Monday, November 30, 2009


This has not been an easy month.

School has been busy this semester.

It just occurred to me that last year when I did NaBloPoMo, I was only taking one active class and TA-ing and working on my thesis. This year, I have 4 classes, and I'm RA-ing. No WONDER my posts were of a higher quality last year. I was feeling inadequate. I'm so glad I've rationalized.

Even with conference deadlines (tonight), papers due throughout the month, family time, swine flu epidemics (but I don't have it myself, knock on wood) — I made it through the month!

I am so happy I have met some new bloggers through this month. I'm looking forward to reading more and posting more quality since I'm not without the the nightly pressure to produce. Hopefully I will keep up the fight, though, and post often. I've got some ideas and I also really like my Sunday Snapshot I've started! :)

But tonight. Tonight I celebrate a month complete. A job, if not well done, then done. Sometimes being done is enough!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday Snapshot: Austrian Countryside

(June 10, 2007)

Beautiful lake and beautiful mountains.


(That's Hal at the end of the dock.)



Saturday, November 28, 2009

Six Word Saturday: Dinner and Coffee

Dinner with family, coffee with friends.

(Lots of love, laughs, and a full tummy!)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Bad Haiku Friday


Black Friday today
Hard to shop all day because
Belly full of pie

(It is in fact the VERY first time I have ever gone shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. My mom, sister, Hal, and I went out around 10 and still got good deals without having to fight people or be crazed from lack of sleep.)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The family band howls at midnight

Tonight, we broke out Dad's birthday present—Beatles Rock Band.

Now, Dad's birthday is in September, but because of his crazy schedule, he hasn't really been home long enough to make the trip to the basement to play the game. So tonight, after filling up on our traditional Thanksgiving lunch of White Castles (seriously) and a traditional dinner of all the fixings at my Me-Ma and Pe-Pa's house, the five of us headed to the basement. (Donnie and Stephen, being military, are away from us this Thanksgiving, boo hiss!)

We played and played. Dad loved it.

Then, as we were really hitting our groove (Dad was singing), Jennie started—quietly, stealthily—to howl.

The music was so loud that we didn't hear her at first.

But Layla did.

Did you know that Layla, being pack animal, and the cousin of the wolf, howls when her people howl to her? (I suppose it's embarrassing that we figured it out. But it's great fun to get her howling. When I was a little kid and didn't yet have a dog but wanted one so bad, I used to sit out in our tree house and bark and howl. The dogs in the neighborhood would answer me, and I thought that was so cool.)


We're singing and playing our hearts out.

And Layla started howling.

Background vocals from the dog!

And we started laughing.

And laughing.

I had tears coming down my cheeks.

We could barely see the screen, but valiantly, the show went on!

We finished the song in fine fashion, still laughing and wiping our eyes.

Layla wagged her tail, and Jennie giggled.

(I hope you all had wonderful Thanksgivings!)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


The Cats are in overtime.

Too busy to post.


Edited to Add: Pulled it out in overtime. Phew. Sweating bullets over here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Let the partying begin! We are home and fed and ready for Beatles Rock Band.

Layla did ok in the car. She didn't like the crate at first, but she settled down (that might have been the benadryl). Every once in awhile she would whine, but she was much better than she had been in the past.

My parents got new floors. They're wood floors and they look really nice. I'm waiting for Layla to start running and fal lon her face, but she's been ok so far.

I'm looking forward to a weekend with my family. It's too bad that my brothers can't be with use this year (both are military and are at their respective bases). Hal and I are in charge of spoon bread for Thursday; we have all the ingredients and we just need to cook!

(I have determined that NaBloPoMo has just taught me that I'm very boring.)

What are you all doing for Thanksgiving? (Or, if you are in a Thanksgiving-less place, what are you doing this week?)

Monday, November 23, 2009

So a scared dog walks into a car...

In September of 2008, we experienced a hurricane.

I know that sounds odd, since we live in Indiana.

But when Hurricane Ike ripped through Texas, it sent storms and wind all the way up through Indiana and Kentucky.

