9.28.2007

Friday September 28, 2007

One of the things I pride myself on is my ability to learn and achieve a basic level of competency at new skill rather quickly.  Haircutting?  check.  Interior painting?  check.  Database creation?  check.
Parallel parking, however, is my b
ĂȘte noire.  Thus far, approximately seven classmates have carpooled to events in our Civic, and all were exposed to my laughable parallel parking skills.  It does not help that I have seriously warped depth perception and had never needed to learn parallel parking until, say, four months ago.  It also does not help that I have zero confidence in my ability to parallel park with any sort of adequacy.  As I descibed it last night, my parallel parking skills are the rough equivalent to those of a slighly drunken sixteen-year-old in a stolen truck with no power steering.  At best, I might reach the level of said hypothetical drunken sixteen-year-old parking a minivan.  I have more confidence in the ability of my cat to walk a tightrope than I have in my own ability to fit into a smallish space on the street.

So, in advance, be warned.  If you at any point in the next year or so are a passenger in my car, please remember to build in an extra seven minutes into our transit time to give me the opportunity to inch forward and back into a largeish parallel spot and spend interminable amounts of time trying not to just stop my car in the middle of the street and give up.

9.27.2007

Thursday September 27, 2007

I went to the gym today with the best of intentions.  Then I realized that I have only gym shorts and shoes in my locker, and would have to go topless to lift weights today.  No, thank you.
Although I have some writing to work on, I ever-so-responsibly saved the paper ONLY to my laptop at home, so though I've spent an hour in the computer lab, nothing of value has occurred. 

Across the lab, the Resident Lab Geek is tutoring an hair-twirling, extra-busty girl in something mathy, and although every fiber of my bitchy self is saying "make fun of her!", honestly, I'm pretty much assured of being that girl at some point (or more likely, at all points involving math classes) in the next two years.
I do hate to conform to such a twitty stereotype, but goddamn it, I hate math.  I hate thinking about functions and factors and derivatives and box-and-whisker plots.  Hmm, "box and whisker" sounds somewhat lesbionic, so that facet of stats class might be bearable.
Seeing as my undergrad solution for the one required math class was a liter of Diet Coke mixed with vanilla Stoli, I think the learning curve for actual, grad-school-level math might be high enough to require lots of sober tutoring. 

9.24.2007

Monday September 24, 2007

My reward for making it to the end of the Sunday Times Book Review before Monday?  The mindblowing realization that A) S.E. Hinton is a chick (I always assumed that S.E. Hinton was some one-hit-dude-lit wonder, as The Outsiders didn't really stick with me as the Great American Novel), and B) The Outsiders was published when she was 17.  I hope she also turned the manuscript in as her senior Creative Writing paper.

9.22.2007

Saturday September 22, 2007

I've been lusting over this watch for a while, but keep telling myself 'no!  you have a perfectly fine watch that goes with everything in the world, and you do not need to drop $200+ for a watch that is essentially a glorified punk bracelet and will probably break within a few years.'
mjwatch
Then, last night, my trusty Nine West silver watch (so excitedly purchased with my high-school graduation cash and worn every single day since May 2000) died.  Somehow, water got underneath the crystal, and the watch is kind of limping along and making awkward 'tick' noises, which I take to be the fashion-watch equivalent of a death rattle.
So, should I shell out for an admittedly gorgeous Marc Jacobs timepiece (ideally purchased via ebay for a significant savings and dubious authenticity), or suck it up and live watch-less* til after I finish my master's, at which point I can reasonably ask the parents for a nice watch as a graduation present?
*and it's not as if a watch is really that useful.  What time is it?  Let me look at the laptop, the iPod, the cell phone. 

On Friday night, I went to my first yoga class in three months at the UC rec.  (The UC rec, by the way, is pretty much the earthly equivalent of Workout Heaven, what with the two pools and the gorgeous track and the bajillions of ellipticals, treadmills, stairclimbers, and Nautilus setups.)
I do realize this makes me sound like a self-righetous yoga snob, but oooooh lord, that was the greatest 60 minutes of my week.  My body was practically emanating rays of divine light through the entire class, and I was so thrilled to get back into yoga that I stayed afterward to go into headstand and probably get called a show-off by those exiting class.  Well, I might be a show-off, but balance poses make me happy, which is more than I can say for many other workouts.  I'm already planning my week around the rec's schedule of yoga treats.  Nirvana, here I come!

