Facebook cross post 27 Feb. 2009
Apparently my 'blog' has become an avenue of cross posting things on Facebook (although it's only happened twice, which is indicative of both my predilection toward blogging and posting things on Facebook). Either way, here's the "25 random things" meme.
1. Although I am more archaeologist than anything else, I still consider myself a biologist and rest on empirical evidence.
2. I don't think I'll ever think in terms of the calendar year. I take the academic year as the standard division - the new year begins in September and ends in June. There will always be summer vacation.
3. I am (frustratingly) developing an intolerance to red wine in the form of intractable headaches, making my love of red wine rather painful and fairly debilitating. Fortunately, white wine doesn't have the same effect. But I miss red wine.
4. I second Michael on his statement of our high school not fitting the standard trope. Everyone was pretty cool and everyone pretty much got along. Having heard about some other people's experiences, we had none of that clique stuff in the usual sense. Smart people were not stigmatized, cool people weren't mean, there was enough mixture of social group and everything else that, really, I think everyone had a place and for the most part (I know there are exceptions, but...) enjoyed it. Or am I projecting my experience on to everyone else? Either way, this is why I'm looking forward to reunion and am really enjoying finding everyone.
5. I really really really find keeping my past close an important thing. As I'm sure you all know, collecting my memories and archiving everything is a big thing for me.
6. Hip-length hair is less of a pain to maintain than you might think. Especially when I remember to keep it braided at night. Washing it doesn't take too long, but rinsing it and combing it out does. But it still seems to be worth it.
7. I have known 15 people who have died - most of them good friends. And I can list them all off. And tell you when and how they died. I don't deal well with death. Maybe because I really do believe that when you die, that's it and the most reliable method of immortality is being remembered. So I'm doing my part to remember them and keep them immortal.
8. I've broken my arms four times - twice each. Either I was an over active child, or particularly breakable. Either way, I have a healthy fear of falling down, probably because of the number of broken bones.
9. My cell phone number is the same number I've had since I was 16. When my parents moved out of Texas, I ported my phone number to my cell phone. I never plan on changing it. See #5 for related thoughts.
10. I miss San Antonio. A lot. It will always be home and will always be the place that I feel most comfortable. I can lose myself to my thoughts so much more easily because there is so little background noise of thinking about where I am or how to get somewhere or anything else that less familiar places beget.
11. I actually prefer the suburbs. I'm not a city person. I need quiet, dark, and space. I like yards and fences and garages and driveways. And I like having to drive around. Don't get me wrong, I like the option of public transportation, but only when it's convenient and only when it's reliable. But mostly, I really really need outdoor space. And trees.
12. I am a certified job jumper. I've had seven jobs in four years.
13. I don't think I've ever met a steak I didn't like. Especially if it's rare. Wow, but I love red meat.
14. I never intend on growing up. I'm perfectly ok with the idea of being an adult, but never a grown up. This is a very clear distinction to me.
15. I have a serious sentimentality problem. Especially when it comes to stuff. This means if you've ever given me anything, I probably still have it and can probably still tell you it's significance. Again, see #5 for further discussion.
16. Perhaps one of my greatest pet peeves is the incorrect use of "less" and "fewer". Less is a quantity (less water), fewer is a number (fewer drops of water). You know those signs at the grocery store checkout? "12 Items or Less"? Yeah, that's wrong. Should be "12 Items or Fewer". Learn it and use it correctly. NPR is on my hit list for incorrect use.
17. My standard way of saying goodbye is "Ciao, y'all," which I think sums me up pretty well.
18. I have no regrets. None. Either this is a sign of making some pretty fabulous choices, or being really good at knowing myself. But really, no regrets.
19. When asked what three CDs I would want with me on a desert island, I responded without having to think about it: Coldplay, Parachutes; Nora Jones, Come Away With Me; and Dave Matthews Band, Crash. I so far still stand by that.
20. I am most comfortable being on the edge of things - I'd rather organize and put on an event (say, Goodenough College Winter Ball) than just attend it. And I don't like making a big deal of having organized something, I prefer to be the shadow of a person making things work behind the scenes. Maybe this is why I enjoy being an administrative assistant, quietly supporting my people and making things run better with no fanfare.
