Thursday, December 30, 2004

Natural Disasters

This stuff in Asia is affecting me in a big way. For some reason, 9/11 didn't make me sad as much as it shocked me and made me fear the future world order. This time, it's making me want to work for the UN or the Peace Corps so I can make a difference instead of doing this meaningless stuff. I tell myself I am making other people's jobs easier, but their job is just to make $$ for the company.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

See an image of the earthquake that caused the tsunami in Asia.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

UNICEF

Donate here to help the victims of the tsunami in Asia.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Did you know...

That both South America and East Asia are planning to become communities not unlike the European Union, with common economies?

Sunday, December 19, 2004

The Wisdom of Violent Femmes

Add It Up - I know you've had problems you're not the only one …You know you got my sympathy, But don't shoot shoot shoot that thing at me … Words all fail the magic prize
American Music - You were born too late, I was born too soon. But every time I look at that Ugly moon, it reminds me of you.
Blister in the Sun - My girlfriend, she's at the end, She is starting to cry
Kiss Off - Oh yeah, well don't get so distressed. Did I happen to mention that I'm impressed?

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Cinema

Check out The Online Film Critics Society's "Top 100 Overlooked Films of the 1990s"
I've seen sixteen of them, but only liked ten, Joe vs the Volcano and Mystery Men in particular.

Since the year is practically over, everyone is scrambling to name the best movies of the year. I'll be waiting on that, but Sideways will certainly be on my list, and I'm not alone.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

My Series of Unfortunate Events

Bad - I miss the bus this morning
Good - I drive into work
Bad - I leave my cell phone at home
Bad - The line at the bank is too long for me to make a deposit
Good - I go out after work, but only have 3 light beers andthen I see 'Closer', which is an excellent movie
Bad - I realize my keys are on my desk when I go back to my car at midnight
Good - The cute parking guy gives me a lift on his golf cart back down to the skyway
Bad - The guard won't let me up to my floor without my floor code, which I do not remember. I would call someone who knows, but don't have my phone
Good - I can just take the bus home
Bad - No keys means I can't get in my apartment, and no phone means I don't have the emergency maintenance number
Good - I can just go to Shannon or Gee's house, which are only blocks from mine, and call a coworker or maintenance from there
Bad - It is midnight on the day the bus route is changing, so I don't know where to catch the bus
Worse - I realize I still have $300 dollars in my wallet because I couldn't wait in line at the bank. At this point, I am convinced the stars have aligned to have me robbed on my way home
Good - I walk home and it is not very cold
Bad - I hope either Gee or Shannon answers the door, since it will be 12:30 by the time I get to their houses
Great - Right before I buzz Gee's apartment, I remember to look in my wallet for my spare set of keys. Guess what is under my $300?

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

You'll be on your own...

Rolling Stone has compiled a list of the 500 Greatest Songs of all time, with an interesting choice for #1.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Did you know...

That furkid is another name for a pet?

That your speeding might be because you've been velocitized and you're so used to freeway driving that even 30 mph feels slower than walking?

That I am part of the 13th Generation, those born between 1961 and 1981? We are the 13th generation to know the American Flag.

That driving an SUV produces approximately 5 tons of carbon a year?

Find out these and other amazing facts at The Word Spy.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

21 Things That I Want in a Lover

with apologies to Alanis

1. You should own at least one suit, and look hot while wearing it.
2. You cannot see friendship or love as a competition.
3. You must have a job and pay your own way.
4. You should understand that I need time alone and time away from you, or I won't be able to miss you.
5. You have to possess the humility to put others before yourself sometimes.
6. You should not smoke.
7. Once you get to know me, you should be able to sense some of my needs without my having to express them.
8. You must be able to challenge me intellectually, even if it is about a silly topic.
9. You have to know and love yourself, because if you don't, I won't be able to.
10. You must be aware of any prejudices you have and work to rid yourself of them.
11. You should possess my Wanderlust, but if you don't, it should not be a source of fear or worry for you.
12. You should set and meet goals on a regular basis.
13. You should know the values of and the differences between knowledge, wisdom and imagination.
14. You need to be able to empathise with others, while still upholding standards.
15. You must value life in all its forms.
16. Your standards for yourself must be the same or higher as your standards for others.
17. You must show me affection, respect and fidelity.
18. You must be able to learn from your mistakes and solve problems.
19. Jealousy should only motivate you to try harder. It should not get you down.
20. You must have a sense of humor, however dry or juvenile.
21. Your priorities must be in line with mine, or we will have problems down the road.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Blogumentary

In my very own city of Minneapolis, City Pages is hosting a documentary film festival called Get Real. They will be showing one about blogs at 7:30 tonight, November 5th, at Oak Street Cinema. I would go see it if I could, but I have to rehearse my scene for Acting class. If you can't go either, at least check out the website and the article in City Pages.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

105 minutes of Citizenship

I voted this morning. I got to my polling place at 7:15 and I finally got to vote at 9:00. I think they need to cut my district in half, since I was already #298. In four years, we should have the technology to vote online quickly and securely. Who am I kidding? We won't have that 40 years. Hopefully we will know who won the election before Inauguration Day.

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Chicago Pics

I put a few pictures from my trip up on this page. We went to Millennium Park, The Art Institute, the Hancock Tower, Rush & Division, The Museum of Science and Industry and Wrigleyville. We didn't get a chance to go to Shedd Aquarium or the Field Museum. The Field has an exhibit on Machu Picchu right now, and I would have insisted on going there had I known that before we left. We ate at Amarit on Friday night and El Jardin on Saturday, both of which I recommend.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Insight

Name THREE of your
Pet Peeves:
- telephones - dumbasses - winter

Favorite Sounds:
- my music - silence - Mina purring

Biggest Fears:
- sharks - war - the accumulation of too much wealth and power by an elite group of immortals

Biggest Challenges:
- my own sloth - not hating 90 percent of the world - discipline

Favorite Stores:
- Old Navy - Target - Michaels

Most Used Words:
-Whatever - weak - NO!

Favorite Pizza Toppings:
- Pepperoni - Garlic - Cheeeeeeeeese

Favorite Salad ingredients:
- Sunflower Seeds - Bacon - Bleu Cheese

Favorite Cartoon Characters:
- Zoidberg from Futurama - Cow from Cow and Chicken - Ralph Wiggum

Movies Recently Watched:
- Team America: World Police - 50 First Dates - Motorcycle Diaries

Favorite Fruits:
- pears - pineapple - bananas

Morning Rituals:
- brush hair and teeth - get dressed - run for the bus

Spare time activites:
- Internet time wastage - quilting - tv

Life Goals:
- My B.S. - my own house - a trip around the world

Favorite Vacations:
- San Fran - Yosemite - 2003 massive road trip

Fantasy Vacations:
- Mediterranean circle tour - Ankor Wat - Machu Picchu

Bookmarks:
- KOL - Yahoo - Google

Friday, October 22, 2004

The Friday Feast

Appetizer:
Name 3 things that you are wearing today.
insoles, a badge holder, a chip on my shoulder

Soup:
Who was the last person you hugged?
My niece

Salad:
What do you like to order from your favorite fast food place?
Meat and Potato Burrito from Taco Johns

Main Course:
What time of day do you usually feel most energized?
2-5 pm

Dessert:
Using the letters in your first name, write a sentence.
She always runs around Houston.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Feel free to shoplift

Yeah, use this on your own blog or send it to your friends in an email. Take out some lines if you don't like them (I sure did) and add at least one of your own.