9.21.2007

Friday September 21, 2007

Add another oddity to my impressions of Cincinnati:  there are parking meters NEXT to campus (which would normally be the extortion zone of parking prices) that will give you two entire hours for one measely quarter.  And these aren't secret, hidden meters.  That's considered normal meter pricing here.  Why bother charging at all, really?

So, grad school stared this week, and I am thrown like no other by this whole "going back to school" experience. 
A:  I have been out of
undergrad for a relatively short period of time (three years), but holy christ I don't remember the bureaucracy being quite this bad while getting my bachelor's.
You want to print something?  Fill out this form.
You need a locker?  That will be these three forms, now go downstairs and get a lock, now come back upstairs and fill out this form, and don't give me that form!  I don't need that form!  That form goes to someone else!
You want to see if you qualify for workstudy?  No, sorry, but since you had any income at all in the year preceeding your graduate enrollment, you are disqualified for any sort of workstudy program, despite your need to pay rent and eat at some point during your life. Oh, and next year you probably won't get it either, as you worked for eight months of 2007 to do silly things like have health insurance and pay bills.
(btw, the Onestop office at UC looks like a refugee camp.  There are the requisite long lines of desperate people, of course, but here, in lieu of actual desks or cubicles or offices, it's just a grouping of TENTS on one floor of the University Pavilion.  From now on, I'm going to refer to the Onestop setup as Little Rwanda.)

B: I am also in constant state of frustration because I don't know things like 1) where the bookstore is, 2) what number indicates graduate credits vs. undergrad, 3) why I need five (!) different passwords, and why each computer lab requires a different, new, secret password that was never made available to me, 4) why there are no maps, anywhere, showing a general campus layout with building names, and 5) what, do I LOOK like I'm seventeen?  Stop asking if I'm a freshman whenever I ask the Information Desk where the hell these unmarked, un-mapped, unspecified buildings are.

I've decided that the best way to alleviate the death-by-a-thousand-paper-cuts that is starting graduate school is to drink.  Thankfully, "intoxicated" seems to be the default mode of pretty much everyone I've met in the program, so I don't feel like so much a lush, and more like someone who has all these new, chatty friends, whose names I can't remember and hey didn't we have some reading to do for that class?  No?  Another vodka gimlet, then!
Also, it is consistently 85-90 degrees here, so it's not so much autumn and school time as it is Extended Summer Through Mid-October. Cincinnati:  the land of never-ending minidress weather.

Oooh, Oriental Trading Company, you're so creative with your ready-made costume! 
ot
Goodness, wherever did you get the idea for a
Tippi Hedren Redux ensemble?
The Birds costume
From my Halloween 2004 costume,
lameasses.  And mine consisted of a $8 thrift-store boucle suit, leftover fake blood, and $4.89 bag of Jo-Ann Fabrics decorative birds.
(Plus, was a great excuse to buy a blonde wig.)

9.17.2007

Monday September 17, 2007

In Minneapolis, the Planned Parenthood (aka cheapest gyno within 5 miles of my apartment) did not do abortions at their clinic.  The St. Paul one did, but I don't remember seeing pickets there, or perhaps the protestors stuck to a strict 10 a.m.-1 p.m. MWF picketing schedule, or something.
In Cincinnati, I tried to get the local Planned Parenthood to get my records and just give me my freakin' cheap birth control already, but I had to walk down there the other afternoon to do so.  As I'm still learning the city, I wasn't exactly sure that I was going the correct direction on Auburn, until I saw the bloody fetus signs.  And the old man holding balloons with a gigantic "ABORTION KILLS BABIES" placard.  And the ever-classy pen-and-ink crying toddler cartoons, saying "mommy, why did you kill me?".
Yup, I was on the correct block.

Today, I stopped into the CVS to fill said cheap birth control prescription.  The pharmacist tells me that it will take about 15 minutes, so I take my time browsing various trashy magazines, then grab my happy uterus pills and go home.
Then I notice the label affixed to my prescription bag.
SANY0034
Thanks.

