Friday, February 4, 2011

Things I Hate Thursday

I often partake in Things I Love Thursday, an exercise in gratitude popularised by Gala Darling. I know it’s bad to be negative and talk about hating things and blagaglablabalg, but I think there is something empowering in acknowledging and embracing your hatred for things that make you sandy. So, I give you: Things I Hate Thursday!
1. TV shows involving any semblance of either a makeover or of some sort challenge.
I honestly don’t know how many more variations there are of this same basic premise. Just when you think that show X proves that television networks have well and truly exhausted every avenue of reality TV, we see an advertisement for a new show: DOG GROOMING WARS! We’re pitting two of the top dog grooming salons in Boise against each other. Will Marty be able to tame this poodle’s fur? Or will Shoshana show him up with her little yappy-type dog? Cue intense music crescendoing to unbearable levels of suspense, flashing between shots of the clock showing their time slowly running out, to a dog groomer sweating profusely and furiously combing bored-looking dogs, to the groomer desperately trying to fix his clippers that have given up the ghost, to a dramatic closeup of a pug’s weird, squishy face. Good lord.

I honestly live in the least pedestrian-friendly city in the world. Here is a reenactment of my walk up to the grocery store this afternoon: Head out the door full of pig-headed optimism; start jogging. Have foot fall straight down into large snow drift in un-plowed apartment complex roads. Shake snow out of shoe; continue to jog. Slip on ice; bend knee backwards. Reach the end of the footpath as no more has been plowed; attempt to walk along snow drift. Give up and walk on the road; get overtaken by angry-looking motorists. Climb over, then careen down, 5 foot high snow mountain left in the middle of the path by plow. Sprint across main road the second I get a 40-foot clearance between cars. Forget to buy Laffy Taffy, despite that being the whole reason for going there in the first place.

3. Watching the derby widows devour Bloody Marys the whole bus ride to away bouts.
The wife and I were talking tonight about HOW FREAKING SAD it is to watch our partners party from the minute we get on the bus for away bouts. Our away bout bus rides are normally about 4 hours, where all the team and most of their boyfriends/husbands ride along. Knowing full well that we can’t drink until the bout is over, the guys each bring on a cooler full of booze and drink the whole way there, while we watch longingly and eat Walmart-brand trail mix and drink protein shakes.

4. Statistics and society, STAT 113.
Worst. Subject. Ever. It doesn’t help that the lecture is at least 400 years old. It doesn’t help one bit.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Promo video for the Lafayette Brawlin' Dolls

I'm quick off the mark for choosing my part in group projects - I do not want to be the sucker stuck writing the five-page supporting essay. Happily, I got to make the video to go along with the rest of our marketing project for LBD, and here is the result! The quality looks really shoddy on youtube; I don't know why but it makes me very sad.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

And the knitting spree continues

This has to be the most labour-intensive and most difficult project I've ever actually finished. The number of four-inch-long, never-to-be-legwarmers knitted panels I have lying around is astounding, so I'm probably prouder of myself than I should be for finishing this hat. I used a pattern from called Intuitive, although I used bigger needles and yarn than the designer did, and didn't adjust the number of stitches to cast on - I've always been of the belief that I have this unfathomably huge head, but it appears this isn't the case. So the hat is kind of big; I think I'll have to put some elastic in the ribbed part so it stays on my unfortunately-normal-sized head.

The BF is in Japan for the week, and as such missed out on the second annual Dannygiving (which also happened to be my first proper Thanksgiving celebration), during which I drank no less than half a gallon of Grown Up Eggnog (I made it myself, and, I don't mean to brag, it tasted like it was made by the gods themselves) and ate my weight in turkey, candied yams (henceforth known as "yammy pudding") potatoes, green bean casserole, and many, many pies. Thus far Thanksgiving is my favourite American holiday, by a mile. It is the one time a year that you're actually encouraged to not hide the fact that you're a fat-ass glutton. Obviously, this sits well with me.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

When I was 22

First ever F-Off huge pumpkin at a pumpkin patch in Lafayette, IN

At the age of 22, I:
-       moved overseas
-       spent time in three countries
-       Visited more than twenty cities, in more than 15 different states.
-       Lived in a college dorm (FML)
-       Navigated my way through NYC, Toronto and Ottawa, as well as countless airports all by myself.
-       Studied abroad for a year
-       Was accepted to complete my degree overseas
-       Joined a roller derby team
-       Overcame my crippling social retardation and can now almost function in most social situations
-       Saw Spoon in concert
-       Lived without a car for one year, for the first time since I was 17
-       Lost 15 lbs
-       Met more incredible people than I could even possibly count
-       Learned to really appreciate good beer
-       Didn’t die

When I was 22, I
-       saw snow
-       ate pulled pork
-       ate smores
-       experienced Thanksgiving
-       experienced Halloween
-       experienced Fall
-       got stitches
-       played dodgeball
-       got an A at university
-       competed in an actual team sport
-       saw a huge pumpkin
-       went to Homecoming
-       went to an apple orchard
-       went to Canada
-       sang karaoke
for the very first time in my life.

My favourite bands when I was 22 were The Smiths, The Cure, Beck, Spoon, They Might Be Giants, Ben Folds, The Hives.

My heroes when I was 22 were David Sedaris, Suzy Hotrod, Eddie Izzard, Bonnie Thunders, Michael Cera, Quadzilla, Kristen Wiig, C. D. Payne, and your mum. 

My favourite foods when I was 22 were pulled pork sandwiches, French fries, bacon, and beer. Ha ha! Thanks, America, you sonofabitch. I’m confident that when the novelty wears off, I’ll go back to normal food again. I have this strange thing with eating food that isn’t normally available to me, even if it’s really bad. For instance, I really don’t like stuff that’s pumpkin flavoured, but I’ll buy it every chance I get and choke it down, just because I never had the option before. Same goes for root beer. Jon says he won’t be allowing me to buy either of these things anymore, now that he knows the truth.