That weekend, we were home at my parents' house in Kentucky. We had to drive back to Indiana through the Hurricane.

Debris scattered the roads. We passed many places where there was no electricity.

But the worst of it for us happened about 20 minutes away from home.

On the interstate, the wind whipped part of my weatherstripping off the top of my car. As we drove, it flung down on the roof of the car with load and repeating BANGS. We stopped as soon as we could, at a gas station that looked like it was the only place around with power. We bought electrical tape and borrowed a pair of scissors and taped the weatherstripping back to the top of my car. The electrical tape is there to this day.

The damage was done, though.

Oh, no, not damage to my car.

Damage to Layla.

The weatherstripping was too loud, the wind was too loud, the drive was slow and tense because of the debris.

Our dog that normally slept the whole way home has been nervous in the car since then.

Panting. And more recently, trying to dig in the seat to get underneath something. Getting off the seat to it on the floor of the backseat.

We finally decided we needed to do something.

My cousin, our vet, suggested we get her a crate for the car so she can feel enclosed and safer.

We went to look at crates.

They are $80. So we decided to try something else.

Hence, the trial of the dog seat belt.

The dog seat belt is a harness that you put on your animal. The harness has a loop on it, and the seat belt to the car goes through the loop and clicks in, leaving the dog seat belted into the car.

On the box, the large dog sits patiently. Almost like a human, a big smile on his face.

Stop and consider this for a minute. We were going to attempt to put a seat belt on our dog. Because dogs just seem like they would like something like that. On our dog. I shake my head at our foolishness.

We slipped the harness on Layla in the parking lot of the pet store. We wanted to try the contraption out on our short drive in town before we take her out of town. Surely she would like not slipping around when the car makes turns and stops.

Not so!

Layla. Hated. The. Seat Belt.

First she wriggled right out of the harness. And looked at us with a smile. We put it on tighter and buckled her in. Hal even sat in the back with her.

More panting and general dog stress and anxiety.

So Hal found and purchased a $20 soft carrier that folds up and has loops so the seat belts can buckle the carrier into the car.

Layla did not like the idea of the carrier at first. It looked suspiciously like a crate. We don't use a crate here anymore, and while she always liked her crate and will go into it with no problems, I don't think she wanted to show too much enthusiasm.

So I crawled in the crate.

(I didn't fit.) This became apparent when I tried to crawl OUT of the crate and got my butt stuck. I had to wriggle out like a demented snake.)

My silly crate tricks did the job and she doesn't mind it.

But the big test will be tomorrow.

Safe Crate vs. Dangerous Car.

I can't wait to see who comes out on top

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday Snapshot: Alaska at Night

Oldies but goodies! Here we experience Alaska at 11 p.m. from our boat on our honeymoon. Notice the sun is finally setting. Alaska is so unbelievably beautiful. I recommend anyone to go there.

This is a series that Hal may have taken. Regardless, I want to print them out and hang them somewhere. I'll get around to that. We've only been married for 3 and a half years.





Saturday, November 21, 2009

Six Word Saturday: Work

Work all day, Thankgiving to play!

(Seriously, I have dug myself into a hole of procrastination and I've spent about eight hours trying to put a dent in it. I have done some substantial work. I still have A LOT more to do. I'm hoping to get enough done that I'll be able to relax during the break. Which means I'll be working pretty much constantly until we leave on Tuesday.)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Bad Haiku Friday: In honor of New Moon


Twilight is horrid
Vampires do not sparkle
Bella is a twit

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I can't tell you all how much I love that I can watch things on the Internet.

Like last night's Glee. Or old episodes of Secret Life.

Especially UK basketball games.

I spent the first year here huddled in front of my computer listening to games on the internet radio. This was hard for me. We only get UK games if they are the national games, of course, as most IU people don't really care about UK games.

But now we can watch them online. And we have figured out how to hook up our computer to the TV so it's like we are watching them on the TV!

How did we ever live without the internet?!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


One of my Korean classmates had a creature he had never seen before on his back porch.