9.16.2007

Sunday September 16, 2007

Two things that piss me off

1. the existence of Rachel Zoe, "stylist to the celebutards".  She looks like an emaciated stick of geriatric beef jerky, and this Times magazine feature on her today does absolutely nothing to redeem her in any fashion:
"I love Paris,” Zoe said as she studied the menu. “If I spoke the language, I’d live here.” She looked up at the waitress, who had appeared at the table. “Can you do cruditĂ©?” Zoe said. The waitress looked confused. “You did it yesterday. With cucumber. If not, I guess a salad, no dressing.” The waitress still looked confused. “You see,” Zoe said to me, “there’s just too much of a communication barrier.”
...
Zoe looked down at her plate. Steamed vegetables were fanned around a small dollop of sauce. “What is this?” she asked. Zoe picked up her untouched plate and beckoned the waitress. “I need to send this back,” she said. “Bring it to me without the sauce, please.”

2. the Alice Temperley for Target collection.  LAME.  I got up at the ass-crack of dawn today to go and check her line out, and everything is either I Love Ruffles! or just cheaply, poorly constructed.  Bad seaming, bad material (the crepe pants are an abomination), nothing is lined, and the hard-to-fuck-up military jacket is supremely unflattering.  Not worth setting an alarm for 7 a.m.* to track down.


After napping through most of the afternoon, I got up to make lunch.  I thought I'd saute some chicken sausage and have that with leftover tabbouleh.  Until, that is, I took the chicken sausage out of the fridge and noticed that the unopened package had swelled up like a balloon about to pop.  Expiration date:  Sept 6th.  Oops.  Time to make emergency quesedillas.

*though the Temperley run was a total bust, there is something rather wonderful about doing Target errands at 8 a.m. when you're the only person in the store.  Kind of "Vanilla Sky"-esque, but without the involvement of Tom Cruise and his giant teeth.


Last night was the welcome bbq at Alan's house (Alan runs the program, and he and his wife are also fabulous hosts).  I ate an ENTIRE cheeseburger with pickles, and it was delish.  Yay, meat. 
I also got to sit back and put on my judgement face and form first-impression opinions of my classmates.  There are some who I already know I will love and enjoy, there are some I'm on the fence about, and there are some who I have decided are just going to irk me with their mere presence.  As we'll be a class of a dozen or so, and I'll have to work very closely with them for the next two years, I'll have to get over my initial dislike for a few people and suck it up.  And then trash them with other people over drinks and anonymously on the internet, because I'm a bitch like that.

9.13.2007

Thursday September 13, 2007

today included more incompetence (pointless errands that left me driving for about 2 hours, getting lost, not getting anything done, etc.) and frustration, but I am happy to report that after FOUR GODDAMN HOURS at the Apple Genius Bar (ha ha, "genius" my ass), one of the five! guys attempting to fix my fucking macbook finally decided that a new hard drive was in order.
No, not an iPod hard drive.  A new macbook hard drive.  Huh.  Thank god for warranty.
And thank god that there's a Godiva store conveniently located next to the Apple store out at Kenwood Towne Centre.  (god, that mall name makes the baby jesus cry.) 
I'm not a huge fan of "commercially-made" truffles after having made my own, and because I'm super-pretentious like that, but I needed chocolate and faux-decadence and damned if Godiva wasn't right there for me.


I have very specific tastes, by the way, and it pisses me off when I cannot accomodate those in a new city.  Such as: I love my Burt's Bees herbal deodorant, but none of the hippie groceries/stores carry it in Cincy, so I'm forced to order online and pay shipping.  Bastards.
Also, I bought a perfect notebook at Paper Source in Minneapolis years ago, and cannot find it again.  (thanks, Paper Source, for not having it on your website.  super.)  I replaced it with a Moleskine, which I hate- you can't tear out paper without screwing up the binding, and the spine has totally flaked away.  The perfect one was a silver-edged Bindewerk pocket notebook, and to buy one, I would have to spend $23 plus international shipping on some website entirely in Dutch.
And do you know how many Hallmark stores come up when you search "stationery" on Cincinnati Citysearch?  Argh.

9.12.2007

Wednesday September 12, 2007

am. going. to. scream.

Today, in addition to 1) the nurse's aide at UHS being incompetent and illiterate and 2) the woman who was supposed to give me keys to various Arts Admin offices deciding not to show up for work today and 3) having a picture frame break and spew glass directly onto our bed and 4) feeling like a bumbling freshman all over again, constantly getting lost and wandering aimlessly around the UC campus looking for unmarked offices, my fucking ipod fritzed out.

