Sunday, December 09, 2007

Snow day!

I'm not sure how much snow we've gotten, but it's at least 3-4 inches, I think. I try to judge by the piles that grow on our porch railing (if they fall over from th weight of the snow, I know we got a LOT). It started non-pretty on Friday and was just slushy and didn't really stick, but it got going Friday night and snowed ALL DAY Saturday. Seriously. It was a little crazy. It still snowing this morning, but now it's the really pretty lazy, drifty flakes. It's nice.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Dear LOST,

Oops, I mean HEROES. I'm not sure when it happened (maybe this entire season?), but you are now officially lame. I mean, I can't even stay in the room to watch the entire episode, but no matter when I come back, I'm just in time for a ridiculous plot twist, accompanied by equally ridiculous and melodramatic pronouncements by the "heroes." I just can't handle it anymore.

Friday, November 30, 2007


Made it this whole way, had the most hellish day yesterday and never posted. I'm blaming Aous because he came over last night and stayed until 11 (is that right? something like that). I'm really bummed.

Good things: A friend who moved away last summer is here (which is why Aous was here). It's Friday.

Bad things: I missed yesterday (and want to cry). I am completely out of time. Even my weekend is booked (and with work) and I need to figure out how to get a massive group project, a 10 page paper and another 6 page paper done in the remaining weekend time.

I'm realizing I complain a lot about how busy I am on here, but I just want to cry sometimes and need a place to vent. It will be a lot better next semester when I actually have hours in the day to get all the work I need to do done.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007


I almost forgot to post today. You see, I've had a rather longer day than expected. It started at 7:30, when Peter was going out the door ("late" start today, I really can't wait until I have to wake up at 5 AM too). I finished a paper due today, then was at the clinic by 9:45, observing a little guy for a project. It was pretty awesome; he's a really cool little dude and I feel like we really bonded. Finished by 12 PM, had lunch and talked about project stuff until one (when I really should have been transcribing that hour, oh well, a girl has to eat). Class from 1-4, observed a stuttering session 4-5, class from 5-8, then transcribed 8-9. Peter picked me up, we made a frozen pizza, during which, he informed me that we were volunteered to make dessert for the coach's dinner tomorrow night. Awesome. So we made a pineapple upside down cake (after he discovered we have way too many canned pineapples and happened to have pineapple cake mix).

The last straw came at 10:30, when I was ready to assemble the cake. And I could not find any brown sugar. I swear to God I used it not a few weeks ago and there was still at least some left, but it was nowhere to be found. We never need to buy powdered sugar or chocolate chips ever again, but no brown sugar. So off I went into the cold night to stupid Safeway. Which was also out of milk. The cake is now in the oven and I'm so tired I could cry. Thank goodness I wrote the paper I have to turn in tomorrow during class today. Thank goodness for laptops and pointless lectures.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The end is near!

Of NaBloPoMo, at least. I will try to keep posting more regularly when all this is said and done, but frankly, days sort of blend together and without this pressure, I'll probably still only post once a week or less and think I'm posting every day.

We just finished The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Aside from realizing I am a huge Wes Anderson fan (not that I didn't already have my suspicions), the movie made me realize that a movie can be pretty much about anything (or nothing) as long as it's beautiful, has great cinematography, pretty colors, a good soundtrack and some quirky humor thrown in there. Seriously. That's pretty much all it takes fore me. That's why I tend to love certain movies, and why Little Miss Sunshine is probably my favorite movie of all time. It has all those qualities in spades.

A good color scheme helps. I loved The Life Aquatic's aqua and red combo, and Little Miss Sunshine had the gorgeous yellow thing going on. It really doesn't take much. So for Christmas, you can buy me any of the following DVDs:

Little Miss Sunshine (we bought this for my parents last year, and as a result, Peter keeps thinking we already own it)
Anything by Wes Anderson (The Life Aquatic seriously was the cutest physical DVD I've ever seen)
Lost in Translation
Other fun movies I would love but can't think of now.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Confusion in the football stadium

You know that song that plays at every sports game ever? CU (like other schools, probably) has its own words that we put in at various points of the song. After the chorus-thingy (where we say "hey" a bunch), we have a school-specific cheer. Problem is, there are about 18 billion versions of this. The official version they put on the jumbotron thing is "Buffaloes, buffaloes, go CU!" But everyone knows that chanting "buffaloes" is lame, even when we have a real live one who is awesome. So there are variations on the theme.

My personal favorite is "Fuck 'em up, fuck 'em up, go CU!" simply because it gives you the chance to let out all that pent up anger and hostility we have in modern society without calling the other team bad names (it does wish them harm, true, but it's in a song! How mean could we be?). Other people, hearing the crowd chanting both of these simultaneously, have come away thinking people were saying "Buck 'em off, buck 'em off" (since we ARE buffaloes, it makes some kind of sense). I just saw a comment on a story in our local paper that used "Rough 'em up, rough 'em up," which seems like a quaint, innocent version of today's student favorite.

Whatever you say, say it loud, because we're going to a bowl game, baby!


Got my schedule for next semester. Even though I'm getting 4 new clinic assignments (up to 6), without my fourth job, I have a lot more time. Plus, I'm only taking 11 credits instead of 15 (yay!).

My schedule this week:

Next semester:
Yeah, I know that those spaces will fill up and that this week has real life in there, while next semester is still just a lovely dream of unfilled time that can actually be used to do homework and work. Maybe even dishes and laundry and other fun things. Sleep, even?

PS Now that I have discovered how to take screenshots in Leopard, I fear you will be faced with ever more of these. Speaking of which:

Please note the score. We had a blue moon last night and this feat shall not be repeated.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Pass it on

I've had the link to this site starred and marked "unread" for quite some time in my Google Reader, fully intending t send it along to my linguist friends. And I keep forgetting to send it. So I'm posting it here, for them and for anyone else who likes to laugh. A lot. One of the funniest things I've read in quite some time:

So You Want to Learn Japanese

Free Rice Domination

Back to Reality

Vacation's over; no more pretending that we can while away days without having appointments or schedules or deadlines or work. It was really nice while it lasted. I cannot wait until Christmas break. I don't think I've ever looked forward to a vacation more than this. I'm burnt out with school and work and am so very excited for an actual break.

Before we left, Peter and I worked like mad to clean the apartment, wash all the dishes, do all the laundry and generally tidy up. Though some things didn't get done (our table still has mini-avalanches any time you touch anything on it), it was incredible to come home to a clean apartment. It didn't stink, the floors were sparkling (I finally figured out how to use the omop properly and it's amazing), there was only a teeny pile of laundry, and you could actually see the floor. Awesome. I should really clean more often. But how would it ever stay clean if we didn't leave for a week?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

In Nevada Airports

Children under 18 are not allowed in gaming areas of casinos, for very good reasons. Those reasons are being graphically illustrated to me as I sit in the airport, where it is much harder to keep children from the slot machines and other "toys." Three children under the age of seven are watching their father play a blinking, signing slot machine from across the walkway, far enough from him to really be illegally close, but still within earshot. They are enchanted. They track his wins and losses excitedly, calling out "You almost had it!" and "Ooh!" They are thrilled. He his their hero playing the fascinating money machine. They look like a very nice family, but the gleam in the oldest's eye makes me worry. He is too excited, too invested in the game. I can easily imagine him growing up and seeking that thrill he remembers from when he was a boy, forever chasing the glamor that only appears in the eyes of children waiting in a tiny airport, watching their hero playing the magical money machine.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Posting panic

OMG, so my laptop is still on Colorado time (an hour behind), so when I checked the date, it said it was the 24th, and Blogger said my last post was the 22nd, meaning I thought I had missed a day. I was super sad thinking that I had made it this far, only to be outwitted by a turkey-OD, but when Blogger posted, I saw that I actually *didn't* miss a day! My laptop is just on warp speed. Phew!

Posting for posting's sake

Just made it back from a fun party, ready for bed. We go home tomorrow. Thanksgiving was great, I'll never be hungry again. My cousin had to put her beloved dog of 14 years down today, and since we sort of knew it was coming, I got some great ones of him and her together this morning. I'll try to post them later when I get them uploaded. I also got to see my friend Alicia (yay!), so that was wonderful. We went shopping for funfetti cake stuff. It rocked. Hope everyone had a great turkey day!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanks to give

Since I'm not sure if the place we are going to eat (and see family) has la Internet, I'll post now. I was going to post about the pretty new coat I found yesterday for an unbelievable price, but I realized that I should probably be a little more respectful of the day and all the good things it represents (aside from parades, football, gluttony, and triptophan-induced naps).