Our Tanzanian student, who lives near the Korean student, saw the same creature. She thought he had a new pet. The creature stood there frozen, staring at her.

Both were mystified. The Korean student took a picture of the creature.

"Well, what does it look like?" we (another American student and I) asked them in the grad lounge today.

A thought occurred to me.

"Was it an opossum?" I asked.

They were both confused.

"Does it look like a big rat? With a tail that doesn't have any fur?" we asked.

"Yes!" They replied. "But it was big."

I spread out my hands on the table.

"Yes, about that big."

"A Possum!" We exclaimed.

They don't have possums/opossums in Korea.

You learn something new every day.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Lots of drama going on at school right now, but I'm not going to write about it here. Suffice to say, everyone (me included) has bad attitudes right now.

On happier notes, I am most addicted to a computer game. What kind of game, you may ask. Well, it's not anything cool like Myst or World of Warcraft or even Return to Zork (although I was highly addicted to Zork back in the day). It's not even Bejewelled or Farmville or Mafia Wars.

It's a facebook game called Typing Maniac.

What does it say about me that I am addicted to a game that scores you on how quickly and accurately you type?

I'm pretty sure it says "Major Dork."

I guess I'm used to this title by now. I can't help but play it. I'm currently the leader out of my friends, although I assume that's because they are all normal and got tired of it before they cared enough to get good at it.

And I should be good at it. I've typed since I was a young kid. I remember typing a 99-page story on the computer in 7th or 8th grade (not in one sitting, of course). I wish I still had it. I'm sure it was horrible. I worked and worked to learn how to type. We had computer class in grade school with Mavis Beakon, well, the class was with another teacher, but Mavis Beakon was the computer program typing instructor. My gut tells me that I loathed Mavis, but I cannot recall why. In high school, we had and entire year of typing when we were sophomores, and the first semester was ON A TYPEWRITER. Please, a typewriter? I'm happy to report that the students at my school now have one semester of typing, and it's in a computer lab. Not to mention the hours and hours I spent typing as a reporter, journalism major, and creative writing major. And now I'm in grad school, home of the gabillion-page paper.

Typing is my blood, man.

(I'm sounding more dorky by the minute.)

So anyway, I'm addicted to Typing Maniac. I play it often. It is a great way to relieve stress, which is very important right now (you see that? I brought it back around to school drama. I am so good!).

What games are you addicted to?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Procrastinators Unite

Today, shockingly, I did the work I had set out to do! I did my homework for tomorrow and the work for my meeting tomorrow by 3:30, which is unheard of. I did laundry and dishes (until I cut my finger on a knife and had to stop). This is in addition to my class and my 8:30 a.m. meeting this morning.

I helped Hal make pizza for dinner (whole wheat crust, mushrooms, shallot, bacon, garlic, sauce and cheese) and then watched UK claw its way back for a victory over a feisty Miami (OH) team. I explained why I disliked "Twilight" on a friend's facebook status.

I even posted a facebook status trumpeting my work ethic today. My mother asked, "What did you do with the Stacie I know and love?" My friend Megan O. said in response to my mom, "Haha, Paula. I was wondering where the procrastination went!"

I apparently have a problem with procrastination.

Well, I DO have a problem with procrastination. I prefer to think of it, rather, as "performing really well under deadline." I was a journalist after all. My friend and old roommate Anne told me this weekend that she couldn't figure out how I wrote papers at 3 a.m. when we were in college -- it was because I HAD to. And I worked better in the middle of the night rather than getting up early to produce (plus, one semester, I didn't have class until 2 p.m.!).

I'm procrastinating right now, actually. This NaBloPoMo is such a procrastination too. I HAVE to upload my blog. I have to also do all this work for school. But the BLOG! It MUST get done! In fact, I procrastinate this blog, because it's 10:10 and instead of having done this hours ago (and probably produced something less crappy), I had a glass of wine and watched the basketball game (wine and I have made up after our fight on Saturday morning).

It's that time of the semester, of course. The time where everything is coming to a head, and there seems to be so much that it's almost debilitating. Sigh.