21. My favorite poet is Louis MacNeice, my favorite artist is Edward Hopper.
22. There are a number of things in my life that are active quotations of movies. For instance: blue bottles on window ledges (Sabrina), a plurality of ankle bracelets (Medicine Man), an overabundance of interestingly-framed photos of my friends and me (Titanic), carrying my plant back and forth with me to college (the Professional), keeping a journal stuffed with small keepsakes from various places and events (The English Patient).
23. Having resisted watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I am now a complete convert and am largely kicking myself for having avoided it for so long. Seriously, if you don't know already, it REALLY is a great great show. Followed closely by basically anything else that Joss Whedon has done. So get it and watch it.
24. I live for making stupid people (or companies) do their jobs right. I spent 9 months regularly calling United Airlines refund desk in order to get $100 overcharge back. Ask me about it sometime - it's a stupidly long story and often just stupid (at least on the part of United). But I won, so that's cool.
25. I don't really feel like I've changed that much in my life. I feel mostly the same as I always have - which some would say is a sign of my overarching well adjusted-ness.
Political Outrage 16 Sept. 2008
it should be stated that most often, I keep my political opinion fairly low key. perhaps growing up in Texas with a fairly liberal viewpoint did that to me. perhaps that many of my longest-standing friends are (or were) staunch republicans has curtailed my getting into heated discussions about such things. perhaps the time for that is done.
first, a week ago, my boyfriend's mom put a 2008 presidential candidate's bumper sticker on her car. that same day, while she was in the grocery store, someone wrote "are you crazy" under the sticker on the body of her car in sharpie. when she came out of the store to find her car vandalized, hemming and hawing that there were people that found this [criminal] action acceptable, a couple walked by her. the husband said something about getting it off with alcohol, after which his wife said, "i think it's kinda cute." how is vandalism cute? how is this in any way acceptable? how can any party find this a reasonable way to express their disagreement with another person's choice?
second, there's been a good deal of news about voter caging of late. that newly registered people or people that have recently moved or been foreclosed on or any other number of things have been used as reason to unregister them, making them unable to vote unless they are a) aware that this has been done to them and that it's illegal, b) re-register in time to be able to vote and c) make sure they arent dropped from the list again between re-registering and voting in November. so, knowing this, and knowing that both my boyfriend and i newly registered in SF at our current address just before the primaries, we thought we ought to check that we are indeed still able to vote. there's an easy online registration check to confirm your registration information and location are correct. mine are. my boyfriend's are not. in fact, he seems to have been purged from the system - no record of his registration or his existence though he's been voting in california since he's been eligible to vote. he and i filled out the forms on the same day, mailed in our registrations on the same day, got our registration cards back within days of each other, voted in the primaries, and nothing has changed since then. and yet, *blink*, he's disenfranchised. i suspect my registration will disappear too considering how much moving and relocation i've been doing in the last three years, making me a prime target for caging, but my last name is farther along in the alphabet than his, so maybe it'll be the day before the election.
I, my boyfriend, and his mother are all democrats, we all support Obama. In theory, I don't care whether you're republican or democrat, all i care is that you get informed, have an opinion, and vote. in theory, particularly due to the part about getting informed, this should bring you to a reason to vote one way or the other and i respect that decision even if it doesnt align with my views. i respect a difference of opinion. in reality, especially following the above two events having actually happened in my life (no longer relegated to the news), if you are a republican, i now associate you with a party that is wholly immoral, content with illegal means to get its way, and supremely hypocritical. think about what your support of the republican party signifies. vandalism of personal property is not an acceptable means of dialogue. Voter caging is not an acceptable means of winning an election.
------ follow up -------
after posting the above note, i received an email from a good friend of mine. because i am a strong believer in dialogue as a civil means of expressing disagreement and hopefully learning something, and because my friend agreed to allow me to post the response email (albeit anonymously), that response and my follow up email are posted here:
----- From my friend ------
My dear friend Claire,
I read your note. Strange to hear you speak out on political topics. I certainly can imagine how pissed off you are -- it takes a lot to get you fired up enough to comment publicly about your views on politics.
