Friday, July 29, 2005


A few quotes from our recent trip to Washington DC:

Jody: Are those porti-potties?
me: um, no, I think it's the World War II Memorial.

context for the next one:
My mom called, and we were battling traffic on I-95. I was explaining this to her.

me: We've been averaging 20-25 miles per hour the whole trip so far.
Mom: well, I guess that's better than being in a traffic jam.

It was a fun trip! Now, JJ's parents meet my mother. JJ's parents are leisurely and friendly and happy people. My mom is perpetually in a hurry. This promises to be... interesting. At the very least, there will be a few laughs. teehee!

Friday, July 22, 2005

Philadelphia and Garbage

an anthropological essay

Perhaps my upbringing is too rural and uncivilized to understand the complexities of Philadelphian trash culture. Or maybe I am too – dare I say unwashed? – to participate in its rituals, which I find (to say the least) rather odd and nonsensical. One recent afternoon presents a characteristic example of the trash battles I once encountered on a weekly basis: I brought my garbage out to the nearest dumpster in my apartment complex. I can’t say I was surprised to see it overflowing with fully intact, empty cardboard boxes (with the lids closed!), along with a few requisite bags of trash ornamenting the tops of said boxes. I muttered some combination of swear words and clichés that added up to my annoyance at people who can’t bother to flatten a few boxes, stamp down a few milk cartons, or otherwise make their trash a little less massive.
My conscience and sense of disgust did not let me pile my trash further on top of this mountain of refuse. Instead I walked to the next nearest dumpster (a difference of approximately 25 yards, over in the next parking lot) and, delighted to find it only about two-thirds full, deposited my trash there. I felt good about doing my part for the environment and aesthetic of my respective parking lot, not to mention my karma. I walked back toward my building with a healthy dose of self-worth and a nice bolster to my ego.

Imagine my annoyance, then, when I found a middle-aged man standing on tiptoe, trying to pile his trash on top of the aforementioned dumpster pyramid. I looked askance at him, but I’m afraid my efforts were wasted; without the slightest acknowledgement of my annoyance, he got into his car and very cavalierly drove off. What gets me the most is that this man probably didn’t even give his action a second thought. It most likely never even occurred to him to walk the extra 25 yards and deposit his trash in a more suitable receptacle.

The next morning, as my roommate and I were driving somewhere important (although I can’t remember where), we encountered further anecdotal evidence that Philadelphians do not understand the laws of physics, nor courtesy, nor common sense, as these things pertain to garbage. Case in point: two women exited their apartment building, whose door is situated exactly halfway between two dumpsters – the infamous overflowing one and a nearly empty one. Imagine my bewilderment when they looked at both dumpsters, turned left, and piled their bags of trash on top of the mountain! As if to emphasize their piling accomplishment, the ladies did an about-face and walked to their car, which happened to be actually closer to the empty dumpster. Roommate and I laughed in a combination of disgust, amusement, total confusion, and glee that we were moving out of state within a month. We are still convinced that advances in waste management and disposal have not made their way to Philadelphia, and that Philadelphians are grossly uneducated in such matters.

But then, maybe it is we who are grossly unevolved; rather than skillfully obscuring refuse inside the receptacles, perhaps the goal is to obscure the receptacle itself. Could the receptacle be merely an outlet for an artistic outpouring for a labor-filled community? Could the trash pyramid be a status symbol, in that whoever has the largest pyramid has the most to throw away, and therefore the most affluence? A longitudinal anthropological study may provide answers to such questions, and perhaps bring a new level of enlightenment to the rest of the country’s trash culture.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


First, a photo comparison, because it was waaaay too tempting to put this into immediate juxtaposition:

ain't that kind of uncanny? On the left, Sonja. On the right, Enitsirhc. Those of you who do not believe in having alter-egos somewhere in the universe, beware. ha ha. Sonja, if you hate me for putting this picture up, let me know, and I'll take it down.

So, about yesterday. I had a blast! Christine and I bonded when I got there, I looked at all her wedding pictures and said "awww" and "that's beautiful" (they really were!) and laughed at the funny shots. We told funny stories, and then Bill got home (Christine's awesome and funny and wonderful husband - they are perfect for each other!), so we all went out to eat. I think the place was called "Blue Water Grill" but I'm not sure. 't any rate, the food was delicious, and there was plenty of it. I'll be recycling it for my dinner tonight. Joy! Great conversation ensued about all kinds of funny stories and bonding. Then we came home and watched.....

NAPOLEON DYNAMITE!!! (I just tried to upload a picture, but I guess it didn't work. GOSH!)