I'm thankful that we got to see our families and spend some wonderful time with them.

I'm thankful that my brother and I get along so much better than we did ten years ago (or even 5). He's a really awesome person now and I'm thankful I get to hang out with him and laugh my ass off. (Great thing is, I know he reads this, so I don't actually have to say this in person. Ahh, technology).

I'm thankful that my parents have dealt with their empty nest quite well and are now having a wonderful time with their world travels and I hope they can continue them in the future.

I'm very thankful for my wonderful husband and everything he does. I'm also incredibly thankful that he's found a career that he loves and has a great future ahead of him.

I'm thankful for all the great people in my life, wherever they are, and for the impact each one has had on my life.

I'm also thankful that I don't have to eat again for another 5 hours. I'm still full from yesterday.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Have a safe and restful time, and try not to put yourself into a total food coma.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


It's the day before Thanksgiving and I'm so full I can hardly think about eating turkey dinner tomorrow. We had all-you can eat sushi for lunch at about 3 PM (a Reno-only treat), then an incredible filet mignon dinner at Charlie Morton Steakhouse, complete with chocolate-peanut butter bar dessert, only 3 hours later. My stomach hurts so bad, but what a delicious and completely Reno experience.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

When Movies Go Bad

I'm pretty picky about my Netflix queue, rarely picking movies below 4 stars. As a result, I usually don't watch many movies I don't like. However, my in-laws are DVD collectors, so they have tons of movies that I wouldn't necessarily put on my queue, but might want to see anyway. Sometimes, the results just make me glad I didn't waste Netflix time on them (why it's different, I don't know. But it is). Anyway, we watched the new version of King Arthur last night and are watching Spider-Man 3 now. Here are my reviews:

King Arthur: "Gritty realism"="dirty." Lots of fighting. Kiera Knightly looks suprisingly god painted blue.

Spider-Man 3- Emo-Spidey is (unintentionally) hilarious. Too man bad guys. Lame-o. And the movie's not even done yet. EDITED TO ADD: Oh yeah, and I hate Kirsten Dunst even more. It has now passed from mild irritation to outright hostility. Blech.

What I did on my Thanksgiving Break, or, why I'l never work in Las Vegas schools

Speech language pathologists in Las Vegas schools (according to my mother-in-law, who has been teaching here for some 20-odd years):

Have caseloads of upwards of 85 children (I think 50 is the max recommended by our governing bod, ASHA).

Only see speech kids, not language kids.

Don't see kids who lisp until they are 8, when it might affect their schooling.

Have to live in Las Vegas.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Speech Acts in the News

For those non-linguists out there, speech acts (or more specifically, illocutionary acts) are when the mere act of a pronouncement causes something to happen. The classic example is when a minister says "I pronounce you husband and wife" and this causes it to be so. The deal with these things is that there are rules. The right person has to say the right thing in the right way at the right time in order for the "act" to be done. I can't say "I now pronounce you husband and wife" to two friends at the mall and have it mean anything because I'm not a qualified person, it wouldn't be an appropriate time and place and my two friends may not want to ever be such a thing as husband and wife.

The problems with understanding these niceties of illocutionary acts became glaringly obvious in an article today in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Jane Ann Morrison wrote in a commentary column that Nevada Supreme Court Justice (I think) Nancy Saitta said "because her students called her 'professor,' she believed she was an associate professor at UNLV, a job that is a tenured position and usually takes six or seven years to obtain." Sweet! If your students call you "professor," or "doctor," or "el presidente," you can just skip all that nonsense of extra schooling, the tedious application process.

I think this will be good news for many of my friends who are TAs and/or instructors themselves! Heck, even Peter's high school students have called him "Dr." on occasion. Thank goodness we now won't have to pay for 4 years of higher education for him!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

When Las Vegas IS home

Sitting in the airport, waiting for our flight to Vegas, Peter leans over and says, "I forget. We're just going home, but everyone else is going to Vegas." We're anticipating family, friends and food; our co-passengers are anticipating jackpots, shows and food. Very different perceptions, different experiences and different expectations of the same city. I'm happy for these people with their excitement for the experience, but I've flown on enough flights in and out of Vegas to know that the flights going in are always better.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Home vs. "home"

Vacation. Wow, this is great. Last night, I was actually *bored*. We had watched all our Netflix movies (Freaks and Geeks), I had tootled around on the Internet to a sufficient degree, and I didn't have any really pressing homework. So I did dishes.

We are going home to both our families tomorrow, and we couldn't be more excited. It's been way too long since we've seen our family and I miss everybody.

I was thinking about one thing that is easy as pie here that if we want to do it either in Vegas or in Reno, will be much more of a hassle: shopping. There are a bunch of sales going on right now, and I'm in the market for a new coat, but I don't have time to make it to the stores before we leave. However, if I want to go shopping here, I can either literally walk two blocks to a mall, or take an easy ten minute drive up to an incredibly nice mall with every store you could ever want (with plenty of parking).

In Nevada, shopping is concentrated in certain areas, which are near to no one. Every one of the city's half-million plus residents (more in Vegas) has to go to one of these areas in order to do any decent shopping at all, and so you must battle traffic, horrid parking lots and a bajillion people just to get something. It makes me very appreciative of our shopping situation here.

Another contrast between Reno (and probably Vegas too ) and Colorado. A giant new store just opened in Reno (Cabela's) and because this store was so hotly anticipated, some VIPs got to shop early. The VIPs included not only the governor, but also city council members. If Boulder city council members ever got treated so well, I'm sure there would be an instantaneous outcry form the populace and there would probably be some recall-age. In fact, I don't think city council members would even accept such an invitation because of the implications of cronyism and all that rot that they know would immediately come up. Not that the same actions in Reno don't spur the same feelings in citizens (since we all do know that pretty much all the politicians will do *anything* for the beloved business community), but people in Reno are too busy working and raising families and paying bills to do anything about their feelings. So the cronyism continues.

Not saying one is better or worse, but living in a different place can sure give you better perspective on home.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Quote of the Night

From Freaks and Geeks:

"Everybody's a Democrat until they get a little money. Then they come to their senses."

Hi-larious. Thankfully, we have no money.

Midnight visitors

"Hey, come look!"

Peering out the window into the play ground, clotheslines and lawn below. Mostly dark, a few pools of light under the streetlights.

Our resident family of deer came for a visit. Daddy has a nice big rack, and he usually has three females, though tonight there were only two. At one point, there was a grown baby, but maybe she's off on her own now.

And then we went to sleep.

The end.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Am I on vacation yet?

I totally feel like I am. In fact, I feel like this is the end of the semester and we're getting ready for Christmas break, not Thanksgiving break. Too bad it's not true. I had my last stuttering quiz on Tuesday, I had a test in audiology today, no class tomorrow (though I have clients), are we done yet? I know the answer is no, but man, am I ever ready for the semester to be over.

In other news, I officially told one of my jobs that I won't be able to come back next semester. It's sad, but I already feel more relieved.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Best game ever

Learn big words. End world hunger. What's better? gives you the chance to do both. And it's FUN! Go there and learn big words and fill your bowl with rice. And tell your friends!

Teachers have souls too

My teacher who assigned a quiz, a paper and a project to be due the day we get back from Thanksgiving just earned a place in my heart forever. She canceled the quiz, lessened the degree of work needed for the project, and the paper stayed fairly easy. Now I can actually have a Thanksgiving! Woohoo!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Last Quiz Today!

This is the last of the horrible memorize-y kind! Woohoo! Now I just need an awesome mnemonic to remember the 12 steps of things some researcher once said would be good ideas for things to do to help deal with relapse in adults who stutter. So far, I have:

Transfer identification of relapse maintains tolerant mistakes. Cold turkey follows up practicing visual reminders, continuing support groups sets realistic goals.

Catchy, no?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Winter food

Mmm.. soup. I love making soup because, frankly, it's generally pretty easy and hands-off, plus you can use up a lot of veggies and other foods that might not be as easy to make into a cohesive meal. Only problem is, Peter's not a huge soup-eating fan. Our soups usually end up more like chunky veggie/rice/pasta mixes that are more wet than a rice or pasta dish would be.