If I were a stone, I would be "Sly and the Family" - just kidding - actually, I'd be a stone island, because although no man is an island, I do well as part of an archipelago.
If I were a tree, I would be a ginko because they have cool leaves.
If I were a bird, I would be a wood duck. I don't know why, but I have always liked them, plus I like pretty boys.
If I were a tool, I would be a rotary cutter, you know like a pizza cutter for fabric or paper.
If I were a flower, I would be a dandelion.
If I were weather, I would be a heat wave.
If I were a mythical creature, I would be a sphinx.
If I were a musical instrument, I would be tympani.
If I were an animal, I would be a cat, a run-of-the-mill orange tabby.
If I were a colour, I would be navy blue.
If I were an emotion, I would be malaise, a general feeling of.
If I were a vegetable, I would be a soybean.
If I were a sound, I would be your favorite song.
If I were an element, I would be bromine, a dark brown pungent liquid which is toxic and highly reactive. Maybe it is more accurate to say that bromine is my favorite element.
If I were a historical figure, I would be Sojourner Truth.
If I were a celebrity, I would be in the looney bin. The lack of privacy would not sit well with me.
If I were a book, I would be Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner.
If I were a movie, I would be Someone Like You.
If I were a food, I would be Curry Chicken from Chiang Mai Thai.
If I were a place, I would be a storage area.
If I were a piece of clothing, I would be cargo pants.
If I were a fabric, I would be army green broadcloth.
If I were an object, I would be a safety pin.
If I were a word, I would be flummoxed.
If I were a body part, I would be an ear lobe.
If I were a facial expression, I would be a grimace.
If I were a subject in school, I would be math.
If I were a shape, I would be a pyramid.
If I were a number, I would be seven.
If I were a month, I would be March.
If I were a day of the week, I would be Thursday.
If I were a time of day, I would be 7:00 PM.
If I were a piece of furniture, I would be an armoire.
If I were a sin, I would be sloth.
If I were a liquid, I would be chai tea.
If I were a planet, I would be Venus.
If I were a scent, I would be vanilla.
If I were a sea animal, I would be terrified.
If I were a dessert, I would be cannolli.
If I were a sky, I would be a sunset.

My additions:

If I were a foreign country, I would be Portugal.
If I were a weapon, I would be a spetum, which is cool looking spear.
If I were a fruit, I would be a pear.

PS Thank you to Yahoo and Google's Image Search capabilities. Have you tried them?

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Okay, you talked me into it.

This is my 2004 year-to-date top 10:

Before Sunset
Garden State
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Hidalgo
King Arthur
Passion of the Christ, The
Saved!
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
Spider-Man 2
Troy

Movies, more than you ever wanted to know

You know about the Internet Movie Database, but did you know I have my own personal movie database? If you know me, that may not surprise you. Anyway, I am working in it today, so here are some fun facts:
  • I have seen 315 movies made between 1980 and 1995.
  • I've seen 329 movies between 1996 and 2000. (I moved out of the house in '96, and I started seeing at least one movie a week at that point. This rate is about 1.2 per week.)
  • I saw 110 made between 2001 and 2003.
  • The first movie I remember seeing in a theater was The Care Bears in 1985.
I got these numbers by searching for various date ranges and including minimum numbers of votes on IMDB's power search page. Then I went through each list, marking everything 'Saw', 'Want to see' or 'Do not want to see'. I try to keep my Wants updated when I see a movie. So, below is one of the results of my database. It's my Top Ten by Year. Please note: some years don't have ten, some have more, some have less, most have ten.

2003
Beyond Borders
Finding Nemo
Holes
The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Love Actually
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Thirteen
Under the Tuscan Sun
X-Men 2

2002
About a Boy
Bourne Identity, The
Brown Sugar
Four Feathers
Good Girl, The
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The
Scorpion King, The
Spider-Man
Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

2001
Bridget Jones's Diary
Crazy/Beautiful
Enemy at the Gates
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
A Knight's Tale
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Pearl Harbor
Riding in Cars with Boys
Shrek
Someone Like You...

2000 (*I saw all 5 Best Pictures Nominees this year)
Almost Famous
Amores perros
Bring It On
Chocolat
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Gossip
Love & Sex
Quills
Where the Heart Is
X-Men

1999
Anna and the King
The Best Man
Dogma
Drop Dead Gorgeous
Galaxy Quest
Girl, Interrupted
Man on the Moon
Office Space
Sleepy Hollow
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

1998
20 Dates
Can't Hardly Wait
Ever After
Hope Floats
Lola rennt (Run, Lola, Run)
Playing by Heart
Return to Paradise
Shakespeare in Love
Sliding Doors
The Wedding Singer

1997
As Good As It Gets
Chasing Amy
The Fifth Element
The Full Monty
Gattaca
Good Will Hunting
Mononoke Hime (Princess Mononoke)
My Best Friend's Wedding
Picture Perfect
Soul Food


1996
The Birdcage
Black Sheep
Children of the Revolution
Evita
Jerry Maguire
Romeo + Juliet
Scream
Stealing Beauty
Swingers
A Time to Kill

1995
The American President
The Basketball Diaries
Dead Man Walking
Desperado

1994
Clerks
Forrest Gump
Interview with the Vampire
The Lion King
Muriel's Wedding
Pulp Fiction
Reality Bites
The Shawshank Redemption
Stargate
Trapped in Paradise

1993
Coneheads
Dazed and Confused
Groundhog Day
Joy Luck Club, The
Jurassic Park
Mrs. Doubtfire
Pelican Brief, The
Philadelphia
Schindler's List
Untamed Heart

1992
Como agua para chocolate (Like Water for Chocolate)
Cutting Edge, The
Death Becomes Her
Encino Man
Far and Away
Few Good Men, A
Last of the Mohicans, The
Malcolm X
Singles
Wayne's World

1991
Addams Family, The
Boyz N the Hood
City Slickers
Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead
Only the Lonely
Regarding Henry
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Silence of the Lambs, The
Thelma & Louise
Toy Soldiers

1990
Bird on a Wire
Dances with Wolves
Edward Scissorhands
Ghost
Hunt for Red October, The
Joe Versus the Volcano
Men at Work
Mermaids
Pretty Woman
Pump Up the Volume

1989
Batman
burbs, The
Christmas Vacation
Dead Poets Society
Heathers
Look Who's Talking
Parenthood
Say Anything...
Steel Magnolias
When Harry Met Sally...