If only I had gotten a head start.

Oh, wait. That's against my nature.

I'll get it all done tomorrow.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday Snapshot: Positano


After a bus ride around hairpin turns, honking cars, and motorcycle riders with death wishes, we pulled into Positano, Italy.


Positano is a city clinging to a hill, the houses and buildings all breathtakingly perched on a hill that crashes into the Mediterranean.


We went with an idea of relaxation, and after scaling a fence to find a small trail, we found ourselves at a mostly-deserted beach. We rented a chair and changed into our swimsuits and hung out in the warm sun.



We laid in the sun and dipped our toes in the (freezing) Mediterranean for several hours, making the most relaxing day of our trip to Italy.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Six Word Saturday: Update on Last Night

Good friends and too much wine!


Friday, November 13, 2009

Bad Haiku Friday: Visiting Friends and Visiting Haiku-er


Visiting old friends
Promises of fun and laughs
And probably wine

Special Guest Star Haiku: Hal's Haiku Friday
(Hal busted this out as I was sitting here.)

Hal took the day off
But he has errands to do
May as well have worked

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What I'm watching...

I got into a discussion about the TV shows I like to watch this week with my friend Joanna. I also talked about TV with my friend Rosemary today. I thought I would let YOU all know what I'm watching, too.

Weekly shows I love to watch (currently on):

1. Flash Forward
It's fun and creepy and Joseph Fiennes is hot. However, the more I look at him, the less hot I think he, objectively, should be (due to the physical dimensions of his face). BUT! This does not let me think that he is less hot than I originally thought he was (I'm not sure that makes any sense). Anyway, I've been looking for a creepy end of the world show since Jericho went off the air. I never got into Lost for whatever reason, but like this a lot. And it's not only because Joseph Fiennes is hot. The story is interesting and I'm enjoying the suspense. I hope people don't get bored with the "not knowing" and the show explodes and gets canceled on a cliffhanger at the end of the first season, resulting in a fan uprising and a reinstatement of the show for a second season, after which it gets canceled again (I am SO still bitter about Jericho).

2. Glee
One of my colleagues says that only women and gay men like Glee. I don't know if this is true, but I am a woman and I love it. It is so. much. fun. I love the musical numbers and I like how silly and campy the whole thing is. Matthew Morrison is adorable and fun to watch sing and dance. Jane Lynch is ridiculously funny -- I loved her in Boston Legal, and I really love her here.

Shows I watch often, but not on a real schedule (alternate title: I like to watch people buy houses):

1. House Hunters
I wish Susan Whang was my friend. That is all.

2. Designers Challenge or Color Splash
I wish I had $50,000 to remodel my kitchen. Or bedroom. Or family room. In fact, I just wish I owned my own kitchen, bedroom, or family room.
Alternatively, I would love David Bromstad to make over a room for me. He seems like so much fun.

3. Property Virgins or My First Place
I wish I hadn't owned a house so I could go on Property Virgins and I could hang out with Sandra Rinomato. This show gets extra points because they filmed several in Cincinnati. More extra points because I felt like we were more informed about house buying than a lot of the people on the show.

4. Gilmore Girls

5. Any number of Food Network shows
I enjoy food. I like the challenges, including Iron Chef and Chopped. I also love Ace of Cakes and anything Alton.

Weekly shows I love to watch (not currently on):
1. Secret Life of the American Teenager
Sigh. You just can't turn away from the train wreck. It also helps that every Monday night, Megan B. and I have a "date" online to chat through the show. Perhaps she and I will try to live blog one when it comes back in January.

2. Greek
Hal and I caught onto this show this season. It's adorable. I really like it a lot. Also, since Boston Legal is now off the air and I can no longer have an inappropriate TV crush on James Spader, I have transferring the inappropriate crush to Cappie (Scott Michael Foster).

In summary, I really need a cable provider who will allow me to pay for only the channels I want. That would be: the basic networks, ABC Fam, HGTV, Food Network, and some channel that plays UK basketball. That's all I ask for.

What are you watching?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Whirr

As I've tried to go to sleep this week, it has hit me.