I haven't talked much yet about this amazing new cookbook we recently received as a gift, but I want to rectify that now. It's called Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. I don't know how we would be getting through these boxes of fruits and veggies we've been getting without it. Not only does it have a billion recipes for many, many veggies, it also has great information about vegetables and fruits, how to prepare things, which spices, oils and other veggies are good partners, and much more. Last night, I found it had a great section on how to make a vegetable soup in ten steps. The steps were generic, so I could put in whatever veggies I had on hand (celery, tomatoes, carrots) and make it taste good (we also usually add some orzo to our soup to make it less soup-like for Peter). And it turned out great!

The book is definitely not just for vegetarians. We are happy omnivores, though we are eating less meat now with the weekly box of fruit and vegetables to get through. I love it because it goes beyond the basic veggie sides in our "everything" cookbooks, but there's still a ot of flexibility. Go check it out!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Halfway there? Not quite...

I refer of course to NaBloPoMo, but this could easily apply to my MA program as well. These past couple weeks have been really tough. I don't know if it's just the gradual wearing down of spirit, the incremental increase in workload pushing us over the breaking point, or just the realization that we still have THREE STRAIGHT MORE SEMESTERS of this (we work harder in the summer than normal school time, apparently), but I've found I'm not alone in my breakdowns. I've cried more in the past two weeks than in a long time (maybe a favorite relative dying? a pet dying? It's hard to say). I know I can get through it and it's probably not as bad as I'm making it seem, but it's bad.

One of the friends we went to Winter Park with was originally Peter's teacher in the teacher credentialing program, and when I told her I had regular quizzes, and not just quizzes, but READING quizzes, she couldn't believe it. This is graduate school, and that kind of pedagogy is apparently bad even in high school (so they said. All I know is I hate them). So yes, I have a paper, a reading quiz, and a test this week, and honestly, this is a pretty good week. Week after Thanksgiving, I have another reading quiz, a paper and a project due ALL FOR THE SAME CLASS. Um, couldn't you spread it out a little? Seriously, the day we get back from Thanksgiving? I know you want us to have no life other than the program, but this is ridiculous.

I really wouldn't feel badly about the amount of work we have to do if it weren't so unhelpful. I would MUCH prefer an in-depth research paper or presentation or even an exam where we had to analyze whatever to weekly "quizzes" where we have to memorize the answers to 8 or so questions that each could be the topic of a book with no original thought or analysis. We are counted DOWN for and original thoughts on these quizzes, despite the fact that this entire field still lacks so many concrete answers to anything. I spend so much brainpower with brute memorization of facts that instantly leave my brain after quizzes that I feel lucky if I can remember the main points of the chapter. Which points I'm pretty sure are supposed to be the reason for these stupid little quizzes in the first place.

Note to any teachers/professors out there:

Want to make sure your students read? Discuss the readings in class. Especially at a graduate level in a competitive program where you brag about how smart and motivated your students are, it will only take one class period of embarrassed silence and disappointed comments from the teacher before you get a whole class full of readers. Be consistent about discussing the readings each week. And don't assign more than any human can possibly finish, when you know our workload. We will NOT read 6 articles and 3 chapters a week when we have 5 other classes. But one chapter a week might be doable.

Thank you.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Winter Park

OK, we're in Winter Park (or a town nearby), internet access is sketchy, I'm hoping this will make it under the wire, but I'm not sure! More tomorrow when we get home...

Friday, November 09, 2007

Things that inexplicable give me joy

Seeing that the feed from my local news has more items than my feed from CNN Entertainment.

Getting a Netflix movie in the mail, even though it's not mine. In fact, it's the Fantastic Four movie.

Typing on a nice, clicky keyboard.

Stepping on crunchy leaves (perfect time of year for this).

Cleaning the bathtub (but not the toilet!).

The act of writing (typing or handwriting), regardless of what I'm writing.

Working my way down lists, my Netflix queue, my RSS reader, or anything other list.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

...Oh What a Beautiful Day!

It's like 73 degrees out and it's incredible. The sun is just barely setting, there's a slight breeze and the screen door is open. I can almost make myself think that winter will never come and snow is years and years away. I left campus early today, just to be able to walk home in the glorious sunshine and not spend this incredible weather in the lab. It was definitely worth it.

We'll be going up to the mountains for the weekend. I really hope there's internet access there, but I'm pretty sure Peter won't accept NaBloPoMo as an excuse not to go. If there's no internet, whatever shall I do? Although, I'm pretty sure there's a Starbucks at least, since there's a Starbucks everywhere. PS Firefox apparently doesn't like the spelling of Starbucks. Way to fight the Man.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The Daily Grind

Man, this posting every day thing is harder than it seems! I'm all jazzed about finishing my post, and then there's just another one to do tomorrow. Or I'm relaxing after a long day at school, eating some ice cream, when I remember that I haven't posted for the day yet. Damn. C'est la vie. At least I have a nice clicky new keyboard to type on!

In one of my classes today, we talked about the things we do to regulate ourselves. This might be something like drinking coffee to keep yourself more alert, twirling a pencil to stay awake during a meeting, or having a cup of tea to relax yourself. There was a list we could use to check off our own "sensory diet" on, but I thought of several things I do that weren't on there (maybe because I'm bizarre?).

So here's my (probably incomplete) sensory diet:

I chew on the inside of my cheek or my lips, sometimes tip of my tongue, because it really feels good on my gums (just between certain teeth). This probably both calms me and boosts my awareness.

I pop my knuckles, my hips joints and my lower back to stay awake and comfortable in class.

I stretch out in class if it's been a while. Sitting still for too long is rough.

I totally talk or sing to myself if I'm getting really stressed, or if I'm thinking about something stressful. This is probably my most socially inappropriate behavior, but I try to keep it to a minimum when possible. It's only really bad if I'm really stressed out and I start talking to myself before I even realize it. Then I try to play it off if there are people around, but they probably think I'm crazy. That's ok! There are probably tons of crazy geniuses wandering around campus talking to themselves. Right? Right? Oh, well...

There are more, but I'm tired and want to go to bed. Yawning is another self-regulating thing I do. Or I just do it because I'm tired. But I can't not do it, even if I'm in class and the professor is looking right at me. Then I just try to make it a little less obvious.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I'm vicariously internet famous!

OMG. So, go to Cute Overload, and look at the very first picture (or scroll down a little if it's tomorrow now). See the adorable kitty and the adorable girl holding the "Absolutely YES!" sign? That's my friend Jess from high school! She and her now-fiance (yay!) came out to Boulder this summer (he's actually from here) so we got to have a drink with them and Colin's very cool family at the Dushanbe teahouse. I will try and see if I have a pic of us together (I'm pretty sure I do) just to prove it! I'm internet-famous by proxy!

I was so stinking excited when I saw this (I was following the saga before I even know who this "Jess" was, as Colin actually proposed on Cute Overload) that I made Peter pause Transformers. He seriously thought I was CRAZY for being so excited (before he knew what it was all about). Boy does not like his Transformers interrupted, I guess. But I think he understood once I told him! I'm so excited for them! They are a great couple, and wonderful people and I think they will be very happy together for a long time. Congrats, you two!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Im in UR atik, creepin U out

Dudes! I'm taking a shower, conditioner on the hair, in the middle of shaving my second leg, when I hear this intense banging. Like it sounds like someone is in our apartment slamming our front door or something. I thought maybe our neighbors were just having a midday party, so I turn off the shower to be sure, because I've never heard neighbor sounds this loud in the shower! I turn off the water, still fully conditioned and soaped, when I realize I can now hear a man's voice. Clearly. Above my head. The ceiling is practically bending with the force of the manly strides and all I can think about is the vent directly above the shower leading right into the attic and I have no idea if they can see me (but I feel like they probably can). 

They've been doing attic work (remember when I had to leave at 8 AM?), but we were supposed to be done. I call the Housing office, she says "No, they should be in [other buildings] today, you shouldn't have to leave." And I'm like, "um, but they are HERE! Whoever they are, they are above my (still conditioner-laden) head." She reassures me that they shouldn't be able to see me, but it's not a definite "No, they could never be peeping Toms and you have nothing to worry about," so I use our beloved take-off-the-wall, attached-with-a-hose-kind of shower head and rinse my hair salon-style. And I rinse my half-shaven leg too. 

They are still pounding around up there and I really wonder who they are if they aren't the guys who are supposed to be crawling around our attics. I mean, they do have the full-on cherry picker, so they must be some kind of official, but seriously! Gross.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

So In Love

You had me at "glowing keyboard." Le sigh. I think there will be many odes to this computer composed here soon. I can't wait to actually be productive during class. Yippee!