Granted, the iPod is old (3rd gen) and has been with me through three computers over the course of two years.  However, it is never good to hear the tech support guy at the Apple store say "wow, that's bizzare.  I've never heard of that happening!" when you come in, ready to tear your hair out in frustration.
Explanation:  I used to be on Central time.  We moved to Cincy, and I changed the clock setting on my macbook (and the time zones for all events on iCal) and the iPod to Eastern.  Which is fine.
Then, right after I put my entire class schedule and assorted appointments into the computer, I sync it with my iPod as normal.  For unexplained reasons, the iPod freaks out and decides that it needs to change all the times of all my appointments by somewhat random intervals.  Some things are pushed back one hour, some things are spread out over very many more hours than necessary, some are outright deleted.  So, commence with the frantic clicking and changing of preferences and eventually driving 20 minutes to the Apple store to have someone say that my iPod's hard drive is ready to die, and that no one has ever seen such an odd problem, and hey, if you come back tomorrow, someone else can look at this thing and probably not fix it, too!

So, tomorrow, either I'm going to find the one person in the greater Cincinnati metro area with the ability to fix this problem, or I'm plonking down $249 that I do not have for a new shiny iPod, and another $19 for a bottle of prosecco.  Which I will drink while spending my afternoon looking at slideshows of lolcats, the only thing that could bring my brain back from the brink of implosion. 
(the implosion of my bank account, however, is another story.)

9.11.2007

Tuesday September 11, 2007

Things in Cincinnati that seem straight out of 1993:

pay phones on every block

cigarette vending machines (ummm... aren't these illegal?)

9.10.2007

Monday September 10, 2007

if you have an object of any size in your hands, and you drop it in the bathroom, it WILL fall into the litterbox.

9.07.2007

Friday September 7, 2007

Good intentions:  to go trail running today in Burnet Woods.
Bad thing:  catch the tip of my shoe on a rock and go tumbling onto the (sharp, poky, rock-littered) trail.
Unexpected good thing:  my right hip, which has been unhappy and vaguely out of of joint this week, seemed to pop right back in as it caught the brunt of the fall.

9.06.2007

Thursday September 6, 2007

holy christ.  I just tallied up what I spent last year on clothes and makeup, and that total came in at just under $2500.  No, I'm not forgetting a decimal point.
(Granted, in all of 2006, I did have a dress-up-office job, so about $1k of that was probably work clothes.)
This year, I would say that I'll try to stay under that egregiously high number, but... um... there's a giant DSW off exit 6 on 71-N.  Fuck.
(but, I did not buy the knee-high black flat boots today.  Be proud of my self-restraint.)

Thursday September 6, 2007

This makes me feel extra, extra guilty for riding yesterday without my helmet.  (I forgot it, I swear!)  And for enjoying the feeling of speeding downhill and having my hair all blown back.
WEAR YOUR HELMETS.
I've seen too many horrific bike crashes not to emphasize this, and I don't want to be the next awful crash you see.

9.05.2007

Wednesday September 5, 2007

Also addicted to:
Estee Lauder's "Tender Plum" lip gloss.
Perhaps the only thing that Vogue has ever told me to buy that I've gone out and purchased, and well worth the $14 or so.

Wednesday September 5, 2007

Ultra-lacquered hardwood floor = enhanced visibility of every damn little bit of ephemera we've ever dropped.  And the cat hair, oh god the cat hair.
However, after getting the pretty and rather eco-friendly Method floor cleaning kit at Target, I kind of do not mind sweeping and mopping up every day.  In fact, I'm rather obsessed with it right now (probably because I have nothing but free time at the moment), and the lemon-ginger floor cleaner smells like something I want to mix with champagne and guzzle. 
Is it too weird that my current obsession is a reusable mop?  (yes.) 
Is this a sign that my mother's raging OCD in relation to the floors is suddenly appearing in me?  (yes.) 
Do I need to leave the house today?  (yes.)

Gaaaaah, I'm so disappointed that "Atonement" is now a movie.  With Kiera Knightly playing Cecilia, it's guaranteed to get oodles of publicity, and I'll feel like a tool while I cart my book around, insisting "but I bought the book because I love Ian McEwan, not because it's a movie now!".  I prefer my lovely British writers unadulterated, thank you very much.