My brain has been whirring.

I don't really know how to describe it. When I can gesture, I spin my finger around like the "she's crazy" gesture that is so common. I make a noise that sounds like the whirr. (Come to think of it, I bet I look totally nuts.)

It's like I lay down to sleep and all of my brain synapses start to fire on an accelerated scale.

It's that time in the semester, folks.

What's the state of affairs?

My pedagogy class has two major projects due. My qualitative class has a major project. My health class has a project as well, along with written homework, which makes up a little bit for the lack of major-ness of the project. I have an experiment to get off the ground. And my research assistant job is constant work.

I love doing projects. I love doing research. I am simply too busy and too fired up about it all to sleep.

So when I try, it starts. The whirring.

My brain working overdrive.

So I stumble out of bed and do some work. It's silly to toss and turn when I could get some stuff done, right?

The whirr is slated to be relieved in the middle of December. It won't stop a moment too soon. I am a person who likes her sleep.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


If you are in ever a need to know the meaning of a word, you go to a dictionary. These interesting books also help you with spelling, part of speech, and sometimes even origin.

Oftentimes the book will give the phonetic pronunciation of the word, in squiggles and lines and backwards e's that no one understands.

The internets have changed the dictionary forever.

On, Merriam-Webster, those divine dictionary divas, have banded their forces of good together to create a world wide web of word wonder. The info is all there -- the definition, the spelling, the phonetic pronunciation, the word type.

But yes, oh yes, there is something much grander.



OK, perhaps that's not very exciting on its face. But think of the possibilities.

This site may or may not include "bad" words. Curse words! Things that would get you detention!

I may or may not have played some of those "bad" words in my day. I, along with others, may or may not have played them really late at night at the college newspaper. There may or may not have been loud speakers involved.

"What, Emily? You don't like the entertainment page? My computer has something to say to you--"

Computer: Mother$*@!#^

It's also possible that we constructed our own phrases by playing two computers off each other. A favorite word of some of my friends was, ahem, "Ass clown." (Pardon me, I'm quoting.) It is possible that two computers side by side could mimic the saying of this particular compound word by having one computer say, well, "Ass," and the other one saying "Clown," making up for the fact that the particular combination of the two was not in the dictionary (not that I would know).

We laughed and laughed. Well, you know, we may or may not have laughed and laughed at these things.

(Let's be honest, I may or may not have looked at the site and played some of the words while writing this blog. And still laughed and laughed. It's possible I'm 12.)

Of course this all would have happened after deadline really late at night. If it happened at all. And I'm not saying it did. But if it did happen, it was pretty freaking funny -- or, well, would have been pretty freaking funny. If it happened. Which it may or may not have.

I'm going to get retroactively fired from the paper. Sigh.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Creek*

On January 20, 1998, my life changed forever.

I turned on the WB and fell completely in love with a floppy haired, cargo short wearing, movie-loving, sappy, sappy, sappy boy named Dawson. He and, more importantly, a little show called Dawson's Creek.

I joke now that I used to watch it every week in high school and cry. Perhaps, and this is confession time, perhaps that isn't so far from the truth. I watched the show faithfully and related WAY. TOO. MUCH. to the characters and outlandish situations in which the characters found themselves. And maybe, just maybe, that resulted in some emoting.

I was a sophomore in high school when the show started -- the characters were sophomores. Like Joey Potter, I had a crush on my good guy friend, and he was clueless (well, he wasn't clueless in my case, just not reciprocating!). Like Dawson, I loved movies and wanted to move to Hollywood and make it big when I grew up. Unlike Pacey, I did not have an affair with my high school English teacher. I knew Andie McPhee was coming -- I had a feeling that the show was going to add a blonde girl into the regular rotation. I was bitter it couldn't have been me.

My friend Brandon and I watched the show week after week, sometimes over the phone and sometimes in person. He often taped the show for me if I couldn't watch it live. On a VHS. I have these VHS's floating around my parents' house; in an era before TiVo and DVR and Internet TV, this was the only way to catch those all-important shows.