New Family Member

Well, we did it. We took the plunge and brought home our new baby, my very own MacBook Pro. I should have taken unboxing pictures, but that seemed a littl ridiculous. At least, it did until I opened the box and saw what a marvel it was (of course. Apple seriously has the best packaging). It's updating right now, but I can't wait to play with it!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Autumn Day

I took a short walk today. Granted, I walk everyday, but this was in a different area, I had no time constraints and it was daylight. It was great. A little chill in the air, crunchy leaves underfoot and squirrels busying squirreling things away for the winter. I don't know why, but the image that struck me the most was a big blue ball stuck high in the branches of a tree already barren of leaves. It was lovely.

The Buffs lost. Bad. I left in the third quarter and felt guilty. But not as much when I saw the final score. Buffs, I love you, but you gotta play at least a *little* better! I'll support you in the wins and the losses, but blowouts are really tough to take.

Phew! Day 3 done!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Snuggling Babies

Last night I was babysitting, and the little baby was sick, so she did not want to go to sleep. She didn't even want her pacifier; all she wanted was to be held. So I snuggled with her for a little while, and she eventually calmed down with her head on my chest under my chin. I would have loved to stay like that, rocking in the rocking chair with a warm baby on my chest, but soon I heard her three-year-old brother clanking his silverware downstairs as he ate dinner by himself. The I heard him call something about spilling his milk. Great. So Baby went back in the crib (not happily at all), I went downstairs and found he had just finished his milk, which was much better anyway. Sadly, at the time I didn't know the baby was sick, or I might have given her a little more sympathy (and snuggling). Now I'll just have to imagine her snuggliness until I sit again.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Aaaaaaaannnnnddd.... GO!!!!!

NaBloPoMo begins! How shall I start this momentous occasion? How about by actually blogging on the first day, that would be a good start. God, is it really November? I'd prefer not to believe it. I have far, far too much to do and I'd really rather not do it. I just want to see family for the holidays and NOT DO ANYTHING for a while. But that's not gonna happen. Ce'est la vie (or something) and happy NaBloPoMo!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Video!

What have I done?

I just signed up to be a part of NaBloPoMo, which means I am going to attempt to post every day for the month of November. I will try to find time to say something moderately meaningful, witty, or entertaining, but given my track record since beginning school again, you may get a lot of nubbins.

I am working on uploading the video of the belly dance show last night. The video is huger than YouTube will take, so I'm going to have to shrink it. However, my computer has a distorted sense of time, so "15 minutes remaining" really means it will keep going past my bedtime. We'll see if it gets done before I am.

In other news, today was a shitty day. It started when I had to get up 2 hours earlier than normal because Housing was doing mold work in our attics, but it really took a turn for the worse when I was eating my breakfast. I was raising my glass to my lips to take my first sip of milk when I saw a huge bug walking along the rim. VOM! These fake stinkbugs invade this time of year, but this was really just too much. I usually try to release the bugs (in case they stink. Go evolution.), but I had to squish this little fucker, along with his cousin I saw immediately after on the wall. I poured the milk into a different glass, but that didn't really help too much.

From there, the day only got better. Even though I did actually go take a nap in my car, I was tired all day, missing the anticipation a performance brings, got back a test I knew I didn't do well on (and had my fears confirmed), didn't pack enough food so I was hungry and tired, which any of those dear to me will recognize as huge red flags for crying. Which I did as I walked home in the cold. Oh well. I have so many days where I'm happy, that a few downer ones aren't so bad. At least we didn't give out candy to hoodlums (or anyone) this year!

See you again tomorrow! (and the day after, and the day after...)

Too Early

It's 8:30 AM and I'm at the library because they are doing mold things to our apartment. What in the world am I supposed to do until 10:30, when I actually have something to do? I'd much rather be sleeping. Maybe I'll go find a quiet corner and lie down. Or go to our car and take a nap.

Belly dancing last night went really well. We had SO much fun and people seemed to really like it. I was uploading the video this morning when I had to leave (stupid mold), so I'll try to get it out later tonight.

Good night!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Fires are scary

In the past week, not only have the Southern California fires been all over the news, but we also had a large apartment fire in town two days ago that has displaced 50-60 people, mostly college students like myself (not to mention the tragic fire in North Carolina that killed 7 students today). These have gotten me thinking about what I would do in the same situation (at least as the students in the local fire). What would I save? After thinking about it, luckily only a few things really stood out: Our wedding negatives, my photo boxes/scrapbooks, important papers. Pretty much everything else would be at least somewhat replaceable. I wouldn't cry over losing any of our furniture (except my grandparents' cedar chest that Peter beautifully refinished, but there would be no way in hell to get that out in a hurry), all of our belongings could be replaced, and all of my computer stuff is backed up on the internet (which hopefully is safe). However, we are young. I can't imagine the same process with a house full of cherished belongings and family heirlooms, such as what you inevitably accumulate over time. Let's pray we never have ti know that heartbreak.


Ladies and germs, if you are in Boulder and have no plans this Tuesday night, head over to the UMC for the GSA's drag show, wherein Aous and I will be belly dancing. Fun times will be had by all! (Mature rating, costumes welcome). The festivities begin at 8 PM, and we will be towards the very end.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Thoughts on a Sunday Night

Tomorrow the rush begins. What am I thinking in these last few moments of my own?

I love my husband very much. I feel like we really reconnected over the weekend, just by spending time together (and having that time to spend to begin with) and making each other a priority. He is wonderful and my everything.

I can't wait until I no longer have 12 hour days. The worst of it is that I don't feel like I get anything done in those long hours. I'm in class or at a job, which cuts out time for studying, homework, or those million little tasks that need to be done during business hours (or while I have energy). Only two more years...

Somehow, we got Disc 4 of Dexter before we got Disc 3. This made me unaccountably sad every time this weekend I thought about sitting down to watch it with my snuggly husband, only to realize that we couldn't because nothing would make sense. I can't wait to get Disc 3 on Tuesday.

I would very much like the Buffs to win their next home game. Yes, it was very exciting at the end, but it would been much more exciting to actually win. I love you Buffs, please don't let me down. I really want to be there for a victory.

The Internet is evil. Sure, I know a lot of random, useless shit now, like that the Amber Room was built in the 1700s by the King of Prussia, taken by Russia, then taken by the Nazis and has since disappeared, but is this important? More important than my upcoming midterm? I think not.

Speaking of the evil of the Internet:
I saw a funny spoof of "Glengarry Glen Ross" on YouTube today. Peter and I watched that movie a couple years ago and thought it really didn't live up to the hype (you think nothing happens in some movies? Nothing *really* happens here!). But after watching this spoof, we were both like, "Were all those actors really in that movie?" I think we were early in our Netflix career at that point, and so only recognized a few of them. I know I didn't know Alan Arkin then because I had not seen the wonderfulamazingwonderfulness that is Little Miss Sunshine then, so I was not in love with Grandpa. But now I am. Maybe we should rewatch Glengarry Glenn Ross? Watch the preview, and let me know what you think:

First Snow

First snow of the year, it even stuck for a little bit, but nothing like the inches other parts of Colorado got (thank goodness). One of my new friends in the program is from Oregon and she is beside herself at the thought of snow and can't wait for it to start. Another friend is from Saudi and *hates* the snow. I have to say, I'm not keen on it starting, but there is something magical about walking along in the hush of a softly falling snow. Mainly, I get really cold in winter and the only way for me to warm up is to take a hot bath or to drink some hot chocolate (mostly the bath, though). I live in blankets and fleece at home and down jackets when I'm away (even when I'm sitting in class). Thank God for down blankets and snuggling; they make this season bearable!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

World Series Fever

The Rox are going to the World Series! Old news, I know, but still exciting for the people here who are still just figuring out that we have a baseball team (myself included). I flirted briefly with trying to buy tickets for the World Series, as most of my friends are, but it really wouldn't be worth it, since Peter's not exactly the world's biggest sports fan and I brought a book to my last baseball game. So I think instead I will watch it at a bar in Denver with some friends, since I will be in the city for a conference anyway. It should be a lot of fun and hopefully they'll keep up their incredible streak. Go Rox! (Yeah, I totally just jumped on the bandwagon).

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Musicale Saturday

Was yesterday ever full of musical-ness! First, we went to Boulder High to see their production of Little Shop of Horrors, then I watched Singin' in the Rain while the kids I babysat were sleeping. Wow!