I had not seen it before, and I had been hearing about it from my friend Kirsten and quite a few people at school. Holy cow, I laughed till I almost peed. What a hysterical movie! Stupid funny. No profanity, no sex, but amazingly funny. And just plain cuuuuuuute with the story of Pedro. Christine and I giggled for a long time about the line "I caught you a delicious bass." Of course, that has to be the romance line in the movie.

We watched all the deleted scenes and extra features, and then I had to go home. I got home about 2 am, and went almost directly to sleep. It was great. I had a blast. I can't wait to watch Napoleon again. :-)

Monday, July 18, 2005

old friends

Tomorrow - or, today, rather, as it's nearly 2 am - I'm going up to Baldwinsville to visit an old friend of mine: Christine. Or, as I like to call her, Enitsirhc. We decided one day to figure out our names backward, and so now that's how we write our letters to each other. In fact, we wrote a novel (!) in eighth grade that used backwards names to name the characters. Enitsirhc and Ylime were the leads, and we also had characters such as Idoj, Neelloc, and Leahcar. It was a craaaazy story. Just the thing you'd expect from a pair of (slightly silly) eighth graders. I'm not sure if either one of us still has a copy.
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Anyway - she got married just over a year ago, and I'm going to visit her and her husband in their new home. I'm excited to stay in better contact with her. I'm still slightly amazed that we've stayed in at least casual contact since I went to public high school and she continued on in the Catholic high school system. But I'm also glad of it.

Christine was the most beautiful bride I've ever seen in real life. This is the only recent picture I have of her, and it's downloaded from her friendster profile, so... you know.

On a different note about Enitsirhc... I started reading Sonja's blog once upon a time on xanga because I thought (at the time) that Sonja looked like Christine (and vice versa). Now not so much so, but if you look at Sonja's senior high school picture compared to a high school picture of Christine, it's kind of uncanny. Yes, Sonja, I read you now for your own merit. But I don't know if I ever told you that... or the whole blogging world for that matter.

I'm excited about my trip and seeing an old friend. It promises to be exciting!

Thursday, July 14, 2005


MuSe is gone. Once upon a time, when I was a more regular xanga-blogger, MuSe was one of my favorite sites. She always had a positive outlook, happy posts, and wonderful stories to tell. We wound up exchanging Christmas cards every year for about 2 years. I had just started making Christmas cards this year, and was thinking of her and wondering what her creation this year would be.

I thought I'd catch up on a little xanga-reading, to see if I was missing any sites from this new blog. I had missed Michel, because he had been away for a while. Michel's site tells me of her death.

Knowing of her death brought a heaviness to today, even though she died on the 8th. I wish I could have known so that I could have lit a candle in honor of her that day. I think I'll do it today instead. Even though her body is gone, I hope that her warmth and spirit will stay with me.

Sunday, July 10, 2005


I went to a wedding on the 2nd - my friends Donnina and Jeff. It was a really sweet wedding, and a FUN reception. A casual one. In fact, the invitation says to leave the formal clothes and home and come casual. I like such ideas. We had Phil's Chicken house food (yummy in my tummy!) and a friend made the cake as a wedding gift. It was a blast. And here is the blast, as photographed by me.

The first is me and my long-time friend John. I had a crush on John from the time I first met him until sometime in college, when he finally, well... told me he likes boys better. That ended that. But I call him my husband, because people at church and other places keep asking us when we're going to get married/get together/whatever. He's one of the best friends I have. He's also in a partial tux because he was the organist for the ceremony.

And this is Beccy the cake-maker and her husband Micah. Beccy and Micah live only about 15 minutes from where I'll be living when I start my job, which means I'll have friends nearby!! I'm excited about this fact. Beccy is also one heck of an Italian cook, and so I'm going to beg her to teach me all of her secrets. Yes, that's cake all over Beccy's hands. She and Micah rounded up an army of reception-attenders to help cut and distribute the cake. It turned out to be a rather crazy, slapstick, and messy occasion.

Oh, so who's the bride and groom, you say? That's a good question. Donnina and Jeff are the bride and groom. Donnina is Italian to the max. A great cook, incredibly funny and passionate and wonderfully loud. In fact, someone in the wedding party said this: "To all of you at whose wedding Donnina has been loud and crazy and obnoxious, here's your chance for payback." My table stood up and cheered. We had a great time being crazy and loud and silly.

This is my favorite shot of D and J dancing. It's their last dance, and the sunset was coming in really nicely. Something I love about them is the way you can see that they love each other. They don't do all the demonstrative stuff like kissing in public, holding hands, etc. But there's just something about the way they interact with each other that shows that their love is really and truly genuine, unpretentious, and just awesome. I thought this picture captured that nicely.