I was sorry to read about both events. I completely agree with you that vandalism and defacing private property is a completely unacceptable means of communicating one's political views. I, too, am disgusted by the fact that fellow Americans could silently (or not so silently) stand by and accept such behavior (why was he not reported and arrested?). Such dishonorable behavior devalues the very freedom of speech that is the backbone of our democracy. It is, in a word, disgraceful.
As to voter disenfranchisement, I agree that it is a very serious -- if not the most serious -- issue in a democracy. Any time an American is unjustifiably stripped of the right to vote, it seriously calls into question the state of our freedoms and the legitamacy of our government.
But, you are a bright girl. You must see that there are, and must be, rules and restrictions regulating voter registration. We cannot simply allow people to walk in on election day and vote; voter registration authorities must keenly watch for voter fraud. I agree with you that this process of vetting out illegal voting practices and illegally registered voters must be fair and non-partisan. But you must understand that it has to be done. And that, as in any human institution, mistakes will be made.
These anecdotes trouble me as they trouble you. However, what troubles me more is the conclusion you have jumped to in the end of your note about 'republicans in general." Specificially, you wrote, "if you are a republican, i now associate you with a party that is largely immoral, content with illegal means to get its way, and supremely hypocritical. think about what your support of the republican party signifies. vandalism of personal property is not an acceptable means of dialogue. Voter caging is not an acceptable means of winning an election."
I have a few things to say:
(1) You should not associate all Republicans with one vandal who has chosen to disregard our laws in voicing his opinon of anothers' political views. You and I both know that not all Republicans are the same as the one you highlighted. To judge all based on the actions of one is too immature and simple a way to classify huge groups of people, and you know it. Don't, in the same breath, declare yourself the member of a party that respects and values individualism whilst simultaneously generalizing the character of close to half the country based on the actions of one person. You have more intelligence and experience than that. I supremely hope that you have not judged all republicans -- at times, myself included -- based on his actions.
(2) I don't follow your conclusions that, because your boyfriend has been removed from the voter registration list in SF, (a) Republicans are responsible for that decision, and (b) that Republicans have made that decision with the intent to disenfranchize only Democrats in an effort to win an election. Your ultimate conclusion here -- that Republicans are immoral, crooked, and willing to disenfranchize people in order to maintain power -- is a very bold assertion, especially when you have nothing beyond speculation to support it. There are other perfectly plausible reasons why his name has been removed from the registration list (for instance, he had been living in England for a period, or maybe it was a simple administrative mistake). I don't have a clue why his name was removed; I would never pretend to have an explanation without further fact. But, for you to automatically assume that he was purposefully removed AND that the purpose behind his removal was the systematic disenfranchisement of non-Republican citizens in an effort to grasp power is a logical leap -- no -- it's a logical long jump. And it reeks of hyperbole and exasperation applied too broadly.
I truly hope that you don't consider all Republicans immoral based on two events of which almost all have (1) no knowledge, (2) no input, (3) no ability to control, and (3) no way to effectively disavow. Disagree with Republicans, their views, and their means all you like -- but please do not judge all based on the actions of one (or a small number). That's not the Claire I know.
------ and my response email back -------
as to my facebook note. i agree with each of your points, but that does not change the thrust of the note. i do recognize the separation between republican individuals and their party, but if someone is republican, they are therefore associated with the party and the actions that it [perhaps implicitly] endorses. i do the same for democrats and the democratic party. the actions of the party, while certainly not the actions of each of its individual members, and vice versa, reflect back on each. thus, if someone is a republican, i DO associate them with the actions of their party.