First things first: Little Shop. We saw the understudy performance, which I thought was really cool that they had, since normally understudies just have to work really hard then never have anything to show for it. And if these were the understudies, the regulars must have been amazing! It was much, much better than my high school musicals ever were, in every aspect. The theater was an actual theater, with a proscenium, balcony seating and everything. The actors could really sing AND carry a New York accent through the entire show without sounding ridiculous, and the sets were more than just cardboard cutouts. It was a highly enjoyable time and I'd like to go see more of their productions; cheaper than Broadway! They also do interesting shows. Last year, I saw the ads that they were doing Urinetown. What other high school would do that?

Singin' in the Rain was, as usual, wonderful. I've probably seen it more than any other movie by now, and it never gets old. I was reminded yet again how full of linguistic stuff it is. Maybe someday I'll do a linguistic deconstruction of it. In the meantime, go see it if you haven't already!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Building Mysteries*

Sometimes you can be in a building every day for years and never notice something. Or see something, but never investigate it. I work in the library three days a week and have worked here for the past year and a half. There is a stairwell I need to go up in order to use the bathroom (so, I go up a lot), and for a year, I never realized that I could go *down* as well. There is a mysterious bottom floor that I not only never knew about, but never even saw until this year. Even though I've now noticed it, I still haven't gone down to investigate. I don't think there's actually anything down there, but who knows?

In the other building I live in, the one my other job is housed in and where I have all my classes, there is a mysterious *top* floor. No one ever mentions this floor, only one staircase goes all the way up there and I have no idea what's up there. I know there are windows because I can sometimes see light. I think I almost prefer not knowing because the reality will be much more prosaic than my imaginings of an airy, open floor with plenty of windows and maybe some romantic, ancients chests to go through. You know, an attic. Maybe that's actually where they chain up the PhD students toiling away at their dissertations. I think that's more likely.

*With apologies to Sarah McLachlan

Monday, October 01, 2007

Coolest Idea Ever

Want to make a difference, but don't have a lot of dough? Think something needs to be done to help our kids in school learn, but aren't sure what to do? Like to know *exactly* where your money is going? Check out Donors Choose, which lets you looks at proposals teachers have submitted for funding to help their kids learn. They range from things like desks and chairs for kids behind the curve in writing (they are currently meeting in a hallway), to buying copies of books so that each student can have one to take home, to providing fishtanks for a science classroom. All the specifics are there, from % poverty of the school, how many students will be impacted, if the materials purchased will be used for future students, what school, basically, all the details you could want as a potential benefactor. It's tax deductible, vetted by the company (really, who would go through all this effort to scam $300 anyway?) and you even get thank you notes at the end. I think the nicest touch is that the site provides the teacher with disposable cameras and your contact info, so you can get a really personal thank you. And you can just contribute towards a project too! Definitely check it out, and not just because all of our family members (and soon to be us too!) are in the education "business."

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Loving Sunday, Dreading Monday

Man, Sundays are great. Especially when you take the time to truly have a day of rest (seriously, I think all those religious traditions are onto something!). Peter and I both had naps today, though at different times. I have spoken before about my passion for naps, and today was a wonderful example of why. Drowsy afternoon, full belly from lunch, sunny but with a chill in the air and no appointments to make. Wonderful!

We went to the wedding of a friend of mine from school yesterday in Colorado Springs. It was the first time we had been there, but it probably won't be the last. It's actually a lot closer than we thought! Another good thing that happened yesterday: The Buffs WON! Amazing. I keep thinking about those of little faith, the scoffers and the disbelievers who didn't want to give
Coach Hawkins a chance. I hope they are changing their tune now! My family has followed him for several years now, since he was at Boise State, because one of my high school classmates from Reno went and played for him up there. He took that team from exactly the kind of fame Idaho has always had, and brought them to the national spotlight with the Fiesta Bowl game last year (even if he wasn't actually the coach, it was his recruits and his former coaching staff).

You could see the spirit even last year. I don't really know sports, I will admit, but even at some of the games last year, it just seemed like if we only had a little more time, we could have made a great comeback. The momentum would shift late in the game, but never soon enough to win. This game, I guess we managed to get *just* enough time to make that amazing field goal with seconds to spare. Now if we can just keep pushing that margin of time back, that would be great!

Well, Monday's less than an hour away now, which makes me sad and excited for next weekend already. I'm just so tired of constantly going with no breaks. Even a lunch hour would be heavenly. I don't know what I would do with all that time. In the meantime, I should probably look at my work for tomorrow and make sure I didn't miss something huge. Merry October too!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


My contacts are dry, I'm making up excuses to surf the web, I'm avoiding studying, and I'm not at all tired. It must be time to go to bed.

At the Game

Savoring the feeling of winning. It may not last long.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


We put the down comforter back on the bed last night. It was very hard to get out of bed this morning.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Still here

Sorry for the lack of posts, everyone. We had a very social weekend with a wedding shower of Friday (fun!) and house guests Friday through Sunday (also fun!). But the combo meant that free time was spent working on homework and assignments, so, it was not actually free time.

Exciting things:
We went to the football game on Saturday and roasted in the sun but CU won overwhelmingly, and winning is very fun, especially when last two games and last season were not-so-hot. The best part is that a lot of the good plays were made by freshman, so that really shows the rebuilding process is in full swing. Why I love our new coach: ""We've won four games in two years so we're just trying to win a football game against anybody," Hawkins said."

Picture from the game (in the student section with two of the girls in my program):

Weather was CRAZY today! Woke up to buckets of rain pouring down, complete with thunder and lightning. At 6:30 AM people! This simply does not happen here. Rain, especially accompanied by thunder, comes at 3 PM in August. That is it. Even crazier is that it rained all day. Not as heavy as the morning, but steady and more than a drizzle most of the time. They are saying we'll be above our average for the month already just after today. Crazy style, but good.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sentimentality done right

Man, I don't think there was a better time for movies that tugged at your heartstrings than the 1940s era. We just finished "Goodbye, Mr. Chips" (from 1939, but close enough), and holy cow! Very sentimental, but sentimental done right. One of my other favs is "Mrs. Minniver," which was about England during WWII. The first time I saw it, I only saw the last ten minutes, but I was sobbing during the last scene, even though I had no idea who anyone was. I would highly recommend id it, even if you only watch the last ten minutes.

Best Cookie Ever

I just made a batch of meringues for an upcoming shower. O. M. G. Very good, very easy, and very not-bad-for-you! Just two egg whites, 1/4 tsp cream of tartar and a little salt, beat until stiff peaks form (the tip stands up straight when you pull the beater out), then add 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract and/or fold in your favorite flavoring or nuts/chocolate chips/mint chips/etc., plop them on a parchment- or foil-lined cookie sheet or two and stick in the over at 200 degrees for an hour and a half. Then, the best part? Turn off the heat and leave them there. Go to sleep, go shopping, whatever. They don't go from gooey to burnt in half a second, there's no rush to rescue them at the perfect moment, they're fine. And oh so delicious! And since there's pretty much nothing in them (except sugar), they're practically health food! I made them with some mint chips that ruin chocolate chip cookie recipes, so they have been abandoned in our closet for quite some time. I chopped them up, folded them in just before putting them in the oven and... heaven! I need to stop eating them so there will be some left for the party. But I can always make more! I think the very best part is that the altitude doesn't seem to affect them at all. Score!

PS If you want them to look pretty like at the store, you'll need a pastry bag and a pretty tip. If you plop them on like I did, they will look exactly like you plop them (no expanding or anything). Not pretty, but tasty!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

An Open Letter

Dear Summer,

I am sorry I took you for granted. I spent your hot days seeking air conditioning and your pleasant nights inside avoiding the mosquitoes (West Nile, you know). I avoided the sun by slathering on sunblock, wearing hats and seeking the shade when I was outside. I should have spent at least one afternoon reading in the shade of a large tree on a grassy lawn somewhere, but I was always too busy working. I'm sorry. If you promise to come back for an encore, I will to my utmost to make the most of the sun and warmth you provide. Now that fall abruptly arrived this morning with low clouds and a high of 60, I realize my mistake.

