of the earth, but I have been reveling in the shock after having submitted 33 pages in 4 days (don't even ask how many I wrote but didn't turn in).

This may well be the last time I feel like posting before I leave for Utah, and I decided that it's more depressing to announce that I'm leaving California than to announce that I'm going to Utah. California's pretty awesome.

More updating to come from the front, but for now I'm off to pack. Here's a little something to keep you occupied, found in the links section of the blogger whose job I want (see Procrastination Station):


Let's hope the same does not happen to me at Bjork on Saturday.


The observations that distract me from homework:

1. Flexcar has *still* not gotten back to me about that damage they accused me of causing in December. I have no intention of contacting them, since they obviously care so little about resolving the matter (or are embarrassed about how wrong they are).
2. There are no Peet's Coffee locations in the state of Utah.
3. Whole milk is the only good milk in lattes (for plain consumption, 2% is acceptable).
4. On American Idol, they should use some of the better eliminated contestants as backup singers for the final contestants. Fox could pull a Survivor thing and bring back one of the backup singers as a wild card... like Lakisha, for example. Because frankly, the backup singing this week sucked.



It took long enough for Jerry Falwell to die of complications stemming from chronic fatness and bigotry, but the Moral Majority of all those evil homosexuals and civil rights activists that caused 9/11 finally overtook him.

Now, back to research.

Supplemental Reading

If anyone is interested in reading my final exams, I've posted all 23 pages thus far in my alter ego's blog (the post's title is Show and Tell).

Just don't cheat; that's UC property, and the Regents aren't fun to mess with.


Spring Cleaning

I've been cleaning up and reorganizing to procrastinate my last final, and decided this blog was no exception.

I don't care how all three of you readers feel, I like the smaller font better. I probably would have done it the first time around if I had figured out how to use the dashboard in Safari (double-click the Text Font box!).

One of these days, I'll take the time to make my own masthead, instead of picking out one of Blogger's templates. Perhaps this will be my Utah project.

Mom, I'm Not a Lesbian

There's nothing wrong with being a full-time lesbian, except liking girls.

I had a very comforting chat with one of my best friends yesterday, in which he shared to me why he wishes he were gay, though he is tragically still attracted to the female form:

"Girls are so dramatic, all the time. They think that physical loyalty is symbolic of, rather than devoid of emotional loyalty-- this one chick stopped having sex with me because she thinks that being emotionally involved with her ideal non-boyfriend is less important than me hooking up with some chick at a party."

To be fair, I tend to agree. I'm really glad I'm not physically attracted to girls, because if my girlfriend didn't understand that being emotionally attached is far more important than getting some while drunk at a party, it'd be all over. And guys usually don't think about it that way, if at all. So it's not an issue. (of course, I've been single long enough to have forgotten about what boyfriends think during relationships, but that's neither here nor there).

So I don't like girls. Big deal. I mean, I don't hate anyone singularly (it's a very hippie douche thing), I just hate everyone. Equally.

There have to be rules for there to be exceptions, and I just happen to call the exceptions my friends.

I always do this to myself

Since it was Mother's Day weekend, I made absolutely no progress on either my final OR packing for Utah. I schlepped all of my research materials with me the whole weekend, and never opened a single one.

All I'm asking for, really, is to just try to get work done a little bit earlier than the day before it's due. Is this so much to ask, self?

So off I go, two days before my last final is due, to make progress. At a coffee shop. With coffee. I can kill two birds with one stone this way, since there won't be coffee in Utah...


I can't believe she's gone!

I've been a little behind on the times since finals, but I was very distressed to learn today that Lakisha has been voted off of American Idol.

She was my and Kyle's favorite since day 1, and now that she's gone I have no idea who's my second choice. Blake's probably the best musically, though his performance is generally less consistent than Jordin or Melinda, but I hate girls, so it's really a toss up. I imagine that Melinda has the best opportunity for a record deal, whether or not she wins, simply because she's already a professional singer and has been an audience favorite for weeks now. Jordin's young, and if she doesn't win here she'll probably get a Broadway stint or some Dream Girls-esque feature in a movie.

I'm not worried about the top 5 getting jobs, because I'm sure anyone who made it that far has gotten enough air time, and enough publicity to convince any record company that they're talented and charismatic enough to make it that far.

I just wish Simon had done a better job of honing Lakisha into a more marketable talent, because I think she has the most potential, even if she's not the most accomplished at home. I hope someone picks her up.

In the mean time, I'm wondering whether I want to watch the show again. I'm so disappointed, America.


Conspiratorial Drug Stores, or Drug Store Employees are Incompetent

This has happened to me on several occasions, at several different locations, which surely means that the following conclusion is true:

Drug stores put up sale signs underneath what I call Vaguely Embarrassing Products (VEPs)-- tampons, condoms, foot cream, etc.-- but never actually scan such items according to their sale price.

So if I catch the error at the register, and tell them "that's actually on sale," in order to save $3.67 on my VEP, they have to get on the intercom, hold up the line, and announce "PRICE CHECK ON [insert your favorite VEP, include brand name, kind, and quantity in packaging] FOR REGISTER SIX, PLEASE." In order to avoid the embarrassment of every customer and employee knowing I care enough to save $3.67 on my Depends, I just have to suck it.

Does this actually bother anyone besides me?


Three down, one to go...

First of all, I've been up since 9AM on Monday.

Secondly, it's hot.

Thirdly, I have three finals done.

Fourthly, even my computer's overheating.


Copping a literary feel

I wonder whether one can know something without experiencing it, whether beauty is appreciable without knowing what it is that makes it beautiful.

it is being comfortable in someone else's arms, to exist, incapable of differentiating between the singular and the plural, knowing there is duality but being driven into utopia with encompassing oneness.

it is protector and protectorate, where neither are as protective or as protected alone as together. It's a drug questioning why happiness can't be being high all the time. Pleasure isn't a necessity, but this is a need to know pleasure.

Update from the Front

I've kind of abandoned my contributions to the blogging universe, and that's because I'm lame and have procrastinated my four finals, three of which are due Tuesday and all of which are 10+ pages.

Rest assured, there will be plenty of posts via Utah internet, once finals are done and I make it to Logan. Morality of to-be posted content not guaranteed.


Okay, seriously?

When did "worker solidarity" become "illegal immigration should be legal"?

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for legal immigration, but if May Day protests are supposed to be about workers' rights, aren't those workers supposed to be citizens who are eligible for rights in the first place?

I'm not advocating that illegal immigrants should be treated like crap, because they are humans, after all, but there's no legal recourse or reason to hold employers of illegal immigrants accountable for the way they run business. Simply by conducting business with illegals, employers are risking much more than the loss of cheap labor-- and they want labor rights?

Look, I'm not some conservative asshole against immigration, but I am significantly concerned with illegal immigrants piggy-backing the worker solidarity movement in efforts to gain footholds that don't impact the larger fact that illegal immigrants are illegal.

And what does not working/schooling have to do with solidarity of workers? Like, 'lets disrupt the economy by not working and blocking traffic and shouting annoying chants into classroom windows so people understand that workers aren't to be contended with'?

I don't get it.