Sunday, February 28, 2010

Share a smile day approaches

I'm almost giddy in my preparations for share a smile day. I'm almost definitely making chic chip cookies (with a little whole wheat flour, one of my mom's tricks) and we're doing a white elephant exchange. Does this call for a random shopping trip? I think so. I may be smiling my way through the discont section of more than a couple stores.

Oh elephant that is white
You make shiny things give off light
Your smell is to her than a thousand boxwoods
You taste like chocolate at night.
I dream for you to deliver
Riches beyond the land of dreams
Carpets of gilded flowers
White billowing cascades of steam

Saturday, February 27, 2010


i think i may have been stuck in a sort of temporal wave today. the hours between 11am and 2pm stretched out significantly, while the past 54 minutes have disappeared with an alarming speed. does sleep work this way too? i wouldn't be surprised if you could prove that by sleeping deeply so the night just disappears in a flash, you automatically make the day run incrementally slower.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

mailing stuff to myself

eric satie used to do it, but he was basically nuts. granted, he was nuts in a perfectly admirable fashion, but still.

actually, i am not mailing myself anything via the postal service. i just sometimes make copies and leave them in my mailbox, which is near the copier. easier than taking them home, but i suppose someone could steal my assignment sheets if they really wanted to mess with me.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

post-holiday edition

One of the great challenges of commuting to graduate school is living on campus for long stretches of time. I suppose the working professional should be laughing at me right now. However, I have been the working professional and I generally was able to feed myself enough to get through each day. I suppose the greater financial resources of those who work for a living do come in handy when hunger attacks.

Besides the whole food issue, though, there is the problem of personal space. While I have an office and not a cubicle, I do share that office with several people. One of them shares a desk with me, which is an experience I have never had professionally. Even interns get their own desks. I suppose the necessity of providing large amounts of classroom space precludes universities from guaranteeing that graduate students get their own desks. I do have my own set of drawers and cabinets in the shared desk, which allows me to keep dry shoes handy for days when snow and rain get on my nerves.

Each day, there are several things to prepare before leaving for campus. Food, clothing layers, books, and electronic equipment must all be sufficient to last as long as needed. In an ideal world, I would also stock up on witty stories and thought-provoking questions to share with fellow graduate students. However, as one of my comrades is a fan of a baseball team I do not admire, I generally find myself dancing so carefully around the issue that I am unable to focus on anything other than the color of the ceiling tiles. As a result, I tend to have conversations that last three minutes or less, and it doesn't take much preparation to excel at those.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

in love of thematic shifts

generally speaking, i can't say that i am as predictable as some people. however, it's fairly obvious when you read this that i'm about to start talking about snow. for those who don't care to hear about snow, here is a poem about a red hat:

bright shine on your polyester brim
crackling plastic snaps together
you belong with sunglasses
a feathered scarf and leaking pipes
saved from attic, basement, box
forgotten, obviously never worn
i'm told you were a gift

let's play rainbow chess together
wash a dirty mug when we're bored
make loaves of refreshingly tasty bread
smile and walk backwards to the hall

let us watch several thousand brushes
washing over muddy walls
flash a flicking flame on paper
drooping drastic devolved on command

now, might it be better to hear about snow than strange poems? this is your warning, however, that the following contains an exercise program.

perfect workout

38 degree weather, preferably clear skies
shorts, sweatshirt
several miles of road
parking lot piled ten feet high with snow

run over the several miles of road, plotting a course that ends in the parking lot full of snow. climb to the top of the snow, hoping to cross easily. realize instead you must trek through large amounts of the deep snow. emerge once legs are chilled to pleasant temperature, hopefully feeling refreshed.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

dig dig dig

there's something nice in a huge snowstorm to hear engines running, plows scraping, even if these sounds wake you at night. for a long time, it seemed no one was taking care of the roads, which may have been due to lack of available staff, equipment, or the strong winds. i'm sure it's snowed this much at times, but i've never seen a storm that was so overwhelming. after this is through, there's going to be a huge budget problem for the county, probably the state, and i would guess the condo association.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

snow blind

i live in a second-story townhome style condo. we have a balcony facing the street. last night, i decided to try knocking some icicles hanging over our balcony from the second story of our condo. seeing lights on in the apartment, i stopped in quickly to warn my roommate of my plan. when i got back around to gather chunks of snow to throw up at the icicles, i saw the sliding door open and realized he was going to watch me.

what began was essentially a blind snowball fight. the steep angle between the sidewalk and our balcony made hitting the icicles tricky. i couldn't see him, and wasn't aiming at him, but . when he started picking up the errant chunks and throwing them back at me, i laughed as they appeared to zoom out of nowhere. eventually, he hit my foot with a snowball and i showered him with snow several times as i struggled to knock off the icicles. both of us tried catching some snowballs, and i got smacked in the face with the exploding chunks from one of his tosses. the snow wasn't packable, so most of what we threw was icy, thrown up by the plows that had cleared the sidewalk.

eventually, i got a chunk of snow stuck in a tree branch. i tried to knock it down, unsuccessfully, and then my roommate figured out how to shower me with snow by hitting the tree branches above me. numerous people walked by knowing they might have to dodge snow thrown by invisible hands from above. perhaps he could actually see them, but i doubt it since he was out of my range of vision.

the first icicle i knocked off came just as my roommate had gone upstairs to find gloves. after he returned it took me a long time to hit any of the others. my arm slowly grew tired, and the cold began to dig into my hands. when i stopped, though, it was only because i thought it had gotten late enough to end the fun.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

when does it melt?

it seems incredibly odd to think that it's not snowing outside right now. of course, it does absolutely look like there is nothing else in the world but snow at this moment, but i didn't leave my apartment today. when it comes time to tell stories about what happened this crazy weekend, mine is going to involve baking things and revolutionary road. i guess i haven't gotten far enough for the book to drive me crazy or anything, but it's been a relatively quick read. that is almost the only thing that matters when you have to read a novel in a short period of time.

some junk about snow

final thoughts before the snow crushes the roof of my house and buries me:

i have no final thoughts. it's just a mess.