as to the vandalism, or unacceptable means of voicing disagreement with a political view or, more specifically a bumper sticker, i would be less likely to jump to condemning the party as a whole if this were an isolated event. however, the sharpie incident is not the only one. a friend from college had his car keyed with some unsavory word for having a democratic bumper sticker on his car. a professor at my college was nearly run down last year for having a kerry/edwards sticker on his car (the story is absolutely amazing - he writes about it here). two years ago, my boyfriend was in the car with his parents, a car that still had a kerry/edwards sticker on it. they pulled up to a light, and a woman pulled up in the lane next to them, rolled down her window, and started cussing them out, calling them faggots and unpatriotic, and telling them that they should be ashamed to have voted.
now, again, i do recognize that these are acts of individual people and not of the party, but considering the number of times something like this has happened to people i know (not hearsay, actual people that i know), the number of cases that must go on to people i dont know, this seems to be more normal than one might expect. and the GOP has not lifted a finger to suggest that this might not be correct protocol for supporting them. now, i also grant that i'm sure there are democrats out there that also vandalize, and because i travel in largely dem circles these days, i dont hear about such things as much. when this is the case, i condemn their actions as much. but i'm not working with a sample size of one.
as for voter disenfranchisement, yes, i absolutely agree that the process of weeding out fraudulent voters is very difficult and very necessary. but that's not what we're dealing with. what didnt get written about in my note was the full lead up to my boyfriend discovering his name stricken from the list. he recently got a mailing to his parents' house (the address at which he was registered to vote, by absentee for the last many years because of england) from the republican party in the classic caging scheme. i actually got one about a year ago in virginia telling me that i had not much time to be sure that hillary wasnt chosen and to show my support for the GOP. i wasnt registered to vote anywhere at that point, so they couldnt drop me. this, again, would be a mute argument if it werent so widespread, so well documented, and so one sided. you are also a smart person. if you can find me an incident of republican voters being caged out of their votes, or indeed of a republican voter not being able to make it to the polls on voting day because they were illegally detained, or not being able to vote because there werent enough republican voting forms, please let me know, but i cant find any. google 'voter caging'. do some research about voter caging. listen to some of the assertions that have come out of the mouths of the mccain campaign. if this practice were bipartisan, i wouldnt have a foot to stand on, but i have actively tried to find evidence of caging aimed at republicans and failed.
in direct response to your statement of "I truly hope that you don't consider all Republicans immoral". no, of course i dont. but i am beginning to believe that the political machine that is the republican party, their methods, and their victories, are immoral. and individuals that support the party's means are associated with those practices. the sharpie incident was unfortunate, and the action of a single person. it's a crap way to voice disagreement. but it's a symptom.
later in the day, 18 May 2007
this does not sit well with me at all. and is part of the reason that underwater archaeology is not the way i went. why is it that this article about an archaeological site focuses entirely on money? because salvage and money are what drive this sort of thing. not interest in the archaeology of the colonial era ship. why is all this stuff being sold off, and why is this still allowed? yick.
18 May 2007
because clearly when you post once every 13 months (give or take), you certainly need comments! so now i have comments so people can tell me how crap it is that i have but never use a blog. cool. how is everyone? is anyone still reading this? hah, reading, yeah, cause that implies that there's something to read. is anyone still occasionally dropping by to confirm that, in fact, i *still* havent posted anything?
30 April 2007
I DESPISE PEOPLE WHO WRITE IN LIBRARY BOOKS! cannot deal with. granted, i dont know who they are, but i still cant stand them. seriously, this is not alright:
it's the stupid underlining that most gets on my nerves. underlining single words. are these words that you don't understand? words that you should work into your day to day vocabulary more? words that show up in your paper too (oh, that must mean it's a good paper!)?
second is underlining section headings. this is almost as useful as single word underlining. BRILLIANT! you know where the conclusion is! and do you know how i know you know that? you've circled the word!
next up is determining how far through a book people get. chapter one: every other sentence underlined, copious response sentences written in the margins. chapter two: first three pages as chapter one. every page after that through to the end of the book ENTIRELY CLEAR. oh, except that chapter titled "conclusions" which has clearly been read more than all the previous chapters. no need to actually read the book when they CONCLUDE something!
in case you needed a guide to relevant research on their topics, sometimes they check off which papers in an edited volume they've read in the table of contents, or which chapters they should read, or have read or whatever.
