Archive for the ‘random’ Category

past writing

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

My first published article (which appeared in volume 1 of the Franklin News on April 26th, 1993):


I wrote this article on an island called Kiawah.  It is about alligators.

Alligators live in and near water.  Their babies are born out of leathery eggs and mostly they eat and sleep and they look like their parents.

Sometimes they eat fish, frogs, squirrels, and maybe birds.  They like the sun and do not live in the shade often.

They live by resting and eating.  They get to be about 14 or 19 feet long.  They have big mouths, bent legs and scaley skin.  They look dangerous but sometimes they aren’t dangerous.  They look slow but they can be very fast.

Talk about hedging!

Things I wish I were doing right now instead of sitting at a computer with an ergonomic & quiet mouse

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Lately I have been trying to convince myself that I should quit my job and run away and do something crazy with my life.  I probably won’t do this, because I am by nature an extremely anxious person and I like to have things planned out and I am a little bit of a perfectionist.  I couldn’t run away right now, for example, because I am not packed and good god, I couldn’t leave behind my cowboy boots.  It just occurred to me that I am even a little bit of a packing perfectionist.  I kind of like packing.  I am so disgusted by me.

When I am in this mindset, though, I have lots of excellent ideas of ways I would kill my time once I ran away (I am not only a closet perfectionist, I am also one of those “needs to stay super busy” types).  So when I sit in really, extremely boring meetings at work or try to pry my face off of my keyboard or when I’m not busy moaning about the fact that I am really just a data entry specialist in a fancy titled disguise, I imagine that instead of working I am:

  • tending to an amazing, perfect garden that gives me produce year round
  • cooking well-rounded meals (I have learned that working full-time while going to school at night means I can’t necessarily care if my meal is lacking in one aspect of the food pyramid.  I don’t need that protein anyway, right?)
  • knitting sweaters & hats for the folks I love
  • learning about birds (especially ducks)
  • learning about plants and their ilk (in Panama I had myself convinced that my calling was actually to be a botanist.  I want to be a botanist!)
  • walking so many dogfriends
  • practicing yoga
  • going for a run (new fun fact about me: I just started “running”.  I am up to 4 miles!  This is a life-time accomplishment for me!)
  • volunteering to work with kids
  • reading ever so much (duh.)
  • going on really fun vacations to Maine or Prince Edward Island or South Dakota or SOMETHING.
  • attending classes in a subject that I am really excited about/working on a degree that I care about (this is such a novel idea.  Do people actually get to do this????)
  • riding horses with my sweetum
  • going on a really great & fulfilling hike
  • being a pseudo-archaeologist
  • etc

Gee, my work & school dissatisfaction are pretty evident.  Here’s to daydreaming.

Like Van Halen said, PANAMA-A-AAAAAA

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

While I have been doing loads of readings this week (I read both Dan Savage’s Skipping Towards Gomorrah and Sarah Vowell’s Take the Cannoli and am 75% done with Koren Zailckas’ Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood), I feel a little too high-strung and anxious to tackle talking about any of them at this moment. Some of you know, some of you might not, that I am going to Panama next week for 5ish weeks to work on OMC’s archaeological dig on the Pacific coast.

I am leaving work, Pittsburgh and my happy little dogfriend behind to go on this adventure. This trip started as a joke: Lydie and I were shooting the shit one day in January about me following OMC to Panama, and doing an independent study while I was there (working the system, you know, getting credits that I don’t really deserve). I don’t remember exactly how the conversation went, but Lydia said something to the effect of: “Why don’t you just go? You only live once” (Sorry for the terrible paraphrasing.). Suddenly this made sense to me, so I did the necessary paperwork and talked to the necessary people, who pulled the necessary strings, and now I am leaving for Panama in 8 days. And I am really, absolutely terrified (yet thrilled!) about it.

Things to know about this trip:

  • While the entire trip is paid for thanks to the generous grant-providers of the Canadian government, I have to work. In the dirt. In 95 degree weather. Digging for pottery shards and animal bones and stuff.
  • My Spanish is decent. I have a pretty good vocabulary but am kind of terrible at talking in anything other than the present tense. This will be a challenge. Basically, I hope that lots of Panamanians will want to discuss household chores with me.
  • I can only take a backpack and a carry on bag. I am one of the heaviest packers I’ve ever known. I routinely pack bags that are too heavy for me to carry. I am not terribly worried about clothing because I will really only wear crappy field clothes or tiny dresses that amount to nothing when packed–no, I am worried about reading material. I am struggling to find the balance between books that will hold my interest and books that will consume enough time that I don’t run out of reading material there. Because I will be in a small, provincial cattle town. That doesn’t sell all too much English reading material.
  • Our house won’t have the internet! I will have to go to McDonalds to use wireless. Blogging will be infrequent and probably kind of manic. One of the requirements for my independent study is to keep a blog about my schoolwork there. That will be separate from this.
  • I am extremely excited and extremely nervous.