1988
Big
Coming to America
Great Outdoors, The
Married to the Mob
Mystic Pizza
Rain Man
She's Having a Baby
Willow
Young Guns

1987
Dirty Dancing
Moonstruck
Outrageous Fortune
Overboard
Planes, Trains & Automobiles
Princess Bride, The
Secret of My Succe$s, The
Some Kind of Wonderful
Three Men and a Baby
Wall Street

1986
About Last Night...
American Tail, An
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Karate Kid, Part II
Labyrinth
Money Pit, The
Pretty in Pink
Stand by Me
Top Gun
Three Amigos!

1985
Back to the Future
Breakfast Club, The
Brewster's Millions
Color Purple, The
European Vacation
Jewel of the Nile, The
Ladyhawke
Legend
Pee Wee's Big Adventure
St. Elmo's Fire

1984
Gremlins
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Karate Kid, The
Moscow on the Hudson
NeverEnding Story, The
Romancing the Stone
Sixteen Candles
Splash

1983
Big Chill, The
Christmas Story, A
Mr. Mom
Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
Superman III
Vacation

1982
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Officer and a Gentleman, An

1980
Nine to Five
Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
Superman II

I haven't done the 70's or any earlier decades yet and I am still working on 2004 year-to-date. 1981 just wasn't my year for movies. This post is too long already.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

I used to be a klutz

A thread in the KOL forums made me take stock of the many injuries I suffered in my childhood. It's a wonder I made it through the first 12 years of my life:

-I rode my rocking horse down the porch stairs
-I went through a plate glass window in my highchair with my sister (she had climbed up the back of it)
-I burnt my leg on my 3rd birthday with pizza topping
-I got my middle finger caught in a folding chair and lost the nail (eeew, but it grew back)
-I stepped on a piece of glass large enough to sever a toe, but it didn't!
-I was pushing a girl in a wheelchair when I was like six. The two of them weighed at least twice what I did at the time. I got too close to a flight of stairs and we went down. She broke her collar-bone, but I think I was fine.
-I asked my sister to push me off a recliner and caught my chin on a coffee table on the way down (first stiches, and I still have the scar)
-I sideswiped a car with my bike, not badly hurt, but embarassed!
-I crashed into a telephone pole while walking sideways (trying to show off)
-I got poison sumac(or something) on my hand by laying in my neighbor's yard
-I fell under a merry-go-round while trying to push it and hit a screw on the way back up (second stiches)
-I picked up the end of an extension cord in the wet grass and my hand started pulsing
-Lastly, I remember shutting my hands in car doors many times, but it never really hurt, since it was always at the top, by the window.

Friday, October 01, 2004

AQ

So, when I found KOL, I liked it so much I went looking for other mmorpgs and found this one: Adventure Quest. It's almost as fun as KOL, but the battles get kind of long sometimes. This one is free, also, but if you donate $14, you get to be a Guardian. It helps a bunch when you get the special armor and weapon.

News Flashes:

Today is my mother's birthday as well as my sister's. Happy Birthday, ladies! And before you try to be cute, no, they were not born in the same year.
I am going to Chicago in two weeks with some friends. I can't wait.
I should be working right now, but I'm not.
All 6 of my KOL characters have gone as far as they can, questwise. I even restarted one of them. I am thinking about restarting another one. I can't wait for the reset now, even though I will lose millions of meat. I want to play the game through without buying anything. I am still working on trophies and meat making, but it gets old sometimes. I am even playing some of my niece's characters just to pass the time.
I got an A on my Calculus test. Some of the other students in the class just don't get things and need them explained 3 or 4 times. It gets annoying when they don't even recall simple Algebra.
As for my Acting Class, I think I am running at a B+ right now. We finished both of our Two Minute exercises, and we get scenes assigned next week. I need to critique a play and learn my monologue soon.
I can't believe how fast August and September went by.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Dedicated to the one I love ...

And he knows who he is:

3 Doors Down - Here Without You - I think about you baby and I dream about you all the time.

Bonnie Raitt - I Can't Make You Love Me - I'll close my eyes, then I won't see, The love you don't feel when you're holding me

Brandy - Sittin Up In My Room - Every time you smile, I feel tremors in my heart

Cardigans - Lovefool - I don't care if you really care, As long as you don't go

Cranberries - Linger - You know I'm such a fool for you. You've got me wrapped around your finger. Do you have to let it linger?

Cyndi Lauper - I Drove All Night - Nothing erases the feeling between me and you

Diana Ross & the Supremes - Reflections - Through the mirror of my mind, Time after time, I see reflections of you and me.

Dion - Teenager in Love - I cried a tear for nobody but you.

Divinyls - I Touch Myself - I search myself, I want you to find me, I forget myself, I want you to remind me.

Expose - I'll Never Get Over You - A life lived without you could never be right.

Feel - Got Your Name on It - Something you are changes me into something I wanna be

KISS - Forever - It took your love to make my heart come alive

Leann Rimes - How Do I Live - Without you … there'd be no world left for me

Monica - Angel of Mine - Nothing means more to me then what we share. No one in this world can ever compare.

Oasis - Wonderwall - Maybe, you're gonna be the one that saves me.

Patsy Cline - Crazy - I'm crazy for trying and crazy for crying, And I'm crazy for loving you

Phil Collins - A Groovy Kind of Love - When I'm in your arms, nothing seems to matter, My whole world could shatter, I don't care

Pretenders - I'll Stand By You - Nothing you confess could make me love you less.

Richard Marx - Endless Summer Nights - Every single breath you took was mine.

RTZ - Until Your Love Comes Back Around - I thought I spoke to you last evening, I woke up crying in my sleep.

Sade - Ordinary Love - I keep crying for you. There's nothing like you and I baby.

Sarah Vaughn - Whatever Lola Wants - I always get what I aim for, And your heart and soul is what I came for.

Seal - Kiss From a Rose - You became the light on the dark side of me

Shania Twain - From This Moment On - I give my hand to you with all my heart, Can't wait to live my life with you, Can't wait to start

Sophie B Hawkins - I Wish I was Your Lover - You're the only shoe that fits, I can't imagine I'll grow out of it

Tony Bennett - The Way You Look Tonight - And that laugh that wrinkles your nose, It touches my foolish heart

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Did you know...

The last dependent of a Revolutionary War veteran died in 1911.

About 439 children and widows of Spanish-American War veterans still receive VA compensation or pensions.

Six children of Civil War veterans still draw VA benefits.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

ooh, ooh, ooh!

The Pickle Factory is open in KOL today! It's a rare zone that has only opened once before. Time to make some cash!