Thank you,
Your summer child

Saturday, September 08, 2007

When you're a nerd, you're a nerd all the way

Last night, I didn't sleep well because there was a client I *desperately* wanted. A 6 month old baby with Deaf parents. OMG! I seriously love babies, I could practice my ASL and I could get another client! Even better, like a sign from above, every single time mentioned in the email as a possible meeting time I had free. Amazing! So I was apparently really wound up about this, waking up at 4 AM thinking about it. Bad! The worst part is that whenever we get emails about potential new clients, we *never* hear back about it. So those who express interest are usually left wondering for a week or more until another group email (maybe) goes out saying it's been taken. So when I woke up this morning, I had to steel myself that: a) I probably wouldn't hear for a while; b) there are other people who still need assignments and maybe they get first priority; c) even if I *did* get it, there's no way I would get an email by 8 AM on a Saturday when I replied at 9 PM Friday night. I had practically calmed down when I checked my email (because even I knew it was really not healthy to be this excited about something that means more work). And guess what was in my inbox? You got it! I got the baby! Even better, I will have a co-clinician, which means I'll have a second-year student as the lead, so I won't have to wing it as much. And my "co" is a really great girl I was supposed to have worked with before on a different client who fell through. Exciting!!!!

And, yes, I am aware that being excited about school on a Saturday morning is a VERY nerdy thing to do. Now excuse me while I go write some papers.

Thursday, September 06, 2007


This morning I woke up to see a beautiful rainbow in front of the mountains, very unusual for this area. So I ran downstairs to get my camera, and by the time I got back up (30 seconds later), it was gone. Sorry. You'll just have to imagine it. It was very pretty.

Saturday, September 01, 2007


I love JoAnn's sales. I now have a huge stack of scrapbooking supplies for not too much money (though more than I had anticipated). I'm pretty sure I would be happy just looking at all the pretty papers and never scrapbooking a page. But I did do 3 so far tonight, so I really am using them. I love inspiration!

Are you ready for some football?

First game of the season today, and already we have half the numbers of wins from last year. So sad, but this year is going to be better, I can feel it in my bones. Considering the start last year (losing to a lower division school that we were supposed to cream), and the start this year (winning our in-state rivalry game), I think it bodes well for us.

A lot of people (that I know, at least) hate school sports because that's what intellectuals and nerds do. Hate the jocks. Haven't you seen the movies? Sheesh! I did my first two years of high school, but there wasn't really that much to hate, since we were an all-girls school with no football team (duh). The boys' school across the street had the football team and it was easy to despise them because we never saw the boys, and when we did, they pretty much acted exactly the way teenage high school jocks are supposed to. So, gross.

But at my next high school (public, co-ed), I had to go to every football team because I was in the band. I played flag. We won every single game because that's what our high school did. I didn't resent it though because it was just a part of the culture of excellence. The Academic Olympic team got recognition when they won, as did the debaters (and of course our incredible marching band). So nerds and jocks coexisted peacefully, more or less. Plus, the games were fun. I'm really competitive and I like to win, so winning was really fun with the football team. It was great to be a part of that joy.

Now at a big football school (though nothing like Texas), I again find myself really enjoying football. I tutor some of the athletes, so it's more fun because I sometimes know the players, but it's also educational as far as the reality of "jocks." Pretty much, they are just like the rest of the college population. People like to say that the athletes get to skate through and don't work hard, but there are also students who slack and don't care as much who aren't athletes. There are also very intelligent and motivated athletes, just as there are other students who are the same way. Overall, I'm happy and proud to be working in some capacity for the athletic department, even if it's not the cool thing to do in some circles.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


This post is about do-overs and my pattern for doing them over and over, but I feel like I've written this post already. But since I can't find it, this is either new to you, or just yet another do-over. OK, just kidding. Here it is. Long story short, I tend to do things twice: the first time I just make a decision or do something drastic because I just have to make a choice or do something, first time doesn't turn out as planned, but then I have the courage to do it again and everything works out great.

Anyway, read that post then come back and see one I've added to the list: grad school. I'm getting a second MA not because the first one was bad, but because I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life and I knew I wanted to go back to school for something. The great part about my do-overs is that I learn so much from them, like when I learned NOT to drive on the wrong side of the road during a driving test. Excellent lesson. In my Ling degree, I not only learned a ton about language and language possibilities all around the world, but I also got a much better idea of my areas of interest. Which of course is now making my experience in SLHS that much richer. I like to feel like I know what I'm doing, and I guess do-overs make that possible. And I haven't yet had to do over a do-over!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Back to School (again)

After a minuscule break between our August classes and fall semester, I am ready to go back to school tomorrow. I don't really know if I'm ready for the *work* necessarily, but I am beyond excited about my new program. This summer, I had bouts of uncertainty where I wasn't really sure if this is what I wanted to do, and where I worried that I just decided to go into this field on a whim and because of a few convenient factors (great job market, similar schedules with Peter and I working in the schools, and a single day of observation). I mean, why exactly was I going back for another two years? (For those just tuning in, I'm finishing my Linguistics master's and going into Speech Pathology to get a seconds master's).

But now that I've had some introductory classes and met some of the people in the department, I am just over the moon. Even now I have butterflies in my stomach for what lies ahead (in a good way). My path isn't going to be the most typical of the department, to say the least, but I know what I want and it is possible to do it. For one thing, I am the only (I think) person in the deaf and hard of hearing track. For another, I want to do a thesis, which very few MA students opt for. Most just take comps and do more internships for practical experience. I'm so grateful that I did my Ling MA because not only do I have a really good foundation in language and a much broader knowledge of the possibilities of language than most SLPs (speech-language pathologists), but I also have a much better idea of what I'm interested in and where I do and do not want to go.

At this point, I'm pretty sure I want to work for several years in the field, then go back and get my PhD to teach and do research. My interest areas are deafness, American Sign Language (ASL), child language and phonology/phonetics. Phew! I am so much more defined that when I started my ling program and felt so vague compared to all the veteran students who knew exactly what they wanted to study. Amazing what two years of exposure and experience will do!

Even better, there are several faculty members in the speech path department who work in these areas, and my adviser told me that I was lucky (or chose wisely) to be at CU because there was a great deal of support for deaf studies. Apparently, not all speech path programs recognize this as an area of need or importance (what!?!?). And the best part is that they are not oralists (no sign), so I don't have to suffer through competing ideology.

OK, enough excitement for now. I'll let you know mid-semester just how excited I am then :-)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Millions of peaches, peaches for me*

Mmm... The high school Peter is student teaching at has the most delicious fundraiser ever. They sell big boxes of peaches from Colorado's Western Slope, and he brought one home last week. Since then, we've been eating about 8-9 a day (he eats 6, I eat 3-4). They are SO good! I don't know that I've ever eaten peaches as they were meant to be, at least, not this fresh and delicious. So if you are in Boulder and like peaches, go pick up a box at Boulder High, you won't regret it! And if you are not in Boulder or Colorado, maybe you can come visit next summer!

*Presidents of the United States of America

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Grrr.... iMovie

You know I heart Apple. I really do. I didn't understand why everyone wasn't happy with the new iMovie. I mean, yes, it's a totally different format, but it makes some things so very much easier. And they FINALLY fixed the stupid issue with the Ken Burns effect that caused horrible zooming that made you feel seasick. Compensating for that wasn't fun and it's been an issue pretty much since the second version. My movies tend to mix stills and movies a fair bit, so I really want a functional Ken Burns. I was so excited to see how well the new version worked with stills, so I started dealing with all our Alaska movies and photos.

But. Big huge but. I quickly realized what all the complainers were complaining about. Most of the features I considered *basic* like being able to slow down a video or add a song to a specific part of my track, those were all gone. Yes, I could put together a movie quickly (if I could find the best video bits quickly), but it wouldn't be what I wanted. And I would probably get really frustrated trying to get it the way I wanted, without being able to. I was trying to think of ways to circumvent it all, and do what I wanted in each version (the older version is still on the computer) and then put them all together, but even if it was possible (and I don't think it is), it wouldn't be worth it. I would be happy if Apple just let me do the Ken Burns from iMovie 08 and everything else from iMovie HD. Or just put all the good stuff from the old versions into the new one. That'd be good too :-)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Great Movie

Did you like The Princess Bride? I'm sorry, that question should read "Do you LOVE the Princess Bride?" If the answer is no, please don't tell me or we may never be able to be friends again. How could you not love twu wuv?

Anyway, if you like that classic, go check out Stardust. We saw it last weekend and it's a perfect fairy tale. Enough magic and enchantments to make a fun different world, enough evil magic to keep things interesting, beautiful visuals of a fantastic place, and a ton of great humor. Oh, and twu wuv! Hmm.. I think a rewatching of TPB is in order. ROUSes! Inigo Montoya! Aaaaaas youuuuuuuuu wiiiiiiiiiiish!!!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Typing Bliss

I really like typing on this little MacBook. Its keys are very fun and clicky. I've heard that the new iMac keyboards are similar. Yay!