I, too, danced the night away, despite my two and a half left feet. I danced a few times with Nei (pronounced "knee"), a singer for the wedding ceremony (hence the partial tux), and a bunch of us just danced in a circle for a while. I was proudest of when John and I did the hokey pokey, and were the ONLY adults on the dance floor - the rest were kiddies. No one photographed us (thank heaven!). I earned some respect from a handful of kids on the floor at that point. Even the little shy boy who hid from everyone except his mom smiled at me a couple times. He was cute. I wanted to take him home with me.

During the last dance, I started dancing with John, and then Nei added onto it, and after a while, we turned into this huge dancing blob. It was very, very, incredibly silly. We had the whole pavillion laughing.

Dancing with Nei was fun. I had never danced with someone who could TRULY dance until then, and it was really amazing to feel how easy it is to dance when someone else actually leads you. I had issues with the leading part at first, because, well... I had always led, because I used to only dance with people who stunk at dancing. :-P Now I want to take ballroom dancing and swing dancing classes for fun. It'd probably get me in better shape too.

I should mention that until this wedding, I had never seen Donnina in any clothes except the most casual, and couldn't really picture her in a dress. She looked fabulous. I thought her dress was perfect. And it was a wonderful time. It was easy, and genuine, and fun. No fake-pleasant conversations. Just fun with a bunch of very awesome friends.

Saturday, July 09, 2005


When I am alone for long amounts of time there is no one to referee my thoughts and keep me from poisoning myself with the bad ones. I've found that I tend to rely on other humans to do that for me. Not good, if I plan to spend the next few years living alone. I need to learn self-fixing behaviors. Like, if I get down on myself, I need to take a deep breath and tell myself to focus on some of the good things. Jessie, when I get really down, tells me to focus on one day at a time. JJ just refuses to tolerate my bad moods - a good strategy. But soon I'm going to need to teach myself to do this independently. Part of growing up, I guess, becoming more and more self-sufficient. It's wonderful and daunting at the same time.

But now it is time to go try to be responsible and see what I can accomplish with the day. I do know I have pictures to retrieve, and I just might make a photo blog if they turn out nicely.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

making it a home

So I got my kitchen appliances today. A stove and a fridge. It turned out to be quite an easy search, because I just looked around and found what I wanted. I'm pleased with my fridge, even though the picture doesn't show the inside of it... It has 2 crisper drawers (oh boy!) with humidity controls (oooh, ahh), and a "Deli/snack drawer." Which is a drawer right below where I usually put the milk. Adjustable shelves, bien sur, and they're clear, too. Happy happy joy joy!

I also got my stove. Gas stove. I like gas. Never thought I would, because I'm paranoid about gas leaks, but... they boil water so quickly, and they make the best darn scrambled eggs... and they're easier for me to clean. So I'm happy. I thought about getting an electric for a while, but my main reason for not getting one was paranoia that it wouldn't be set up right, but I'm trusting Papa to do it correctly. He talked through it eloquently enough that I really do honestly trust him. And then I'll be able to cook. Yeah, baby.

Yesterday was a 4th of July party at our neighbors'. It was quite fun, but I'm totally socialized out. In the past 4 days I've been to a wedding, then I spent the next day socializing in the park, and then the next day I went to this party. Now, my parents have left for their semi-annual vacation for 2 weeks, and the weenie dog is at the "resort" (aka dogsitter), and I'm all alone. It's a big change from the other day, but I think I'll be all right. For now I'm going to curl up and be alone and antisocial, and do what I want for a few days. Then I'll start being responsible again.

Yes, my 4th of July pictures will be posted as soon as I get them uploaded. There's an especially cute shot of the dog in the pool. She didn't like it. Not one bit.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

I'm stealing this.

Okay, so Sonja has this awesome ritual of "weekend one-liners" for her blog. Well, I'm sorta stealing it. But instead of stealing it directly, I'm just going to add to a few quotes that I found recently that amused me:

"WOW...I was really bored and restless so I went into a few AOL chatrooms.
OH. MY. GOD. No wonder terrorists think we're stupid." --Amanda

JJ's grandmother: I bought some TV dinners because I don't want to cook. I spent a lot of money!
JJ: Well that's nice...
JJ's grandmother: But I don't want to eat them, because then I won't have any more.

Just about anything from this site cracks me up.

JJ's latest post about her father and his pool-cleaning habits.

"Emily, you are a sister in the brotherhood of music education." -- a friend of JJ's. He was not trying to be funny. In fact, he was being extremely serious.

I like to laugh.