Nine Layers

Get to know me better. Actually, I think the lyrics I post here say quite a bit about me, but here's the technical info:

LAYER ONE:
-- Name: Sarah
-- Birth date: June 22nd
-- Current Location: Minneapolis, MN
-- Eye Color: Blue
-- Hair Color: Dirty Blonde
-- Height: 5'7"
-- Right or Left Handed: Right
-- Zodiac Sign: Cancer

LAYER TWO:
-- Your heritage: German,Dutch
-- The shoes you wore today: none yet
-- Your weakness: slacking off
-- Your fears: sharks
-- Your perfect pizza: Garlic Chicken
-- Goal you'd like to achieve: My BS in Math

LAYER THREE:
-- Your most overused phrase online: Oy
-- Your first waking thoughts: Noooooooo. I need more sleep
-- Your best physical feature: My eyes
-- Your most missed memory: Lots of little ones, but nothing huge

LAYER FOUR:
-- Pepsi or Coke: Coke
-- McDonald's or Burger King: BK
-- Single or group dates: Single
-- Adidas or Nike: Neither, Payless for me
-- Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea: How about Snapple?
-- Chocolate or vanilla: Chocolate
-- Cappuccino or coffee: Chai

LAYER FIVE:
-- Smoke: no
-- Cuss: yes, but I don't notice it
-- Sing: only along with the radio
-- Take a shower everyday: yes
-- Do you think you've been in love: no
-- Want to go to college: I am going right now
-- Liked high school: No, only the summers during high school (SCACHSMB)
-- Want to get married: no
-- Believe in yourself: yes
-- Get motion sickness: Sometimes
-- Think you're attractive: to some, not to others
-- Think you're a health freak: I know I am not
-- Get along with your parent(s): yes
-- Like thunderstorms: I like rain
-- Play an instrument: Not anymore

LAYER SIX: In the past month...
-- Drank alcohol: Yes
-- Smoked: No
-- Done a drug: No
-- Made Out: No
-- Gone on a date: No
-- Gone to the mall?: Yes
-- Eaten an entire box of Oreos?: No, I don't like them, too dry
-- Eaten sushi: No
-- Been on stage: Yes, I'm taking an acting class
-- Been dumped: No
-- Gone skating: No
-- Made homemade cookies : No
-- Gone skinny dipping: No
-- Dyed your hair: No, I am trying to grow out my horrid roots
-- Stolen Anything: No

LAYER SEVEN: Ever...
-- Played a game that required removal of clothing: No
-- If so, was it mixed company: No
-- Been trashed or extremely intoxicated: Yes
-- Been caught "doing something": Only kissing
-- Been called a tease: Yes
-- Gotten beaten up: No
-- Shoplifted: No
-- Changed who you were to fit in: Probably

LAYER EIGHT:
-- Age you hope to be married: 75
-- Numbers and Names of Children: 15-20 All named Buford or Lurlene
-- Describe your Dream Wedding: Italy, on a hill overlooking the sea
-- How do you want to die: In my sleep, at 90
-- Where you want to go to college: Grad school in London would be awesome
-- What do you want to be when you grow up: A better version of myself, oh and a math whiz
-- What country would you most like to visit: I'd like to go to every single one, but if I have to pick, Portugal and the Azores

LAYER NINE:
-- Number of drugs taken illegally: does liquor before 21 count? cuz that's the only one
-- Number of people I could trust with my life: 5
-- Number of CDs that I own: 50-60
-- Number of piercings: Two in each ear, one eyebrow
-- Number of tattoos: None
-- Number of times my name has appeared in the newspaper?: zero, to my knowledge
-- Number of scars on my body: 5 or 6 from chicken pox, and one on my chin from my toddler years, and one on my shin from a tree branch
-- Number of things in my past that I regret: 2 to the nth power, where n = the number of months I have been alive (i.e. a large number, but that's how you learn, right?)

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

If

Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the will which says to them: "hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a man my son!

Monday, August 23, 2004

I am 32 Flavors and then some

Ooh, a month without a post, my apologies. Much has happened. I moved and I finished Summer Semester. I got an A in both Writing and Trigonometry - yay! I still have to finish my 2 independent studies, though, and I start Acting and Calculus this week.

I went to Wild Mountain yesterday with two of my friends and we had a lot of fun on the alpine slide and go-karts. We certainly have a new summer tradition. We also went tubing down the Apple River in Wisconsin a few weeks ago. We've been doing that since 1999. I got to see my aunt and uncle from Vancouver, Wa last weekend. They were here to bring their daughter to college and look at houses, but they've decided not to move back :-(

Some of my stuff is still in storage, either in a storage unit or my friend's basement. It's like shopping every time I go to pick things up. I need to get the rest of my furniture out soon.

I don't have cable right now, so my hatred for the Olympics has increased since it is one of only 4 things I can watch. I don't even have internet, since the order for my phone service was put in wrong, and will hopefully be fixed by Thursday. So, although I do hate the Olympics, I have seen a lot of it because I watch the Today show in the morning. They're in Athens the whole time and it is cool to see so much of Greece. I really want to visit there, and now the infrastructure has been drastically improved. I think I should start going to every Olympic venue a year later.

Friday, July 23, 2004

A little too ironic

Chaos is the 5000th most common word in the English language. At least according to these guys.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

I need a man with a Steady Hand.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

hee hee hee hee hee

BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU

(But he's not touching himself, like he does when he watches your mom.)

courtesy of Asymmetric.net

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Tanks

this one is too much fun

Thursday, May 27, 2004

UPC Codes

You can use http://www.upcdatabase.com/ to look up a product by it's UPC code. Weird, but cool.

KOL

You haven't gone to Kingdom of Loathing and created a character yet, have you? Why not? I told you it was fun. You never listen to me!

Seriously, this is the funnest game ever. I have 4 characters right now, soelo - kali49a - yertle the turtle - Drew Carey

soelo just reached level 7 today and yertle will probably hit it in the next few days. kali is sucking it in level 5 right now, but I just bought her some cool stuff. Drew was the last one I created and is only about a week old, but is already at 4.

The game is funny, challenging and just awesome.

I just found the secret code to the leaflet for soelo and yertle and got my load of meat and 100 extra stats. I also got a meat globe and got some more meat and 100 more stats. How cool am I?

One of the things I like about the game is that you have an option to fight the other players or not. You have a hippy stone and if you smash it, you can attack others and they can attack you. I have smashed it for two of my chics, but I don't PvP very well, yet. (player vs player, i.e. fight)

Also, you have clans that you can join and they give you things and you can contribute things you don't need anymore. One of my clans gives me like 25 beers a week. If you drink too much though, you can't play. You can eat until you're full, and everything you eat and drink gives you some more adventures and sometimes stats.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Which direction does the water flow down a drain at the equator?

Which direction does the water flow down a drain at the equator?

You know how water flows down the drain the opposite way on the other side of the equator? Well, that's not really the case. The direction that water flows down a drain is based on the way the toilet or sink is built and has nothing to do with which hemisphere it's in. That's just a myth!

Sunday, May 09, 2004

The Kingdom of Loathing

The Kingdom of Loathing is a funky little game you can play online. You adventure around and pick up items, fight things, go on quests, etc.

Can You Pass The Third Grade?

Can You Pass The Third Grade? It helps if you're American.