Nothing very exciting to post, but I had a little free time and felt like writing (typing) so you get a post. I have five projects due in the next week, so I'm a little busy with schoolwork. Peter started his week before school prep stuff, so he started his day at 6:45 AM and didn't get home until almost 6. Phew! I guess summer really is over and the fall of our great stress begins.

Friday, August 10, 2007

New Toys Part Deux

I wasn't expecting it, but we got a new MacBook today. Peter starts school next week and really needs something he can bring to school and back to work on lesson plans and other fun teacherly things, and since his old-ass laptop has forgotten it is a laptop and requires being plugged in constantly, he gets a new one. And oh what a new one it is! The clicky-ness of the keyboard, the teeny little camera practically smiling at you, and how can we forget the luscious,
glowy Apple logo on the back? Mmmm... I have been promised a new iMac when Leopard comes out (thank God for student loans and Peter's amazing scholarship this year). This way we won't have to fight over computers and we will both have what we need for school and hobbies (i.e., my photography obsession).

Peter also got iWork, which always looked appealing to me, but didn't since worth it before since it didn't have an Excel replacement (just PowerPoint and Word-like programs). Apple has now introduced Numbers, so it now replaces everything we ever used Office for. I think Peter was sold on it when he opened up the spreadsheet app and saw not only a grade sheet template, but also a science lab template, complete with incredibly easy charts and graphs. Like, wow. You mean, you can just highlight a chart, click a button and you get exactly the kind of chart you wanted all along? And don't even have to go through a 15-step "wizard" that never seems to get it right anyway? And on top of that, it looks like some high-end design team drew it, rather than a cubicle-dwelling number cruncher? Sweet.

I've played a little bit with the new iLife '08 (which the Apple store said we'd probably have to pay $10 to get the DVD mailed to us, but was already in the box as a "drop-in"). So far, so goo, though it's hard to get a real idea of it, since I don't want to crap up Peter's computer with my gajillions of gigs of media. I'll wait for my iMac to do that. Plus, I really don't have time to do much more than a little playing with my classes now. In the next week and a half, I have 5 projects due for two classes. So fun!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Apple just unveiled the new iMac, iLife '08, iWork '08, new stuff for .Mac, and even more stuff. Woah! I hearty McHearterson the new iLife; it looks incredible. Some of the features look like they will make my life much, much happier. Of course, we're still going to wait until October when the new operating system is supposed to come out, but now we know what we are waiting for and that it will be so worth it! Now we just have to decide if we still want to go the laptop route, or if we'll update our little iMac (we'll still keep our half-basketball!). Le sigh. Oh Apple, how do you know what I want even before I know it?

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Second Day of Alaska

The picture of our second day in Alaska are up. We were still in Ketchikan, but it had begun to mizzle. We walked around town a bit as we had the day before, but the main event was a hike up to Deer Mountain. It started through old growth temperate rainforest, then ascended above treeline to where nice views would have been if it weren't raining. Apparently, the top was covered in snow, so we didn't make it quite that far. The hike itself was incredible and the misty rain just made it feel more magical.

After our slow soaking, we came back and wandered the small boat harbor while Peter caught small, bizarre sea fish. We then returned to our room on Creek Street, which is the old red light district. I think that pretty much explains most of the pictures, so enjoy!

Back to the Grind

I'm school again, as of Thursday. So far, the classes are fine, but my free time is being sucked away. I may not resurface again for another two years, when this program is done (and yes, it runs through next summer as well).

In other new, I'm so, so proud this man is a representative of my adopted state. Please note my infinite sarcasm transmitting across this blog. Ugh.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Alaska Pictures

So you'd like more Alaska pictures? Your wish is my command. It's taking me a little while to go through the pictures, deleting the really bad pics, the five versions of the same shot, etc. so the pictures will appear over time. I've posted the first evening and day (our flight into Alaska and our first day in Ketchikan) on our Shutterfly site. This is the site where you can go if you want to see every. single. picture. from my camera. Every. single. picture. I won't feel sad if you don't look at all of them. And I haven't even posted anything since March (except the Alaska stuff).

Here's what the pictures will illustrate:

We flew from Denver to Seattle, then Seattle to Ketchikan. When our first leg was delayed a half an hour, our Alaska Airlines ticketing agent said "That's on time for Alaska!" However, the delay made our connection very close and this was the last flight of the night to Ketchikan. Luckily, they held the other flight for us and several other passengers, so it was fine. Because of how we got the tickets (Dad's travel magic), Peter was in first class both legs, and we were able to bump me up for the second leg. Because of the delay, I hadn't eaten in a very long time, making me NOT SO HAPPY. When Peter told me that he got a salad and pizza on the Denver-Seattle leg, I almost lost it. For real, the money we spent on upgrading me to first class, where I also got a salad and pizza, was WELL worth it.

The views from Seattle to Ketchikan were breathtaking. I truly have never had a more picturesque flight.

Ketchikan was fun. We had a non-rainy day our first day and didn't know how good we had it. We walked around town, saw a seal in the creek right next to our room and saw lots of totems, bald eagles, fish and tourists. We had three days there, so on our first day, we just kind of got the feel of the place.

OK, now go look at the pictures!

A sneak preview (bald eagle snatching up fish leftovers in the harbor):

Friday, July 27, 2007

I can't wait for Carrie's wedding pics (slash wedding)

barrel of rings
Originally uploaded by tomKphoto.
This was taken by her photographer and posted on Flickr. He's one of my contacts and when I saw this in his photostream, I thought, "man I wish I could have him shoot something of mine!" Well, since we are done and married (and very happy with our pics, though they were probably somewhat different than what Tom might have done), that's not really an option. But luckily my second thought was... "Oh wait! He's going to be *Carrie's* wedding photographer!" I actually suggested him to her from seeing his awesome pics on Flickr, and as luck would have it, the stars aligned for them! So now I not only get to meet this wedding photographer I so admire, but also to see him in action and also see the results later! *Sigh* I'm excited :-)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Yummy, yummy, yummy I got food in my tummy

I'm very excited. We just signed up for this service called Door to Door Organics. Basically, you sign up and get fresh organic (and often local) produce delivered to your door every week or every other week. I had looked into CSAs, where you buy a share or a local organic farm and then get a share of the produce, but we were going to be gone so much that it wouldn't have made financial sense. Luckily, with this service, it's similar, but more flexible (you can cancel whenever, put vacation holds on, etc.). I really want to eat more fruits and veggies, since our diet can be very heavy on the starches, and I figure having a whole box of good things for you to eat show up at the door every other week will force us to do that. Eat organic!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Living a James Bond Movie

As promised, a blog about Whittier, Alaska. Motto: "Unique, even in Alaska!" And that's saying a lot.

The Lonely Planet book promised us that no matter where we went in the world, we'd never find another place like Whittier. I thought, yeah right. But now I'm a believer.

Whittier was built by the military in WWII as an alternate ice-free port to Seward, which was the northernmost at the time and not as defensible as the military would like. So they carved out a spot in between these huge mountains where it was cloudy most of the time so the place couldn't be spotted. PS Did you know that the Japanese actually occupied several of the Aleutian Islands during WWII and that there were huge battles there? Yeah, me neither. So this base was not some silly military paranoia.

Anyway, the flat area was practically nil, plus it was freezing-ass cold in the winter (duh) so the military built one huge building with everything in it: barracks, hospital, even a shooting gallery. For a while, it was the biggest building in Alaska. Eventually, they built another huge building as housing for spouses and families. The military peaced out in the late '60s, I think, which left the town in its current state. And what is that you ask?

Let's take a little tour of Whittier as it is now. To get to the town from the ferry building, you follow this pleasant sign:
Ah! A pedestrian tunnel! How thoughtful! How very urbane and sophisticated!

And then you enter the tunnel:

The camera makes the light seem much warmer and friendlier than it actually was. It was a cold gray tube that was impossible to see the end of, as it had a turn at the end, and that made me feel more claustrophobic and trapped than much else I've done. The first time in, it felt endless and maze-like, exactly like we were Cold War spies or refugees. But at last, the tunnel did end and we emerged into the sunlight (AKA not raining. Not raining= a beautiful day in much of Alaska).