DO NOT WRITE IN LIBRARY BOOKS! or if you do, ERASE! they make sticky notes for this purpose. rawr!
2 December 2006
ok, so i keep running across posts or articles or various other writings that sort of have something to do with archaeology, at least in a very tangential, "isnt that interesting" sort of way. so i'm going to start posting them so i remember where they are and as a 'here's a sort of layperson's guide (hah, maybe) to current applications of archaeology in the real world, outside of a trench'. and, cause, you know, procrastination is useful for something. i guess.
Tim Burke on the History of Virtual worlds (notice the attention to processualism and anthropology methodology)
NYTimes article on concrete in the Pyramids
NYTimes article on coding the neanderthal genome
NYTimes article on convergent evolution of lactose tolerance gene in concert with domestication of cattle
The paper about which the above article summarizes
more on human evolution an cultural heritage in NYTimes
more to be added...
14 october 2006
JOY OF JOYS! I just downloaded the Mac Classic sound pack and installed it on my shiny macbookpro. IT EEPS! Oh how much a wonder it is that I get this excited about little things. never mind, that's not a wonder at all, that's entirely how i function. the little things working the way i want them to.
via rabi via jack:
Q: WHOS THE 4TH PERSON ON YOUR RECEIVED CALL LIST?
Q: WHATS YOUR MAIN RINGTONE ON YOUR PHONE?
Q: WHAT WERE YOU D0ING AT MIDNIGHT LAST NIGHT?
Q: WHAT DID THE LAST TEXT MESSAGE ON YOUR CELL PHONE SAY
Q: WHOSE BED DID YOU SLEEP IN LAST NIGHT?
Q: WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING?
Q: MOST RECENT MOVIE THAT YOU WATCHED?
Q: NAME 3 THINGS THAT YOU HAVE ON YOU AT ALL TIMES?
Q: WHAT'S THE COLOR OF YOUR BEDSHEETS?
Q: HOW MUCH CASH DO YOU HAVE ON YOU RIGHT NOW?
Q: What is your favorite part of the chicken?
Q: What's your favorite town/city?
Q: I can't wait to (til)...?
Q: When was the last time you saw your mom?
Q: When was the last time you saw your dad?
Q: When was the last time you talked to them?
Q: Who got you to join livejournal?
Q: What did you have for dinner LAST NIGHT?
Q: How long have you been at your current job?
Q: Look to your left. What's there?
Q: Who is the last person you spent over $50 on?
Q: Whats the last piece of clothing you borrowed from someone?
Q: What website(s) do you visit the most during the day?
Q: Do you have an air freshener in your car?
Q: Do you have plants in your room?
Q: Does anything hurt on your body right now?
Q: What city was your last taxi cab ride in?
Q: Do you own a camera phone?
Q: What's your favorite Starbucks drink?
Q: Recent time you were really upset?
Q: Have you been in love with anyone?
Q: Who do you think will repost this?
screaming from under the lab bench 17 February 2006
From Thursday's New York Times Science section:
The disclosure comes nearly two weeks after the NASA administrator, Michael D. Griffin, called for "scientific openness" at the agency. In response to that, researchers and public affairs workers at the agency have described in fresh detail how political appointees altered or limited news releases on scientific findings that could have conflicted with administration policies...
In a conference call with colleagues in October 2004, the colleagues said, she said that Glenn Mahone, then the assistant administrator for public affairs, had told her that a planned news conference on fresh readings by a new NASA satellite, Aura, that measures ozone and air pollution, should not take place until after the election.
is anyone else insensed by the extent to which the Bushies went for coverup and spin? i mean, sure, this is old news, expected, etc., but why are we still putting up with this crap? and which came first: the Bush adiministration or the term "Bush league"?
incidentally, and in complete opposition to the above's ignorance and tendancy to ignore science, way to go Ohio!
puppy ID 13 February 2006
this is too good not to write up for a bigger audience (even though i suspect my bigger audience may be an audience of three).