Positano

Positano is a beautiful city in Italy. It was built into the side of a mountain, and sort of looks like Minas Tirith in Return of the King.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Friends

Goodbye Friends

One of the best shows ever to be on television is ending today.

An hour long retrospective and then an hour long finale start at 7pm (Central) tonight. Like you didn't already know that! If you watch NBC or Bravo for more than 5 minutes, you'll see a promo for it and if you were watching it last night, you probably saw Matt Lauer (sigh) and Katie Couric go on about it for two hours. It was a good special with interviews of all six, bloopers and a family tree of sorts.

To me, 'Friends', along with Reality Bites, is the best reflection of life in the twenties. Dialogue, relationships, jokes, it all seems very authentic. The thing I have noticed lately is how much less loopy Phoebe has gotten over all ten seasons. The same seems true of Daphne on Frasier, who used to be psychic!

So, I will be riveted to my TV tonight, probably watching Survivor first and then 'Friends'. It seems about par for a Thursday night. Reluctantly, I predict a very short life span for 'Joey'. I will watch, but I doubt many people will, even when they do put it on Thursday. NBC should move Scrubs back to Thursday as well as keeping Will & Grace there. Then, throw one more new show in the mix and you can probably hold on to 'Must-See TV'. Please, please, please let next season be the last for ER. Let's try for a 9pm drama that doesn't have a doctor, lawyer or policeman in it! Wait, do those exist anymore?

Goodbye Friends


Goodbye Friends

One of the best shows ever to be on television is ending today.

An hour long retrospective and then an hour long finale start at 7pm (Central) tonight. Like you didn't already know that! If you watch NBC or Bravo for more than 5 minutes, you'll see a promo for it and if you were watching it last night, you probably saw Matt Lauer (sigh) and Katie Couric go on about it for two hours. It was a good special with interviews of all six, bloopers and a family tree of sorts.

To me, 'Friends', along with Reality Bites, is the best reflection of life in the twenties. Dialogue, relationships, jokes, it all seems very authentic. The thing I have noticed lately is how much less loopy Phoebe has gotten over all ten seasons. The same seems true of Daphne on Frasier, who used to be psychic!

So, I will be riveted to my TV tonight, probably watching Survivor first and then 'Friends'. It seems about par for a Thursday night. Reluctantly, I predict a very short life span for 'Joey'. I will watch, but I doubt many people will, even when they do put it on Thursday. NBC should move Scrubs back to Thursday as well as keeping Will & Grace there. Then, throw one more new show in the mix and you can probably hold on to 'Must-See TV'. Please, please, please let next season be the last for ER. Let's try for a 9pm drama that doesn't have a doctor, lawyer or policeman in it! Wait, do those exist anymore?

Monday, April 26, 2004

A few fun facts

Nearly 3 billion people, or half the world, live on less than $2 a day.

Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names

Less than 1 percent of what the world spends every year on weapons could put every child in a classroom

National Catholic Reporter, Jan 30, 2004 p24

Independent Media Center | www.indymedia.org

Since I am busy working on my 12 page Final Paper for my Ethnic Studies class, here's a link to the
Independent Media Center, which is one of the groups I am profiling in my Anti-Globalization paper.

Friday, April 23, 2004

My Favorite Fortune Cookie

You are an angel. Beware of those who collect feathers.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Did you know...

That Norah Jones is Ravi Shankar's daughter?

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Did you know...

The name Spain came from a Phoenician word, which means 'rabbit coast'

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Tradewinds

I came across Tradewinds on shockwave.com last week. It's a shipping simulation game where you have to beware of pirates, manage your fleet and play the market with prices. It's fun, and you can play online for free, but you need to purchase it to unlock all of the options.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Tessellations

Check out this page on Tessellations (shapes that repeat to make a pattern). It has great interactive demonstration, and shows more than just squares, triangles and hexagons.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Today is an "International Day of Reflection" for Rwanda

Ten years ago, a plane carrying the the President of Rwanda was shot down and the ensuing months saw an average of 8,000 Tutsi and politically moderate Hutus killed per day. That's called genocide. Read more about it here.

Rwanda is a small country in the middle of Africa. It is almost the size of Maryland and has 8.2 million people. In 1994, between 500,000 and 800,000 people were killed, between 6 and 9 percent of the entire population.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Transit Strike

I live in Minneapolis, and our transit workers are on strike right now (issues about health care costs being the main issue). It hasn't affected me much, except I have to park two blocks further from work. However, it has affected my sister, niece and many of my friends a great deal. Even if I didn't know anyone that was having problems because of the lack of busses, I'd still see the need to get the busses back. People have been saying that traffic is better because of the strike, and therefore we shouldn't worry about it. Um, let's try to look at the whole picture. There are people who can't drive due to age or medical restrictions, there are people who don't own cars due to the expense and there are people who choose to ride the bus to save money and reduce pollution. These people do deserve to have options.

Perhaps I am being naive, but why can't we make transit profitable? Right now it is being subsidized by the state and that's part of what bothers people. Even if fares were slightly higher, if it was profitable to run a bus, we'd have less of an issue right now.

As for traffic, if only we had a subway/elevated system, people wouldn't have such an issue with the reduced number of busses on the roads. I doubt that will ever be approved, because of the debacle and debate over Light Rail that we had a few years back.

Wednesday, March 31, 2004

College, two steps back

So, I dropped my Programming class today. I had been behind since the beginning of the class and had missed some assignments. I did some soul-searching this weekend and had a two conversations with a friend that helped me clear up some indecisions I had. When it gets down to it, I have to love whatever it is I am doing. While I am able to code in HTML, VB and am starting to learn Java, I don't enjoy coding or programming. I like solving math and logic problems. As I was avoiding homework this weekend, I cleaned out my craft closet and worked on some quilts. That's what I really enjoy: geometry, sewing, fabric and color. If I could make a living by quilting and doing puzzles, I'd be deliriously happy.

I am going to change my major to Applied Mathematics. I will still be done by Fall of 2006 if I keep taking 2 or 3 classes a quarter. I have to register for Summer and Fall on 4/20. That's another thing I enjoy, planning out the classes I will take. It's like a big puzzle. Anyway, I want to take an Independent Study in Algebra, a writing class, a public speaking class and maybe even trigonometry. The writing and speaking classes would be every Tuesday and Thursday for like six weeks each. Trig would be Mondays for five weeks. I might not be able to handle four classes, especially if I move this summer. I have a while to think about it.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Age of Mythology

I bought this game a few weeks ago and had a lot of fun playing the campaign that came with it and some Supremacy and Death Match games. My learning curve wasn't very long since I have played Age of Empires and Age of Kings for years. So I started to get a little bored and downloaded a few maps and a new campaign. But yesterday I started with Multiplayer games. I easily spent six hours playing them on and off last night. They are so much fun, even when you get your butt kicked. There's a trojan wall map that alot of people use to play a six way game where three players are on each side of the wall. That one was fun, even with the lag we got with so many units. Then there was one Trojan campaign with too many cinematics, but I liked it since I was on the beach against the Trojans. I hit their wonder with a Meteor shower two times and took it down with some Heliopoli. I don't want to spend another 30 bucks on the expansion 'The Ttitans' quite yet. For now, I am content with the MP action.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Road Trips 2003 #1