I feel as thought the enormity of the last year makes up for the mediocrity of the previous 21. One of my friends who is quite a bit younger than me told me how I had done and seen so much more than she had, but I reminded her that this is literally more than I did in the first twenty one years of my life put together. 

In any case, I'm kicking myself and trying to figure out why I didn't decide to do the 365 project, because this has been an effing amazing 365 days.

Well, I guess there's always next year.

Feelin' Knitty

I have been feeling knitty over the last couple of weeks. I think it's because I find the repetition and the act of physically making something soothing, when I'm constantly up researching and writing papers and reading exorbitant amounts of fiction for the literature classes I over-ambitiously chose three months ago. Or, maybe it's because it's cold as shit and I'm too poor to buy clothes. Either way, I'm really enjoying it. I just finished this divinely chunky scarf with a wooden button, a pattern by Jane Richmond, who I now officially have a craft crush on. 

I'm currently knitty a slouchy beanie; my first foray into circular needles thus far looking promising. I'll upload a photo and a link to the pattern once I'm done! I don't want to show you what I'm aiming for yet, because if and when my hat turns into a tangled clump of wool resembling a soggy pancake, I don't want people ridiculing me and making my immense shame any worse.

As I sat on the bus last week on my way to have coffee with my super cool new friends, knitting my scarf and listening to Pomplamoose covering Mrs Robinson, excited to see Jon and full of butterflies for that weekend's bout, I realised something important: my life is awesome. And, surprisingly, it wasn't the huge deal of living overseas that made me realise that - it was silly little things, like laughing and drinking coffee and fawning over my half-scarf. 

Speaking of being overjoyed, it's my birthday tomorrow - look at the present I got from the sweetest girl in the world. Literally, Steph is the sweetest girl in the world - and I can say that now, because I've been to the world. I'm going to take my new Diana camera to Chicago with and me and buy some 120 film so I can get some great photos of the WFTDA roller derby Championships, and of Jon, my friends and I buffooning around the city. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

How not to holiday

Ottawa, ON
August 2010

I am a spectacularly crap tourist. Once upon a time, when planning holidays, I would spend the month leading up to my trip researching my destination to within an inch of its life. How do I get downtown from the airport? Where is the airport? Where should I stay? What should I do? Where do the locals eat? Where can I see a band? Do they have a good art gallery? Where can I get a crème brulee? Should I bring thermal underwear? And, speaking of underwear, is there a laundromat close enough that I won’t have to resort to the ol’ 'inside out 'n' back to front'?

For my first overseas trip, I constructed an enormous Word document featuring a hideously detailed itinerary, a backup itinerary in case anything on my real itinerary turned out to be lame or a scam, and contact details for any and all airports, hotels, and car rental companies I might come into contact with. I researched public transport options from the airport to downtown, then put together a walking map from the drop-off point to my hotel. I then printed the whole thing out and had it bound together - I was basically a fanny pack and a sun visor away from being a 50-year-old Floridian woman.

These days, however, my forward planning involves booking a flight, and, if I’m lucky, finding somewhere to put my stuff and sleep for the week. The situation deteriorates even more so, should I find myself travelling alone. I arrive in the airport at my destination, excited but largely disorientated and confused, and head directly towards the giant wall of brochures that every plane station invariably features. I make sure to grab a good city map, and then proceed to furiously molest the display, rabidly snatching up every brochure I can see - these will constitute my itinerary for the trip. After tracking down some sort of transportation from the airport to my hotel, I use the drive downtown, not to look at my surroundings, but to sift through my hefty brochure loot. It's at this point I normally realize that I have three copies of most things, and that half of them are advertising elderly walking tours and scenic helicopter rides – i.e. largely unappealing, and/or for millionaires only. After whittling out the lemons, I’m usually left with maybe two ideas for things to do, which might keep me going for about one afternoon.

For some reason, the idea of being alone for an extended period of time is generally accompanied by that paralyzing fear we all know and love, regardless of the situation. Whether I've gotten lost in a Super Target for days and haven't been able to find a single staff member, or if I'm travelling in a beautiful and fascinating city, the ominous feeling of my impending loneliness is always the same. I become overwhelmed by the prospect of having to find enough activities to occupy myself for the whole time, and invariably end up running errands for the duration of my holiday. Suddenly I realise that replacing the screen protector on my iPod Touch is my first and only priority. I mean, the corners of my current one are peeling up, they're losing their stickiness - we're talking life and death. I can't fathom how I didn't recognize the severity of the situation until just now - and what luck, that I should have this week away from all my responsibilities to devote 100% of my focus to the task of acquiring a new one. And this is a recurring phenomenon - when I was in Ottawa last month, I visited six different Shoppers Drug Marts one day trying to find a Neutrogena cleanser I had seen in SELF magazine on my flight up there and realized I couldn't live without. 

So if you ever find yourself traveling somewhere with me, I apologize - but you have to realize that if I don't find a place to get a haircut immediately, we're both going to be in trouble. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Reasons I am an Idiot, #481


What I meant to say at the beginning of the whip/plow drill: 
"Do you want to whip first, or do you want to be whipped?"

What I actually said at the beginning of the whip/plow drill:
"Do you want to plow first, or do you want to be plowed?"

I'm extremely fortunate, in that my teammates don't seem to mind the fact that I am an imbecile. Or, perhaps they think that it's because I'm foreign, and I might be normal in my own country.

Either way, I think we can all agree that I should never operate heavy machinery, or give directions to anyone.