one of the doctors that i work with lives on the NIH campus with his wife and their dog. this weekend (before the snow), his wife went out to pick up some things and took the dog along with her, walking off campus with the dog on a leash. a little while later, they returned. for those of you familiar with the NIH, it should come at no suprise that to get back on campus, you have to present an ID card to the guard at the gate, they verify that yes, you are supposed to be there, and let you in. so she arrives at the gate and presents her card to the guard who is new. ok, you're clear, but where is your dog's ID card? um. really? it took her a little while, but she eventually convinced him that resident dogs require no ID, but the dogs that work in the clinical center do.
after emailing one of the security people about this, it was discovered that, indeed, resident dogs don't need ID, but, in reality, honest to god, the dogs that work in the clinical center actually do. apparently dogs are brought in to play with the patients and the like, and they actually are required to get a photo ID card before they're let in.
this lead to the subsequent conversation about other animals. what about cats? gerbils? what if you needed to bring a fish into the clinical center? do all the experimental animals require ID? we decided that no, they are technically residents as they never get to leave the clinical center unless, well, they're bumped off in the name of science. and we've already established that resident animals dont need ID.
but what about all the unauthorized, wild rats?
stuff soup 12 February 2006
for someone who only figured out how to make box macaroni growing up, i'm starting to get a handle on the cooking thing. the influence of nori and various friends' online recipe lists.
i just made soup. with no recipe. referenced a few to get the basics down and then just throwing stuff into a pot, i created some really pretty frikken awesome soup. and it vindicates me owning a soup pot.
so what i did:
dude. i just took the trash out and came back in and my god but it smells good in here. if for no other reason, make this soup to make your house smell insanely good. mmmm soup.
Rain in Takoma 11 February 2006
i finally just now got a library card to the takoma park library.
it's raining outside, peppered every now and then with a wet, melting snowflake, tidings of the later snow storm scheduled to hit us in the next few hours. driving back from the library (a small, cozy little building holding maybe a half dozen people reading silently in the manner of library quiet that i'd sort of forgotten about; a separate annex for kids books, appropriately colorful), it occurred to me just how much i like takoma park. i went to the post office this morning and was helped by the most pleasant postal employee that i've dealt with in the last several months (and there have been many in the application to gradschool process) who worked with me to figure out how i could get yet another application packet to a former professor in virginia with an included postage-paid envelope to england. she was friendly and wonderful and repeated back, just for clarity, the list of destinations the packet was supposed to hit. then went to savory, the takoma cafe that i'd like to spend more time at for its good food and funkiness. had breakfast while reading as it rained outside the big picture window that i usually sit at, a little granite-topped bistro table tucked atop a small flight of stairs. i prefer this spot where a couple of years ago, i sat while working on something on my computer, listening to a playlist titled 'rain in takoma' that i had cobbled together from the random assortment of remaining mp3s. and then i went to the library where i finally got a library card, presenting my still-texas liscense and a piece of mail with my current address. the library is less than a mile away from my apartment and i have visions of when it gets warm again (as though the winter so far has been cold), walking down the trail of sligo creek parkway to the library, spending hours going through the plastic-dustjacketed stacks, picking out several dozen books, walking back in the sunlight and spending the rest of the day reading on my little deck.
isnt it funny how when you finally find somewhere you like with a life you enjoy, you decide to pick up and move again? if i dont get accepted to gradschool, i wont be unhappy in staying here.
1 December 2005
i went to paris for thanksgiving. my little brother is in Dijon for his semester abroad, so repeating the 'tradition' of thanksgiving in a foreign country where somewhere is studying (my family visited me in rome in 2001), we all trouped over the atlantic for t-day.
the first night we were there, we went to some restaurant for dinner. sat down, ordered, and a woman sat down at the table next to us. ordered in clearly american english. somehow or another, we started talking to her, asked where she was from. Washington DC. me too! what are you doing in Paris? rehearsal and opening of a musical at the garnier opera house. wow. that's really fantastic. are you a singer? no, the composer. oh, even more wow. slight more discussion, about this being the first all-black performance in the opera house in 100 years, a little on rehearsals and her travel plans, food comes, conversation falls off. as we leave we wish her luck, say we might look into going to the performance and leave.