Des Moines - I was gearing up for my big trip in April and May and
needed a few days out of town, so I took off for Des Moines on a
Wednesday night. Priceline got me a suite at Chase Suites in Clive and
I got there late Wednesday night. I visited the Capitol building and
took pictures of the tallest building in Iowa. I also went to the Iowa
arts center, which is a very interesting building. They have a good
variety of media (sculpture, canvas, even a room of shadow boxes) and I
saw one of my favorite paintings ever, 'Bridge on a Snowy Day' by
Hassam. It has people in the foreground rushing around in the snow and
a blurry image of the bridge in the background. I want to find a print
of it for my house. I went to the Blank Park Zoo, which was
disappointing to say the least. The cool part was the wallaby/emu
enclosure. You can walk right in among them, but they don't get very
close to you. The rest of the animals were either not on display
because it was too cold or were very hard to see. I guess I am spoiled
by having the Minnesota Zoo so close. I went to a mall and saw the
movie 'Old School'. On Saturday morning, I was going to head out at
10am, but I woke up at 3 and couldn't get back to sleep. I ended up
watching a movie about kids at a private school cheating on some test.

Road Trips 2002

Omaha - In April, I had five days off of work and nowhere to go. I
checked some last minute deals but didn't find anything I liked, so I
decided to drive somewhere. From the Twin Cities, there aren't a lot of
places within a day's drive that I haven't been to, but I decided on
Omaha. I got a great deal at the Clubhouse Inn And Suites and hit the
road. I know I was doing 90 miles an hour at some points and I got
there in about four and a half hours. It is supposed to take six. I
went to a movie, 'The Scorpion King', did a lot of shopping, saw the
band Audiovent at a local club and went to the Henry Doorly Zoo. I had
forgotten my camera, so I bought one disposable and only took pictures
at the Zoo. I also won 50 dollars at the casino on the Iowa side of the
Missouri River. On my way into Omaha, I stopped at a visitor's center
to pick up some maps and brochures. One of the things I picked up was a
map of the US. I was looking at the map in my hotel room and decided to
mark the states I had already visited, which was 26 (plus DC) at that
time. I saw that the rest of them were mostly concentrated along the
east and west coasts, and remembered how much fun I had driving down to
Omaha, blasting my music and going at my own pace. I decided to visit
the rest of the states that I hadn't been to yet, except Alaska and
Hawaii. I started to plan a trip around the country for the next April.
I planned to keep a week of my 2002 vacation and use 2 weeks of my 2003
vacation and take 3 weeks to do it. More on that trip in an upcoming
post.

Portland
- In June, my youngest cousin on my mother's side graduated from high
school in Vancouver, Washington. My mother and niece had been out to
visit my aunt and uncle twice before, and I was determined to go this
time. My mother, grandfather, grandmother and I decided to drive out
together in their van. I had to fly back separately, since I couldn't
take more than a week off of work. We set out on a Saturday and stopped
at the painted canyon in Theodore Roosevelt Natl Park before making it
to Glendive, Montana. Traveling in a minivan is so much nicer than a
car, especially when you have more than two people! The next day we hit
Ft Peck Dam before stopping in Cut Bank and decided to find a hotel
there instead of going on to Browning. This was June, and there was
still snow on the ground. The next morning we headed for Glacier Natl
Park. There's a road that goes through the middle of the park, but it
wasn't open all the way through and we could only go about 14 miles in
before we had to turn around. I had borrowed a friend's digital camera
and got some great pictures. Once, after coming around a corner, we saw
a perfect rainbow in a valley. After visiting the park, we headed south
towards I-90 and passed a field full of llama. My mother pulled over
and we watched them for awhile. A guy came down from the house across
the road and started telling us about the preserve. It belongs to Montana Large Animal Sanctuary and Rescue.
He told us about how they rescue livestock that are being abused or
neglected and let them live their lives out in peace. We drove through
Idaho (the skinny part) and got to Spokane that night. The next day we
drove on to Portland. We went southwest until we hit I-84, which winds
along the Columbia River Valley. There are some spectacular views along
that stretch of highway, including the approach to Mount Hood. We spent
several days just hanging out in Portland and Vancouver. My cousin
graduated on Friday, and her brother, their cousin and I stayed up very
late and drank around the fire. The next morning, we all set out for Mt
St Helens. That is a great trip! There are visitor's centers all along
the road leading up to the summit. At the top, there's a movie about
the eruption and at the end, the screen raises up and you are looking
at the top of the mountain. I had no idea how it changed the area
around it, and how involved Weyerhauser was in the recovery. I had to
fly home on Sunday and got a one-way flight on America West through Las
Vegas. It was the first time I had flown since 9-11 and I had never
been to Vegas. I had 2 hours on the ground there, so I decided to hit
the strip. I couldn't ditch my carry-on anywhere in the airport and had
to take it with me. I took a cab to Caesar's Palace. I had 20 dollars
on me and I won at least 40 on a slot machine right away and spent the
rest of the time gambling it away and checking out the Forum Shops. I
headed back to the airport with my original 20 and got some food from
Burger King. My flight was delayed for an hour, and I gambled the rest
of my 20 away. I had a red eye flight back to Minneapolis. It was a
plane with three seats on each side, but there was no one in the middle
seat in my row, so I had a seat and a half to sleep in. I had added six
states on this trip, so I was up to 32.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

School

So, school started this week. I have a Programming class on Mondays and a Politics class on Wednesdays. The programming class is the second in a series, and I took the first one several years ago. Back then, they were teaching Turbo Pascal, and now it's Java. So, everyone in my class had a beginning Java class except me. I am going to review the first four chapters of the book, which we are skipping. I did fine on the first assignment, so I am not too worried. I don't have it next week because of MLK day.

My politics class is called The Politics of Resistance and Protest. There are four readings every week, to which we have to write 2, 3 or 4 response papers, plus a midterm of 6 pages and a final of 12. So, there's lots of reading and writing in my future. My teacher was saying that we aren't going to look at the historical facts surrounding, for example, the Civil Rights movement, but more the mechanics of how it was organized and their successes and failures. I am excited!

My major is Computer and Information Sciences. I figure it will take me 8 quarters, plus 6 CLEP tests to finish, if I take 2 classes per semester. So, I will finish in the summer of 2006. That's also the summer that I hit 10 years working at AT&T and turn 29. I think at that point I will want to move on to another job and/or city. I might need to go fall quarter as well, and I might stay at AT&T until 2007. Ideally, I would like to take a trip along the northern Mediterranean for my 30th birthday. Start in Portugal, go to Spain, the South of France, Monaco, Italy and Greece. Time permitting, I'd go to Morocco, Turkey and Cyprus, too. I'm not sure how long that would take me, so I might want to be in between jobs at that point. It also means I need to start saving for that trip right now!

