Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Accomplishment in a Box!

So, I've been living in my current house for about two months now. I guess it's time to start unpacking, huh? Okay, it's not all THAT bad, i have unpacked my clothes. And I've unpacked the stuff I need on a regular basis that I keep in my office. And all the stuff I need that I keep in the bathroom.

The weird thing about this move, though, is that for the first time in a LOOOOONG time, I moved into someone else's already-occupied space. I think I haven't done that since college. Aside from one very weird live-in relationship that I sorta oozed into, I've not packed up and moved into a place occupied by other people since my first year at Texas A&M.

So, it's been two months, we'd like to reclaim our living room from the cardboard squatters that have taken the place over. I actually like organizing and shtuff, so I wasn't totally dreading the experience. And, although it took two days, we did get it done. I won't bore you with details, but I'm actually feeling quite accomplished about the job because we got rid of all the duplicate stuff, we re-organized that which was there, and I cleared out a bunch o' junk from my stash. I'm a bit sentimental about some things (stop laughing!) and I had kept a lot of dishes and kitchen gadgets that I "inherited" when I bought my grandparents' house in Austin a couple of years ago. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, needs crystal ice-cream dishes for 12. And those same nobodies especially don't need the matching saucers and punch glasses, mmmmkay?

Anyway, the kitchen's clean and organized. We unpacked 8 boxes, and we're sending 4 back out the door to Goodwill Industries. yea!

The living room still looks like a refugee camp: boxes everywhere, tables turned willy-nilly serving as walls and storage racks, clothing strewn about the place and tv sets languishing without electricity. Still, the kitchen's done, and with that under my belt, I can launch into the rest of it feeling like I just unwrapped a big ol' box of Accomplishment.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

happy birthday to you-know-who-you-are

it's been a little over a year now that i've known you, and i have enjoyed the time tremendously. today is your birthday, and i want you to know how much i love you and how happy i am to have you here on earth, and here in my life. you are so wonderful to me and make me so very happy. thanks for your kindness, your tenderness, your understanding, your generosity, your warmth, your concern. you rock my world, and you anchor me. love with all my heart.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

why did NOBODY mention this to me?

SEATTLE (Reuters) - After introducing the world to new soda flavors like fish taco and salmon, Seattle specialty beverage maker Jones Soda Co. is offering a new flavor: Green pea.

Green pea, along with other unusual sodas such as turkey and gravy, dinner roll, sweet potato and antacid flavor, will be part of the company's $10 to $15 "holiday pack" of bottled drinks available nationwide.

Peter van Stolk, chief executive of Jones Soda, said on Monday the collection of strange-flavored sodas usually sells out quickly, even though he can not stomach the drinks. Past flavors included broccoli casserole, corn on the cob and Brussel sprout.

"Why people buy it is beyond me. I can't drink a bottle of this stuff," said van Stolk.

Jones Soda, which sells traditional sodas alongside more exotic flavors like fufu berry and green apple, first introduced the holiday soda pack in 2003, gaining notoriety for its turkey and gravy flavor soda.

"We have the market share leader in turkey-flavored beverages," said van Stolk. "We know we can't compete with Coke or Pepsi by playing their game, but we know they're not going to come out with a turkey flavor or antacid flavor."

Asked if there were any flavors that were off limits, van Stolk said he put his foot down when it came to curried chicken flavor.

"Fish taco was just nasty and we tried curried chicken. That was just wrong," he said.

© Reuters 2006. All Rights Reserved.

the above article, in which i draw your attention to the last quotation, would have been VERY HELPFUL to me about 150 years ago when i was deciding against chemistry as a career because "chemistry is boring". now, it wasn't that i thought that chemistry itself was all that boring, because you could do some cool things in chemlab. no, i'm not going to tell you what they are. it's possible mrs. barnhart uses the web and i don't want to get in retroactive trouble for publicizing my antics now. still, i thought that all chemists had to grow up and work at dow and babysit reactor chambers for the rest of eternity. if i had ONLY KNOWN that some chemists get to grow up and make curried chicken flavored sodas, i think i'd have seriously considered the field a little further. beyond that, how often do you get to make your boss go on record with reuters saying "That was just wrong." and not get fired? wow, i would love that job!

Monday, November 20, 2006

thinking hard.

Education, n. That which discloses to the wise and disguises from the foolish their lack of understanding. - Ambrose Bierce

this is a quote that i like a lot. one of my favorite thoughts about my own life is that i was a lot more together at age 13 than i am at age 31. that's not necessarily because i was wiser then or knew more about life, but i certainly FELT like i did. i had all the confidence in the universe that i had it together, that i was on track, and that i was going to take the world by storm. today, i'm a perfectionist. i won't utter a word that i haven't totally filtered and purified and verified as the best choice for the occasion. i hate to make weighty decisions because no matter how much research i do, i am aware that there is so much i don't know. i always hope that "that which i do not know" is really not going to be the crucial piece of information that would've tipped scales in a different direction.

that all makes it sound like i'm paralyzed with indecision at even trivial choices like which can of soup to buy at the grocery. of course, i'm not. every day we all make approximations and do our best to make the "good enough" decision when the "perfect" decision is not within our grasp. i just feel it more intensely than i did years ago. my education hasn't hurt me, on the contrary, it's better prepared me for everything i've undertaken since. well, it's better prepared me for almost everything. in spite of all the shakespeare and bronte sisters they make you read in school these days, i still feel woefully uneducated regarding love and romance.

anyway... education, in the best of circumstances, makes you aware of how much you don't know, and fills in a tiny bit of knowledge. i'm glad i've got it, but there are days i'd like to return to the confidence of my uneducated self.

Monday, November 06, 2006

here i am...

So, I'm in Ohio. It's cold, but not bitterly so. I was chatting with a coworker today who was here just last week when it was 20 degrees and snowing. I'm grateful for 40 degrees and overcast, thank you.

Things I learned while spending too much time at the airport yesterday: When reviewing one's past through scotch-colored glasses, one should maintain a sense of humor. When one is not fond of talking about one's feelings, one should not expect to find a lot of detail regarding them, even in one's own journal. In fact, one should expect a two page entry to summarize three months of holidays in a page and devote the next entirely to the process of selecting and installing a door in one's home. Or, better yet, to summarize two months of depression thusly, "well, that sucked." just before one spends two pages writing out a list of upcoming expenses. that, ladies and gentlemen, is my journal. i have whole YEARS that are completely unrecorded in it (i'm serious) and then i've got seemingly trivial parts of my life emblazoned in five-page-long daily entries.

sure, i do some of that stuff online, but i really need to get after that pen-and-paper journalling on a more regular basis. you can just hush now about the irregularity with which i update this space.

finally, on reflection, i think i told three stories at dinner tonight that were about seasickness or some other really un-dinner-ly conversation topic. i'm not sure what got into me. i usually manage to avoid such, but in my defense, i wasn't the only one.