Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Earlier today, while walking from lunch to class in downtown Grand Rapids, which is not a big city by any means but is still at least somewhat urban, or at least that's what the pseudo-gangsta kids and their horribly perplexed school administrators would have you believe, I saw a real, live, honest-to-god tumbleweed. It just rolled across my concrete path. It was a little surreal, like seeing a skyscraper in the middle of farmland, and I had never actually seen a tumbleweed before, so I asked the people I was walking with, who are maybe more familiar with the local landscape and what might roll across it, "Umm, is that a tumbleweed?" And they said, yeah, that's a tumbleweed! And it was all very strange. I have no idea where it came from, and I'm not sure how I knew what it was, given that I don't like westerns and have really only seen tumbleweeds in comics and cartoons, and especially given that I always assumed tumbleweeds were to be found only super rural areas, but I knew instantly.

Monday, November 26, 2007
So how was your Thanksgiving? Mine was really nice for a number of reasons, but it was especially nice because I did not have to go to work and because I decided that I would not do any schoolwork on my little break. So I didn't, and everything was great!

I left after work last Monday. I decided that flying was a rip-off and a hassle, and my irrational fear of flying almost always convinces me to get to where I'm going without leaving the ground, so I got in the car and drove. I made it to a crummy town in PA, where I got an equally crummy hotel room and spent the night. Then I woke up on Tuesday, laughed at Meredith Viera on the tarmac at the Atlanta airport (seriously, is that any place for a career woman?), and drove the rest of the way to New York, where I met my mom for lunch.

On Wednesday, mom and I braved the gridlock alert, managed to hop a bus to midtown, and met up with Randy and cousin Rob at the Museum of Natural History. The museum is a great place, and I especially love the Hayden Planetarium, but the abundance of poorly-behaved public school kids on a field trip (like every kid in the city, it seemed like) made our visit somewhat less than Salinger-esque. Parents: please teach your kids to shut the fuck up in public theatres. You can phrase it however you like, but when people are paying over ten bucks to see a half-hour planetarium show, they don't want to be disturbed by foul-mouthed obnoxious kids who can't keep their mouths shut. I'm all for school trips and great experiences for public school students, but I'm also all for manners. Anyway. So it was a fun day, and once we got away from the kids, it all worked out okay. And then when we walked out of the museum in the afternoon, the parade balloons were starting to get blown up right there on Central Park West. That was cool! I had never seen that before, and neither had my mom, who has lived in the NYC area for over 50 years. We looked around and saw Kermit and Dora and some big snowman and the super-awesome shiny new Jeff Koons balloon. Three cheers for including a contemporary artist in the parade. After we saw what there was to see, we got the subway to Grand Central, stood in line to buy Metro North tickets, got smoothies, and trained it up the river. Exhausting? Yeah, but fun. And it beat working!

On Thursday, Aunt Fran prepared an enormous and delicious Thanksgiving dinner for around two dozen of us. And, she prepared enough appetizers and pre-dinner snacky things to fill us up all afternoon, so by the end of the day, I was stuffed beyond belief. And the funny thing is, she has leftovers! I guess that's standard on Thanksgiving, but you'd think 24 people would eat everything. Anyway, we ate, and it was great, and we made it home in record time.

Friday was shopping! I know, it's crazy, but we go every year, and we're not those crazy door-buster people who get on line at three in the morning to save $25 on a digital camera. We got to the mall at around 10:30, found a parking space, and bought a few things. And it was actually alright. And now I have new shoes and a new pair of pants and new gloves and new jammies. Thanks, mom!

And then Saturday was the drive back, and yesterday was decompress, and today was back to work. And in exactly one month, we go to Puerto Rico for a long-awaited honeymoon. With the snow and dreariness today, I am so ready for 80 degree temperatures and beaches and slushy-fruity-boozy drinks. The countdown is on.

Sunday, November 18, 2007
After an insanely hectic week last week and damn near passing out on Friday night, I decided that doing work this weekend would be...undesirable. So I took the weekend off. I watched movies, sat around, drank wine in the afternoons, and wore pajamas as much as possible. Sure, I did stuff around the house. I'm not that lazy, you know. So yes, the laundry's done, the dishes are clean, and the floor's vacuumed. The leaves are also raked, but hell, that's not my job. Overall, a great weekend, and tomorrow I'm heading for home for a nice, relaxing Thanksgiving break. It really couldn't have come at a better time.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Cravings are contagious. See example below.

Last night at around 6 pm, on the phone with cousin Steph.

Me: So what's going on?
Steph: I've been craving baked potatoes lately.
Me: Really?
Steph: Really. I want one every night.
Me: That's weird.

Later that night, around 6:30 pm.

Paul: How's cousin Steph?
Me: She's craving baked potatoes.
Paul: Really?
Me: Yeah. Isnt't that weird?
Paul: Yeah.
Paul: Actually, that sounds good.
Me: It does?
Paul: Yeah, can we have baked potatoes tomorrow night?
Me: Umm, okay.

Tonight, while eating dinner.

Me: (Silently.) I wish these potatoes were mashed.

Monday, November 12, 2007
Again, still busy and a little frazzled, but last night we had some excitement. Our cat is of the indoor-and-outdoor variety, and when he came inside last night after having been outside for most of the evening, he was preceeded by a little black mouse. The mouse ran under a pile of stuff in the dining room (which, yes, yes, we should clear up and put away, but we just haven't), and the cat stood right near it and waited. When I woke up this morning, the cat was still standing there. I turned on some lights and went into the kitchen to pack my lunch and make some tea and breakfast, and the mouse came scampering out of the dining room, over my foot (yes, really), and under the fridge. I yelped. The cat seemed mildly interested in me, but continued to focus on the corner of the dining room where the mouse had been all night.

I picked up the cat and set him in front of the refrigerator. He went back to the dining room. I did it again. Again, he went back. Apparently, he can't smell mice, though he sure has no problems smelling fish, chicken, and cheese. So he continued to stand in the dining room, and I thought, this is like a real live episode of Tom and Jerry, and my stupid cat is going to sit there all day.

As of now, he's lost interest. So we need to get some mousetraps. And I'm a little pissed off at our cat. This is why people get cats -- so there are no mice in the house! Dammit.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007
Wow. It's the sixth of November, and I haven't posted anything in a week. No, I haven't been out of town (not for most of the last week, anyhow), but I really can't tell you where the days went. All I know is they're gone. I think this is what you call survival mode, and I am deep in it. And jeez, I hate to sound like a broken record, but I will be really happy when this semester's over.

And it really bothers me that I have to keep using the analogy "like a broken record." Who plays records anymore? I mean, besides DJs and pseudo-hipster seventeen-year-olds.

Also: we are going to Puerto Rico in seven weeks. I know you're not supposed to wish your life away, but with the days getting colder here, and with my extremities feeling number by the hour, it can't come soon enough.

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