A Year of Reading Dangerously

Last week, I decided on a resolution a little late. I am going to read 26 books this year, one for every letter of the alphabet, using the author's name. I am going to allow two weeks per book, which will leave two days left over. Hopefully, I'll get a review posted for each one. I have already finished Skipping Towards Gomorrah by Dan Savage, which I got for Christmas. I am currently reading Dune by Frank Herbert. Here's my list right now, which may change:

Adams - Hitchhiker's Guide*
Bourdian - A Cook's Tour
Cagan - Quirkyalone
Dick - Man in the High Castle
Elliott - King's Dragon
Fielding - Grand Avenue*
Goldsmith - Simple Isn't Easy
Herbert - Dune*
Ibarra - Working Identity
Jordan - Eye of the World*
Kinsella - Confessions of a Shopaholic*
Letts - Where the Heart Is
McMillan - A Day Late and a Dollar Short
N
Otteson - The World Awaits or Orwell - 1984*
Pots - Vagabonding
Q
Rawn - Dragon Prince
Savage - Skipping... DONE
Tan - Kitchen God's Wife
U
Verne - Around the World In 80 Days
Watters - Urban Tribes
X
Yourcenar - Memoirs of Hadrian
Zelazny - The Great Book of Amber

The stars are books I already own. Between this and my Politics class that started on Wednesday, I am going to be reading 24/7. I was going to do it in alphabetical order, but I was dying to read Gomorrah and had started on Dune. I am going to try once more to get through 1984, which I now have the Cliffs Notes for. If I don't, I have a back up. I knew X U and Q would be hard to find, but I am surprised I haven't found an N yet. I started by checking my Amazon wishlist and hit a used bookstore.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

Road Trip 2001

2001 - Ohio - My friend and I went to Cedar Point in Sandusky to ride
the Millenium Force, which was the tallest roller coaster in the
country at the time. We drove there in a day and got to our hotel very
late. We had a hard time finding it in the dark with all the
construction. We were going to be in town for three days, but we didn't
know if we would want to spend the whole time in the park, so we bought
a two day pass to start out. We decided to work up to the Force, so we
rode the Raptor (inverted) and Magnum XL-200 (steel) which is over 200
feet tall. As we were nearing the top of the hill, I told him "I don't
think I can do this" and he said "Too late now!" Then we waited in line
for almost two hours to ride the Millenium Force. That was the best
ride I have ever been on! It is 310 feet tall, reaches 92 miles an hour
and starts you off not with a chain, but by rocketing you out of the
station. We rode several of the other rides and left the park at around
9pm. We couldn't find a place to eat and drove all around town until we
got to Red Lobster. I had a calamari dish and had trouble sleeping that
night because if it. It was the first and only time I couldn't sleep
because I had eaten something weird. I had been feeling sick and
finally realized I had strep throat. We were both sore the next day and
decided to just go for half the day, so we hung out in town, shopped
and ate and bought a late admission ticket. We used our passes up on
the last day. All in all, we rode the Force seven times in three days,
and one of the times we got to ride in the front. You can't wait for
the front seat, but we were second in line and the first people didn't
want to be in front, so we went up there. The cool thing about Cedar
Point is that it's on a peninsula in Lake Erie, so when you go up on a
ride, you get an awesome view of the coastline and lake. During the
drive, my friend was playing Missy Elliot's So Addictive CD. I knew
about her, but I had never listened to much of her before that, but
that's when I got to be a real fan.

Cedar
Point now has a Roller Coaster that's 420 feet tall, the Top Thrill
Dragster. It reaches 120 miles an hour and starts by shooting you
straight up in the air, then turning you 180 degrees so you are
speeding back towards the earth to begin the ride. I'm going to need to
go back there.

Friday, January 09, 2004

Trips of 2000

2000 - Orlando - In February, I was sent to Orlando for two weeks for
my job. It's not as nice as it sounds, since in the 16 days we were
there, we only got 3 days off. The rest of the time was spent working
11 or 12 hour days. But, we stayed in the brand new Crowne Plaza hotel
in one-bedroom apartment sized suites. I never had a desire to visit
Florida, but now that I've been there, I will go back. I spent all
three of my days off at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. I
bought a two day pass that was valid in both parks and spent the whole
first day in Islands of Adventure. That's an awesome park. The Jurassic
Park water ride and the Dueling Dragons coaster were the best rides
there. The next day I started in Universal Studios. I liked the Twister
ride the King Kong one. For some stupid reason, I went on the Jaws
ride. I have an extreme fear of sharks, but I figured it's a fake one
so it won't be a big deal. I sat next to a father and son who probably
think I am crazy. The shark comes at you three times and I had to cover
my eyes and ears each time. During one part, you are in a boat house
and the water is green. Suddenly, the shark starts hitting the building
and it sounds like it's going to collapse. That was one of the most
scary experiences of my life. Sad, huh? I spent the rest of the second
day in Islands again. I rode the Jurassic Park and Dragon rides for a
second time and went through the Dr Suess part, which was cool. The
third day we had off, one of my coworkers and I went to Citywalk, which
is a mall they put between the two parks. We shopped a bit and then
went in to Margaritaville. We drank and ate and drank some more. That
night the whole crowd went to a lobster buffet. I don't eat lobster or
prime rib, but I tried clam strips and decided I liked them. I need to
go back to Islands of Adventure and I would like to visit the Space
Coast and Busch Gardens, and maybe a Miami/Keys/Everglades trip, too.

Ohio
- My spring trip in 2000 was to Ohio. I got a lot of strange looks, but
I wanted to see Columbus and Cincinnati. My mom came with me this time,
although we booked our flights seperately, but we met up in Columbus.
We went to the Zoo and to a good restaurant called Spagio's. We drove
down to Cincinnati and hit the Zoo there and also the Newport Aquarium
across the river in Kentucky. I had to run through the tube at the end
where you walk under the sharks! In both Zoos, we saw manatees, which
are so funny looking. I wondered how they can stay so fat while only
eating lettuce and plants! The Cincinnatti Museum Center is like three
museums and an omnitheater put together. I saw a movie about the Amazon
here. They had a big exhibit in the local section on World War II. Not
about the overseas stuff, but how things were here while it was going
on.

Yosemite - Labor Day weekend I went to visit my friend Mike
who moved out to Berkeley. We went into San Fran one of the days and
ate at the Stinking Rose, a garlic restaurant. We drove over the GG
bridge and through the beautiful hills on the other side. Then over the
weekend, we drove out to Yosemite Valley in the Natl Park. On our way
there, we repelled down into a cave. That was so much fun! I want do it
down the side of a mountain. We saw El Capitan, Half Dome and Glacier
Point (speaking of repelling!). The scenery was breathtaking. Mirror
Lake was too shallow and cloudy to reflect anything, but Lower Yosemite
Falls was quite the sight. While entering the village, we saw a family
of deer on the side of the road. We stopped to take a picture and
anther one came bounding from behind us. We turned to see a coyote
chasing it, but when he saw us, he stopped and ran away. On the last
day, he had to work, so I went to the UC Berkeley campus in the morning
and hung out and had lunch before taking the BART back to the airport.