This love transcended high school. In college, I remember coming home from watching an intense episode to find my roommate Heather sitting on her bed with a tear-streaked face. Dawson's dad had died in a most tragic way that evening. In what was one of the silliest ways to kill off a character, he had a car accident because, while driving, he reached down to retrieve a scoop of ice cream that fell off his ice cream cone. "Mitch died because of an ice cream cone!" Heather cried. "It's sooooo sad!"

I have met so many guys that have confessed, sometimes shamefully, a secret love for the show. So don't think that this passion is just a girl thing.

Brandon and I watched the series finale together, days before I left for a summer working in Florida.

Joey didn't end up with Dawson, and I was DEVASTATED. I was 20 years old and had lived for five years fostering the hope that my two characters were going to choose each other. We end with Joey picking freaking Pacey, and my dreams were crushed. (But let's be honest, Katie Holmes isn't known for her romantic choices, now, is she?)

I was fully and utterly invested in this series. I liked its silliness, its dirty talk, its movie shout outs -- my favorite occurs in season 1 when Pacey (Josh Jackson, who played Charlie in The Mighty Ducks) said, "No way! Emilio Estavez! He was in those Duck movies, remember? God, those were classics, so funny." (Side note: I have determined that I was so loyal to Dawson because I was still bitter at Josh Jackson for The Mighty Ducks, where I liked Adam Banks better.)

Tomorrow, the complete series comes out on DVD. I currently own each individual season. I watched a huge chunk of them when I first moved to Bloomington and had no cable.

So I have all the seasons.

But who doesn't need the COMPLETE set?!

I started quite a debate about this over on my facebook page the other day. I asked for help in convincing Hal that I needed the complete set. As for why Hal doesn't think I need this, I am unsure. He has seen at least one episode (because I forced him to watch the series finale on DVD with me) and he confessed to even liking it a little bit. On Facebook, I got 13 unique responses (Including one from Hal saying, "No. Call me dream killer."), 11 out of the 13 of them offering support for my buying this set.

In perhaps the best tip, my friend Megan (a different Megan than the skinny jeans opinionista) sent me a gorgeous picture. She said, "Not buying the set will make Dawson cry. Print this out and hang it all over the house to drive the point home with Hal!"

This is the picture she included:


What's a girl to do? I made it my Facebook profile picture.

I even have a call out to James Van Der Beek himself. I, ahem, follow him on Twitter, and I asked him for ideas on how to convince my husband that I needed both the complete set and the individual seasons. Currently, I have not heard back from Van Der Beek, but believe me, if I do, I will keep you all informed.

So what do you think? Does anyone else think fondly upon their days in Capeside? Anyone want to fight about the Joey/Pacey match?

You'll find me in the basement, sniffling and watching some reruns.

*Obviously, the title "The Creek" refers to the show that Dawson ends up making in Hollywood in the series finale. Seriously, I would watch it.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday Snapshot

With what will perhaps be a new feature on the blog, I have decided to comb my photo archives and share a photo on Sundays. I have done such a horrible job with recapping our trips and sharing photos that I hope the Sunday Snapshot give these types of posts a home (rather than just the random: O Hai, I went to Rome! type of post).


I thought this was kind of a cool place to start. This is a photo of the adornments on top of the gates surrounding Buckingham Palace in London. Hal and I visited Buckingham on March 12, our first day in Londan.

Now, the first time I was at Buckingham in 2000, we were milling about on a beautiful June day taking pictures, when low and behold, the Queen drove in! (Well, let's be honest, she didn't drive, she was driven. And she waved. Like you would expect the Queen of England to wave.) That was super cool. This time, no Queen (more importantly, no William or Harry) and not much sun. But cool skies and neat little designs and architecture. We enjoyed staring at the Palace as rain misted and drizzled around us, but as for London, Buckingham isn't my favorite place.