Additionally, OMC successfully defended his dissertation on Monday and I get to shamelessly call him el Doctor. This is more fun than you think. Let it be said that I am also super proud of this boy: I could never pummel successfully through a dissertation (or a thesis) the way that he did.

In sum, I will not be posting often for 5 or 6 weeks (that is so scary to type). I’m going to miss yinz.

I just wanted to say:

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

Itinerary for Traveler:



(EWR) 12:58PM ERJ-145

Gonna see myself a canal. Shiiiit.

Things to come

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Here in Inconsistent-weatherville, PA, sometimes the prospect of glorious spring and summer days to come is all that keeps me going, trudging through the cold. Yesterday I seriously had boogers frozen to my scarf. Gross. I like winter. I really do. But, there comes a time when I am like, “Yo, enough’s enough. Give me one day without socks. JUST ONE DAY.” In honor of this feeling (which I will likely forget the moment I start accumulating sweat in the place behind my ears where my glasses rest, making them consequently fall off), I present you with a list of things I look forward to in the months to come:

  • short shorts (I am a huge fan of really short shorts)
  • popsicles from Shur-Sav
  • farmer’s market openings & subsequent produce goodness
  • wearing dresses/skirts without tights (also pretending that I own this anthropologie dress because it is straight out of Clueless)
  • lazy days at the Bloomfield beach
  • river swimming/canoing
  • sitting on park benches for hours with my dog, reading trashy magazines
  • maybe playing frisbee (MAYBE)
  • hikes/walks/camping
  • getting frustrated with how long, hot and heavy my hair is and trying to cut it off daily
  • OMC defending his dissertation and resembling a human being again (no offense)
  • sitting on the porch for hours with my dog, reading trashy magazines & drinking good beer
  • nurturing my little potted plant babies
  • etc
  • etc
  • March Madness

Please remind me of this list in 5 months when I am bitching incessantly about not owning an air conditioner. Seriously. Link me back here?


Thursday, December 18th, 2008

I take some things really seriously. Like bad celebrity fashion and bookslut reading. These are not things to fuck around with. I take resolutions less seriously, and though this might come as a hit to my self-esteem, well, it’s the truth. I have no will power. The only resolution I have ever, ever kept is my book a week project of 2006. And I succeeded! Upon some careful past reflection, and some serious consideration of the year (1996ish?) I decided to stop eating candy (who the fuck did I think I was??), I have decided a few things.

1.) I cannot give things up. This could potentially make my year terrible. Also I don’t have that many terrible habits to begin with. I don’t smoke, I seldom drink, I am afraid of drugs, I don’t really over-eat. I gossip a lot, but life without gossip is like life without food.

2.) I do have some habits that I could stand to change.

3.) My life would more benefit from ADDING things than taking things away.

4.) I despise fitness goals. HOWEVER. In the interest of adding things to my life, I am considering making my 2009 resolution a yoga-resolution. Right now in my current yoga practice (disclaimer: dork ahead), I am working hard on my inversions. I am already a head-stand all-star. I shoulder-stand like it’s nobody’s business. Backbends, you are my best friend. But my handstand! Oi. The shame.

I could also stand to be a little more diligent about my book blogging, but the glory of a really great handstand so overshadows books. See for yourself (image from


None of this is book related in the least.

Friday, November 14th, 2008

I discovered today that I have a dangerous, scary obsession with the Beyonce video for the song “Single Ladies.” I have to confess that I am actually mesmerized by it. I don’t even like music videos. I don’t even like Beyonce. BUT THAT SONG IS SO CATCHY. And the video! My only beef is that she’s wearing this weird claw thing on her left hand. Do. Not. Want.

Tangent alert!!!: R. Kelly. Is he secretly a genius or what?

Also today the campus internet connection went kaput and people freaked out. It was amazing.

Additionally, all that stuff people say about promoting healthy urinary tracts, it is so totally true. Ladies, drink that cranberry juice, y’hear?

Does this mean I’m a grown-up now?

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

I was startled to realize recently that apathy no longer interests or amuses or attracts me.

Seriously, am I a grown-up?