Trips of the Late Nineties

1998 - San Francisco - It had been 3 and a half years since I had been
on a trip and I had vacation to burn. I decided to visit San Francisco,
all by my lonesome. I stayed in a cheap hotel right on Market street. I
didn't rent a car and spent the entire week in the city. I planned on
going to Berkley or Oakland, but I was busy enough with the things I
found on the peninsula. My mom said she half expected me to call home
to say I wasn't coming back. I rode a trolley to Fishermans Wharf and
went to the Embarcadero, The Palace of the Legion of Honor, The Palace
of Fine Arts, The California Academy of Science in Golden Gate Park,
the beach near Seal Rock (my first ocean sighting), The Golden Gate
Bridge, Twin Peaks, Haight-Ashbury, Union Square, Lombard Street, the
Zoo and Yerba Buena Gardens. Like most large cities I have visited, I
so wanted to move there.

1999
- Boston - For my next trip, I decided to visit the other coast and
headed for Boston. I went far too early in the year, as a storm hit on
my way from the airport to my hotel. I was taking the subway, since I
wasn't going to rent a car until the middle of the week. I think this
was the first year I got pneumonia, which is not fun to have when you're
travelling. I went to the Boston Tea Party Ship, Harvard, the Isabella
Stewart Gardner museum and the Museum of Science. I shopped at Quincy
Market and went to the New England Aquarium. I rented a car and drove
down to Plymouth to see Plymouth Rock and the Mayflower and a cranberry
bog on the way. I had planned to drive out on Cape Cod, but time was
short and I had to get to my hotel in Providence. That's a nice city
and I took some pictures before heading out in the morning. I couldn't
be that close to Connecticut and not visit, so I hopped across the
border and ate at a Wendy's. Than I headed back towards Boston via
Worchester, where I stopped at an outlet mall. I would like to visit
again, but this time in the summer!

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Road Trips of the Early Nineties

As I mentioned earlier, I take a lot of road trips. It all started in high school marching band (This one time...). I was in it for five years, and four of those years I went along on the big trip. From 1991 to 1994, we went to Chicago, Washington DC, Cheyenne and St Louis, and also to every moderately sized town in the State of Minnesota. We took a coach bus on all of the out of state trips. I have vague memories of visting relatives in Lincoln, Nebraska when I was like 3 or 4 and there are pictures of me and my sisters in the Black Hills, but the high school trips were the ones that told me I loved travelling and that driving is the way to do it.

1991
- Chicago was the first time I had been in a large city other than
Minneapolis and St Paul. I was captivated by the skyline, the bustle
and the general feeling of being there. I remember going to an Aquarium
that was right on Lake Michigan and then sitting outside afterwards. It
was cool how the tall buildings gave way to a blue and tan coastline.
The view from the top of the Sears Tower was unforgettable. We also
went to Six Flags Great America and rode the rollercoaster that went
backwards.

1992 - Washington DC was a different experience. It's
an odd layout because no building can be taller than the Capitol, but
it still feels like a large city. We marched in the Fourth of July
parade, which marked the 500th anniversary of Columbus sailing for
America (not the day, just the year). I was surprised how little our
nation's capital seemed to celebrate Independence Day. We went to the
Natl Air & Space Museum, the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Wall and
I'm pretty sure we toured the Capitol (and laughed at the sign
'Majority Whip'). We saw the Iwo Jima Memorial and went to Arlington
Natl Cemetary to see the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Eternal
Flame over JFK's grave, as well as RFK's next to him. As we were
driving through Pennsylvania, I saw a turnoff for New York City. I
wished we could take it and go there as well as DC. I remember staying
in a hotel in Maryland that was under construction. I also remember
feeling very wierd in Indiana, probably due to lack of sleep. But
things got wierder when the bus driver turned a seat around so that
four people sat facing each other. I'd had a dream about that a few
weeks before. Then, we stopped at a rest stop and looked across the
freeway to see ... the exact same rest stop! Okay, so all of those
things aren't really that odd, it was just the timing of it all that
freaked me out. I never liked Indiana after that.

1993 -
Cheyenne, WY - We drove through South Dakota and went to Wall Drug,
Wind Cave, The Badlands and Mount Rushmore on the way. I think we even
drove past the Sitting Bull memorial, which just looked like a big rock
back then. We marched a parade in Cheyenne and went to a rodeo. My
friends and I went to the midway of the fair that was across the street
instead of watching the cowboys. I remember the distinct smell of
cowpies, even downtown. Then, we took off one day to visit Rocky
Mountain Natl Park near Estes Park, Colorado. It was the first time I
had been on a mountain, and Estes Park was a beautiful city.

1994
- St Louis - I don't remember very much about the city from this visit,
just visiting the Arch and going to Grant's Farm, which is a great
animal park. We also went to some mall that used to be a train station
and to a dinner cruise on the Mississippi.

Later that summer, my
mother and sister and I took another road trip, back to St Louis, on to
Memphis and then down to hit Texas before we headed back north. We
tried to go to Grant's Farm again, but you have to make reservations.
We did go to the zoo and to the Botanical Gardens and up in the Arch
again. My mom was surprised to find out it was built in the late
sixties. We didn't make hotel reservations for the first night and had
quite an adventure trying to find a place to crash. We hit some bad
neighborhoods and finally ended up at 'The Airway'. My family still
uses that term for any fleabag motel. We heard some gunshots right
before we ran into our room. We piled furniture in front of the door. A
few days later, we were in a Subway and saw an undercover cop take a
large gun off of a kid in the parking lot. My sister said the kid had
been inside the restaurant when we first got there.

We drove
down to Memphis, going through Arkansas where it rained the entire
time. We visited Graceland, because my sister has always been a huge
Elvis fan. It's a great tour, except you that exit into a gift shop
every time you leave an exhibit. Once, while we were driving on the
freeway, there was a big metal door in the road! When someone would hit
it, it would fly up so cars were swerving around it. We couldn't swerve
and ended up hitting it, but the car survived. We saw the hotel where
Martin Luther King was when he got shot and Beale Street. We also went
to Mud Island, which has scale model of the bottom half of the
Mississippi river. We started towards Texas, again through Arkansas,
and again it rained the entire time.

I had always wanted to go
college in Texas, so when I saw how close we were going to be, I said
we had to go. We went to Texarkana, which is on the border between
Texas and Arkansas. The main street divides the states and the City
Hall building straddles the line. We drove back to Minnesota through
Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa. We thought Tulsa was pretty, but
ended up getting lost in Omaha because of a freeway detour.

Friday, January 02, 2004

Happy New Year, Ralph

I ushered in the New Year with a Windsor Canadian inspired hangover. All I ate yesterday was Sprite and crackers. Then finally, at like 10pm I went to Wendy's and got a chicken sandwich.