9.04.2007

Tuesday September 4, 2007

stairs
These are some of the stairs that all our worldly possessions had to travel up.  Yes,
SOME of the stairs- this is only one flight.  We're on the third floor.
If either one of us were nominally religious, I'd nominate Noah for sainthood for hauling an armoire, a bureau, a box-spring-and-mattress set, a chest, a dresser, a desk, a bookcase, and thousands of boxes up these stairs.
stairs of death

And now, our gorgeous, tiny, new apartment.  Yup, this is the whole thing- one central room, a galley kitchen, and a bathroom.  Also, this is the smallest closet I've ever had in my life, and I'm amazed and shocked that I somehow managed to fit all my clothes in it.  And all, um, thirty-five pairs of shoes.
fireplace
bed & fp
fp angle
south wall 2
south wall
entry angle
entry from NE
kitchen

My tiny, tiny closet.  And this shot proves that my wardrobe isn't actually 90% black- more like 40%.  So there.
my closet
While packing up for the move, it gave me some yuppie satisfaction to note that nearly half of our boxes were books.  That satisfaction lasted until I realized that boxes of books are obscenely heavy and awkward to carry up three flights of stairs.  Plus, Noah's books + my books = more than our bookcase can hold, and I've taken to stacking back issues of Foreign Affairs atop any flat surface and shoving dvd's in cupboards in an attempt to free up space.

(FULL LENGTH MIRROR!  FINALLY!)
mirror

9.02.2007

Sunday September 2, 2007

oh. my. god.

This is what our apartment looks like.

SANY0103
SANY0101
SANY0102


Moving Timeline (or, What I Did Over What Should Be Labor Day Vacation)

Friday:  arrived in Cincinnati at 6:00 pm, freaked out because I couldn't figure out how to get in the front door, called another grad student to find out, proceeded to unload 80% of the rental truck until 11:30 pm.  Small break for Indian takeout, which may have been the only thing that prevented me from passing out on the stairs.  (Yay, Ambar!  I have feeling I will eat much of your lamb curry in the future.)  Attempt to shower, realize that the shower drain does not so much "drain" as "spurt all the water directly onto the bathroom floor because it is not connected to anything".

Saturday:  wake up early due to the intense sunbeam positioned across our bed (wow, east-facing windows will wake you up EARLY.), illegally park the rental truck once more and spend three hours unloading the rest of our possessions.  Fill entire studio with boxes of stuff.
Spend all day attempting to wade through stuff.  Freak out because I can't find my trenchcoats.  (Trenchcoats materialize at 1:00 a.m. last night.)
Find plumber to fix shower.  Treat him as the second coming of christ due to his ability to facilitate my first shower in three and a half days.

Sunday:  realize we need MORE crap.  Go to Wal-Mart.  Mutter curses under my breath the entire time, because Wal-Mart is where bad people go to get in my way.  Find Trader Joe's, come home with lots of booze.  Drink sparkling sake all afternoon.
Go out to find the Sunday Times, get angry when no one in my neighborhood sells it.  Plot ways to acquire Times each Sunday that don't involve driving to a suburban Barnes & Noble.

Drink more sake.

Sunday September 2, 2007

oh. my. god.

This is what our apartment looks like.

SANY0103
SANY0101
SANY0102


Moving Timeline (or, What I Did Over What Should Be Labor Day Vacation)

Friday:  arrived in Cincinnati at 6:00 pm, freaked out because I couldn't figure out how to get in the front door, called another grad student to find out, proceeded to unload 80% of the rental truck until 11:30 pm.  Small break for Indian takeout, which may have been the only thing that prevented me from passing out on the stairs.  (Yay, Ambar!  I have feeling I will eat much of your lamb curry in the future.)  Attempt to shower, realize that the shower drain does not so much "drain" as "spurt all the water directly onto the bathroom floor because it is not connected to anything".

Saturday:  wake up early due to the intense sunbeam positioned across our bed (wow, east-facing windows will wake you up EARLY.), illegally park the rental truck once more and spend three hours unloading the rest of our possessions.  Fill entire studio with boxes of stuff.
Spend all day attempting to wade through stuff.  Freak out because I can't find my trenchcoats.  (Trenchcoats materialize at 1:00 a.m. last night.)
Find plumber to fix shower.  Treat him as the second coming of christ due to his ability to facilitate my first shower in three and a half days.

Sunday:  realize we need MORE crap.  Go to Wal-Mart.  Mutter curses under my breath the entire time, because Wal-Mart is where bad people go to get in my way.  Find Trader Joe's, come home with lots of booze.  Drink sparkling sake all afternoon.
Go out to find the Sunday Times, get angry when no one in my neighborhood sells it.  Plot ways to acquire Times each Sunday that don't involve driving to a suburban Barnes & Noble.

Drink more sake.
SANY0101SANY0101