Remember the first building the government built? So now it's abandoned and as creepy looking as you can imagine. There are stalactites on the calcium leached out of the concrete hanging visible through the empty windows and the concrete has molded and mildewed until it has turned some interesting shades. Why not get rid of this eyesore? Well, for one thing it's full of asbestos and for another, the guy who owns it lives in Anchorage and basically doesn't give a shit. So this hunk of poisonous concrete just sits there, visible from anywhere in town, and serves no purpose, except maybe as an excellent place for the poor children of Whittier to get some truly life-threatening thrills at midnight.

Because really, who wouldn't want to just hop on into a building like this:

Let's continue on our tour.

Now that the big building is out of commission, everyone lives in the OTHER building the government built, called Begich Towers. Yes, pretty much everyone in town (all 88) lives in the 14 story high rise. Oh, a high rise? Sounds very urbane and sophisticated! Well, remember that this was built by the military. In the 1960s. The outside doesn't look bad at all (lots of windows, you can see it in the background of the tunnel sign picture), but the hallways inside are exactly like living in a dorm built in the 1960s (which Peter and I did for two years each. We know.).
This could be home! On the first floor is a post office (with a very friendly post mistress), city offices, a laundry, a church. a general store, a clothing store and probably several other things. And the hallway looks exactly like this. Only the doors lead to stores and offices, not apartments. Odd, but handy for the 251 inches of snow they get, on average.

OK, all of this is slightly odd, probably quite unique, but not enough to qualify as a James Bond town. No, for that we need to head back toward the giant abandoned building. Imagine you are walking along a street (in the middle, actually; it's not that busy), with warehouse-y buildings on either side, when all of a sudden, you see this:

Men in head to toe white plastic suits, with only a hole for their face. They look a little like giant oompa-loompas (but not orange). Nuclear testing facility for an evil laser? Or fish packing plant? You decide. Ultimately, the henchmen sealed the deal for Whittier. Oh, and plus the only way to get in or out of Whittier (aside from the ferry or stowing away on a boat) is through this hole in a giant mountain:

It's only as big as a train will fit through, though they've now opened it up to car traffic. It was the longest tunnel in America until the Big Dig (finally) finished, but it still gets to be the longest highway-rail tunnel (cuz who's the competition?). When we were on the ferry, one of the guys was under the impression that since it was a "shared" tunnel, the cars drove alongside the train. Ha! Nope, cars get to wait 20 minutes or more for the train to go through one way, then for traffic to come through the other way, and THEN you can go through your way (does it look big enough to fit two lanes? Hells no.). When we were first walking toward it (our best hike began right next to the tunnel) I totally thought this was the little hut where you had to pay your toll or whatever. Check out this picture from Wikipedia and tell me it does not look like a toll hut:

Yeah, but no. That IS the tunnel. It was very exciting to go through on the train. Very dark. We talked to a guy about his new iPhone the whole time. Astonishingly, it didn't work in the tunnel under the mountain. Truly astonishingly, it DID work in Whittier. But poor Alaskans can't get iPhones because AT&T doesn't have a network up there, just partner carriers. They get mad if you use the partners every single day of the year and cancel your contract. So no iPhones for poor Alaskans, and they already suffer so much.

OK, I've blabbered on for WAY too long (kudos if you are still with us!), but I have to say they very best thing about Whittier is its stunning scenery. The hike from the tunnel led us to our own personal overlook of Portage Glacier, there were more waterfalls than I could count (literally), and the mountains rose out of the water in such a stunning way. Here is the view of Whittier from the top of our hike:

Whittier, Alaska

Thanks for reading!

Yay for honeymoons! And glaciers!

Thursday, July 19, 2007


We got in to Denver at about 8 this morning after a restful red-eye (ha!). My body is so whacked out it doesn't know what to do. We slept for a few ours when we got home, ate whatever we could scrounge, did some unpacking, then I went back to sleep for another hour and a half. By 8:30 PM when we got home from Costco to restock the basics, I was so hungry I seriously was not able to function. A quick dinner and I'm ready for bed again. Peter went out to hang up some laundry and said "It's dark!" Weird. Darkness. Plus, um, have you noticed it's freaking hot? and humid? And supposedly it was cooler today. Woah.

In good news, we managed to get all the fish in our freezer:

We only had to take out almost all our veggies, nuts and fruit, but who needs those things when you have fish? Isn't protein all a human needs?

Oh wait, you want to hear more about Alaska? Who gives a flying crap about our freezer, you say? Fair enough. Since I'm tired and have a bowl of half-frozen strawberries to finish, I'll just give you a little update on how our trip ended.

We weren't sure what we were going to do with our last day in Anchorage; it was a much bigger city than anything we had seen before, but we were still trying to find things that interested us (we weren't feeling the museum vibe). We happened to see something about the World Eskimo Indian Olympics in the newspaper that morning (thanks Hilton!), but there wasn't much info about the when, where, etc. I guess they just figured you'd know all that if you were a local. So after some investigation, we found the spot and headed over (but not before stopping at the coolest bookstore after Powell's in Portland, Title Wave Books).

The newspaper had mentioned the crazy events in the Eskimo Indian Olympics, things that had to be seen to be believed. Read this for descriptions of the games. And if you want, go to YouTube and type in "World Eskimo Indian Olympics" or "WEIO" for some video (not too much there and none of it mine... yet).

The best part (for me) was the processional with all the different dance group from all over the state, with a few from Arizona and New Mexico thrown in for some variety. The songs, the drums, the traditional dress and the dancing were so incredible they brought tears to my eyes. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the processional. The lighting and the distance weren't great for my camera, so most of the pictures are mostly for memories, not so much to showcase the incredible beauty and diversity. Peter was taking video as well, so hopefully I can get that imported and digested somewhat soon.

Southeastern group:

My favorite picture of them all. Isn't she amazing?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Big Fish

Big Fish
Originally uploaded by shanbrite2.
Peter's fish he caught yesterday. The big (55 lb) king salmon and the giant halibut on the end are his. He also caught about half of the other fish, but the limit is two a person, so those went home with the other guys. Anybody hungry? We'll be having a fish fry when we get home for sure!

PS I'll try to get Peter to blog his fish story later for you all!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Big Mountains

Big Mountains
Originally uploaded by shanbrite2.
From our second Whittier hike.

Another Alaska Post

While I still have free internet access, I thought I'd write a little bit more about our trip so far.

Quick notes:

Dall's porpoises are my favorite. Incredible fun and fast.

Our three hikes (one in Ketchikan, two in Whittier) have been my favorite parts overall. The scenery is incredible, the nature beautiful and it's so nice to get away from the touristy things in every town. And the best part? It's free! Lots of great pics from these hikes I'll have to post later.

Whittier is the weirdest town I've ever been to. You totally feel like you are in a cold war James Bond movie, with all the suspicion and bizarreness but none of the action or Bond girls. I will definitely have to tell you all more about this later (complete with illustrations).

We have met some really cool people doing incredible things. Aside from the nature, the people we have met have been the coolest, most unexpected part of this trip. We have exchanged a lot of email addresses.

If you are planning a trip on the cheap to Alaska, it may not be totally secure, but if you are willing to take a little risk, let yourself leave some options up in the air. For example, we took the train out of Whittier for probably more than $100 for the both of us, but we could have gotten a ride for free (or gas) with some of the new friends we met on the ferry. If that hadn't worked out, we could have always gotten a train ticket at the station (PS it was a white tent. A tent. Was the train station). In the end, it worked out well for us because we got to spend the day in Whittier when everyone else got the hell out of there. We had some nice hikes and got to play spies for a little while.

The Inside Passage looks just like the more rugged parts of the Oregon and Washington coasts. I kept having to remind myself I was in Alaska there. I felt like we were really in Alaska once we got past that area.

Seriously, how long does it take to stop feeling like you are on the boat? I almost fell over standing on one leg trying to dry myself off after my shower. No good.

See you all later! Leave me some comments to I can feel happy when I get internet again!

Yay for honeymoons! And glaciers!

The end point of a lovely hike we took today in the bizarre town of Whittier. Remind me to blog about this later when I have more time.


Originally uploaded by shanbrite2.
Dall's porpoises from the side of our ship. They were playing in the wake of the boat and chasing us alongside the ship. They were rather small and incredibly fun and cute. I think Peter got some good video of them. Funny thing was, even though we sat out for hours looking for sea life, this was totally by accident (we came out to look at the huge mountains) and by far the best encounter.

PS Dall also got to name Dall's Sheep, which are equally adorable. How did he corner the market on cute Alaskan animals?