four days later, we got tickets to the opening performance. $10 a seat, shoved into the second to top balcony, sitting in chairs way in the back, the tickets even state "restricted view", more like no view. but no matter, it's the experience. the show is the temptation of st. anthony, in english, a gospel musical/opera. beautiful. simple. clean lines, simple set, simplified african costumes, powerful women singing beautifully arranged gospel-inspired sets. could have used more dance. there were half-hearted attempts at almost-african dance moves, but no one ever really got going. and the man who played anthony was NOT a dancer at all. spent most of his time running around the stage and stopping abruptly. but he had a wonderful voice.
indeed, at the end of the performance, after two curtain calls, the woman we were sitting next to came out on stage to receive her accolades and belted out a minute or two of her own incredibly powerful voice, joined the cast for a call, and retreated. we had met her!
so then two days ago, i was jumping around on the web, looked up the woman we had met, had eaten dinner next to. bernice johnson reagon. the founder of sweet honey in the rock. we were sitting next to actual greatness. as my mom said in an email responding to my letting her know, "i wish i would have known when we were talking to her. i would have thanked her."
9 February, 2005
Someone once stated that the concept of Texas scared her. As a Texan, I must put in my two cents...
texas is beautiful in myriad ways. it's huge, so you can find pretty much any kind of scenery to suit your fancy. san antonio is my favorite, with sun-bleached scrub and hulking, gnarled live oaks, stretching their branches more horizontally than vertically, creating living tents of leaves and shade. everything stretches horizontally. space is not at a premium, so stretching out is allowed. yards are big, spaces between cities are bigger, there is nothing but room.
driving makes sense in texas, where people actually use their blinkers when they want to turn, where there are no competitions for who can cut off the most people while trying to make it to the next stop sign, where when you let someone into your lane, they wave to you, thanking you for your consideration for thier plight of trying to merge. the cars are big, suburbans, dodge ram trucks on lifts, but most of them are used for the purposes they were intended, and less as status symbols. roads are long and straight and sometimes have a slight bend in them just to make sure you're awake while driving cross county.
things are cheap. houses and apartments are a fraction of what one would pay on the east coast. food is good and the best mexican food ever will not set you back more than $10 if you know where to find it. there has never been a better place to get mouthwatering steak.
gas is cheaper.
while most of the state is pro-bush (myself definitely not not not in the least included), people are nice. very, genuinely, heartfelt-ly nice. avoid politics and all will be well. and even then, were you to espouse extreme lefty liberalism as your own, they'd politely disagree and look at you funny, but nothing more. most people are not bibletoting psychos. and most bibletoting psychos live in east texas in small towns that arent worth visiting anyway. i think most texans would agree that, regardless of where you're from, if you ever live in texas, you are a texan. in the words of lyle lovette, "that's right, you're not from texas, but texas wants you anyway". there's an unspoken comradery between texans outside the state.
it's almost always warm. i was home on holiday in december during college when it was in the 90s (ok, 40s for you). beautiful. and so long as you stay away from the coast and houston, dry heat. when there are storms, they really mean it, and you can watch them roll in for miles before they hit you, rumbling across the state and then crashing into one another. i sat with my best friend on her front lawn sometime during highschool and watched three storms converge above us, gathering force as they drew closer, lightning brightening the sky to an eerie blue daylight. and when it rains, it pours.
the best time to visit san antonio is in april, the third week, when fiesta is held. a week long party closes downtown to traffic, opening up the streets to booths holding all the foods of the cultures that make up texas, more beer than previously thought possible, and arts and crafts. but mostly food and beer. there are cascarones, egg shells emtied of their eggy contents and stuffed with confetti, which are used to attack people, smashing them over heads and leaving a snowfall of multicolor all over the streets and sidewalks of the city. there is nothing like fiesta anywhere.
16 November, 2004
A Conversation with Mark
The past will be lost, but that doesnt mean we cant hold on
Macadoo12: claire! you were in a dream of mine last night...we were movie stars...you arent a movie star all of a sudden, are you?