While I was in London and Paris in March, I developed an unhealthy love for wrought iron-ish things (see Tower, Eiffel). So I have a bunch of pictures of little designs on fences and gates and doors. Silliness. To show you what I mean, see Exhibit 2:


Again with the Buckingham! Again through a gold-colored gate. This is a picture of a gate shot through a gate! What the heck -- it's a postmodern explosion of nonsense! (Note to self: Let's do some editing before we post pictures next week, ok?) Anyway, this was an ok idea in theory. I don't know how well it really worked out in practice.

I also really enjoy photographing light posts. I have no idea where this comes from. I apparently have a fixation on lamp posts (perhaps from School's Out Parties of yore, where the party wouldn't start until the streetlight came on?), and spend too much time photographing them.

Both of these photos prove one thing: thank goodness I have digital cameras these days. I would be a poor, poor woman if I were still shooting film.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fashion: The Skinny Jean for Boys

This might be a controversial statement.

I hate boys in skinny jeans.

Maybe this is one of those personal preference things. I mean, obviously leggings-as-pants is an issue of nationwide optical safety. But what about boys in skinny jeans?

I was at the mall today (Gawd, how Valley of me), and happened to walk a swath of the mall behind a young woman with two guy friends. Both guys were wearing skinny jeans. Both looked ridiculous.

Is it jealousy? I mean, skinny being in the title takes away any thought that I should be wearing such pants. Surely I don't find them distasteful simply because I would look ridiculous in them (I, in fact, try to eschew any pant with any sort of taper). I mean, on girls, they don't bother me. My sister has a cute pair of skinny jeans.

But these guys at the mall. Twig-like legs. Big ol' feet. To me, well, they kind of looked like they had duck legs.

After this disturbing visual, I conferred with a friend. Through the power of texting, I got a confirming response. She said, "Agreed! They're either always pulling them up or they dont' and you see half of their [expletive deleted, begins with A and rhymes with SASS] or more. Ugh. I feel a blog entry coming on." Ha! They know me so well.

I responded, "Let me help you visually interpret how not manly I am." (In this case, do note that I was speaking as if I were the boy wearing skinny jeans. I, myself, don't need to help people visualize how not manly I am.)

She said, "I love it! See how scrawny and prepubescent I look. Doesn't everyone want to look like a 12-year-old boy? The worst is when they're not nearly as skinny as they're jeans."

As I chuckled, the phone beeped again! My friend was so incensed that she sent me two texts in a row!

She said, ":0/ I really don't know how they get their feet through those leg holes!"

Very true, wise friend. How DO they get their feet through those leg holes? This sounds like it takes coordination that I wouldn't have.

Also, this brings me to a tragic side effect of the skinny jean (beside the whole "silly looking" thing). It's called meralgia paresthetica. I couldn't make that up. The jean can compress a nerve in your leg and can cause pain. (Let me take this moment to say that if you do go to the ABC news article I've linked, the first page pertains to skinny jeans. If you go to page 2, it's about THONGS, which is another post for another time. Yikes.)

So let's see: look like a non-manly duck and run the risk of pain and nerve damage. Sounds like a win-win to me.

What do you think? What is the appeal? Why are they sexy?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Bad Haiku Friday: Hibernation


Layla is a lump
She's laid next to me all day
She's furry and warm


Thursday, November 5, 2009

This and That

To continue the theme of mushy brain, I about had a heart attack this afternoon when I heard the news out of Ft. Hood because my brother Stephen is at a Texas base and I momentarily forgot which one. Thankfully, he is not at Ft. Hood and is safe and sound. Regardless, what horrible, horrible news.

We went and saw a production of "Boom" tonight, a play about, well, the end of the world. It is a comedy, and pretty darn funny. One of the coolest things was that the playwright, Peter Sinn Nachtreib, was in the audience this evening! When the director was making his before the play spiel, he introduced the author and said, "We're so honored to have the playwright with us, and I'm as nervous as hell." This statement was one of my favorite parts of the evening -- so endearing!

I also got my glasses in the mail today! I ordered two pairs of glasses from (I think) China through a web site that had glasses for $8 and up. I spent $30 and got two pairs of glasses. They're great! I might order more pairs so I can be stylish and fun. Because I have the capability of taking not-so-flattering photos of myself on the computer, I've decided to include a picture of one of my new pairs of glasses.


Yay! I look so arty in my black plastic frames. I am thinking about ordering these in blue as well. Also, you can't tell from this picture, but they have a red stripe on them. A photo is here. I will take a picture of the other ones at some point in time.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wild and Wacky Wednesday

You know I still have mushy brain that I am so discombobulated that I ....


Hal got home from work before I got home from my late afternoon class. The dog was anxious. The door was wide open. Layla couldn't handle that level of freedom, apparently.

Luckily, there were no robbers or squatters in the house.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mushy brain

Tomorrow I have a literature review, intro, and method section due for my qualitative methods class. This has resulted in quite the mushy brain.

I am working on a paper about "The Secret Life of the American Teenager," analyzing the sexual content in the show, especially as it relates to risk, responsibility, and consequences. To do the literature review, I have been working on compiling information about sex on TV. As you can imagine, there is a lot of sex on TV.

Also, and those of you who watch Secret Life will love this, the show won a Gracie Award this year, which (I kid you not) "strives to encourage the realistic and faceted portrayal of women in entertainment, commercials, news, features, and other programs" ( is not the word I would necessarily use (not all the time, for sure).

(As I have been typing this, it came to mind what types of characters will come to this blog through what strange and wonderful google searches. Sex. Teenagers. TV. Oh Dear.)

On a completely different note (kind of), those of you who are interested in chick lit (as well as DAWSON'S CREEK!) and different funny themes (in this case -- college life), check out Sadako's post today. It's excellent and mindful.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Almost every night on the cruise, we went to the piano bar.

There were several regulars (besides us) at the piano bar. None were more memorable than Judy.

See Judy (the one in the glasses):


Nights found Judy by herself in the piano bar, smoking like a chimney and swigging down a variety of cocktails. Sometimes we were worried about her ability to stay on the bar stool, although she never fell off. She and my cousin Laura bonded immensely; Judy called Laura "Kentucky." Judy happened to have a lovely voice and accompanied our piano man on several songs during the week. She was a nice lady, even though we always talked with her when she was a little bleary.

We had fond memories of Judy.

And then, a month or so after the cruise, I got a frantic phone call from my cousin Kayla. Kayla was beside herself trying to get ahold of anyone in our family, and of course, we were all away from our phones. Judy had been spotted again!

On TV.

Reality TV, to be exact.

Tonight I got to see the whole show (I had previously had seen the Judy clips).

Judy stars on "World's Strictest Parents."

As you might imagine, she's not a one of the strict parents. In the show, she sends her son to live with the world's strictest parents so she can help him understand that "marijuana will ruin his life." Judy is pretty adorable on the show. She is kind and sympathetic and really cares about her son.

I never thought I would be in the presence of such stardom.

Who knows the people you'll meet at random cruise bars?

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Swine flu is attacking the university like crazy. Tonight it was reported at church that we will not have the cup this week because of the swine flu. Apparently cases on campus TRIPLED in the last week, and health services advised church that this week it might be better to forgo the "everybody drinks out of one cup" thing.

I have had one professor cancel class because HE had the flu. Poor guy, he was advised not to teach, so we had a free day on Wednesday morning (for the record, Layla and I chose to spend the time sleeping). I also have a health class where the professor brings cleansing wipes and hand sanitizer if we have to handle papers or we want to use it before class --- but she also made us put our heads on our desks to vote for something two weeks ago (don't get me started on that, suffice to say that aside from being childish, it seems like putting your head on a college classroom desk is akin to just licking a doorknob). Riding the bus is starting to feel like roulette, where you just hope no one sneezes on the back of your head or touches you by accident (although, to be honest, who doesn't live in fear that someone will touch them on the bus (on the bust?)). I saw one bus driver wearing a mask, although he wasn't driving my bus.

It's getting ugly over here, people. So far (knock on non-contaminated wood), I have felt fine. I've even eaten a lot of bacon. Hopefully this will pass without incident in the J household.