14 June, 2004
Due to the ever so persuasive nature of Nori, I'm starting a summer blog of my antics in Pompeii. And, due to the not-so-reliable nature of internet in Italy, I'm doing this blogging through an autoblogger, but am posting it here. Enjoy. Send me real mail while I'm there.
10 June 2004
walking down the street on my way to a cafe yesterday evening, passing an elementary school yard blinking phosphorescent green from hundreds of fireflies and having recited shel silverstein over a berry shake with nori, i miss my childhood. already an insufferable archivist, lists of things that i remember and wish never to forget are no foreign thing to me. looking for the text of twistable turnable man, i came across this post on someone else's thread. a must for borrowing. my additions are at the end. thanks, Arya Blightnfell, for your clear vision of how it was and how it always should be.
(posted on this site at 1/20/01 4:12 pm)
Close your eyes.....And go back in time....
Before the Internet or the MAC, Before semi-automatics and crack
Before SEGA or Super Nintendo...
I'm talking about hide and seek at dusk.
Hopscotch, butterscotch, doubledutch, jacks, kickball, dodgeball.
Running through the sprinkler
Or back further, listening to Superman on the radio
A million mosquito bites.
Walking to school, nomatter what the weather.
The worst embarrassment was being picked last for a team.
Eating Kool-aid powder
It wasn't odd to have two or three "best" friends.
When milk went up one cent and everyone talked about it for weeks?
When laundry detergent had free glasses, dishes or towels hidden
When it took five minutes for the TV to warm up, if you even had one.
When girls neither dated nor kissed until late high school, if then.
When any parent could discipline any kid, or feed him or use him to
Basically, we were in fear for our lives but it wasn't because of
Yeah, I remember that!
The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was cooties.
Nobody was prettier than Mom. Scrapes and bruises were kissed and made better.
Lets Dance-----I'll Lead
7 June 2004
nori wrote up a fantastic bit of php so i can try keeping up a blog without having to code all the blue around it (which i really like, but cant be bothered to switch every time i write an entry). cool. so here goes yet another attempt to write regularly. or semiregularly.
I've got 10 days left in the city before i go home for two weeks, see Holly (good friend of mine from highschool) get married, and then fly off to italy for the remainder of the summer to dig. can't even express how thrilled i am that i have actually made the AAPP a regular annual stop in my life and that as a result, basically get a free trip to italy every summer. in under a month, i will be living in my tent again, soaking up the southern italian sun and getting dirty digging in pompeii. sometimes i marvel at my own life. most of my marvelling happens when i'm in pompeii.
nothing much to say. perhaps more later.
28 May, 2004
not getting much done at work for a couple of days, i've been reading other people's blogs with some regularity. it amazes just how many people do this, have things to say, or rather dont have much to say but feel the compulsion to write about their live anyway (i am not exempt from the cohort of my amazement). while reading the blogs of my friends, the people whose lives i know to some degree anyway, doesnt phase me in the same way, reading the lives of perfect strangers who i have no illusions of ever getting to know better feels a little like looking into the lit windows of houses at night and realizing that yes, other people have lives too. millions upon billions of other people are going about their daily routines right now completely oblivious to my existence in the way that i am also completely oblivious to theirs. this amazes me. but the blogging culture explosion is one of the things that amazes me most. it has also become an outlet for people with no discretion to make perfect fools of themselves and think that this is something of which to be proud. book deals are flying for people's words, words which should not be paid for what they have said, or more particularly how they say it. she is basking in the light of 5 minutes of illdeserved fame and she gets a book deal for stupidity (i'll be anonymous by only using initials, even though i've described down to the literal letter who i work with and where and i'm SURPRISED i got fired for blogging about how i got paid to sleep with my coworkers during my lunch break?) and poor writing? anyone who, like, writes 'like' into their blog, should, like, totally be stricken from publicists lists regardless of how interesting the topic of their bad writing might be. are we actively teaching people to be incompetent and self serving? as though they werent good enough at that as it is. and while inherently this is not a bad thing, why is it always unconventional sex that scares up the publicists? it should, again, be noted that i do not exempt myself from this pool of poor writing and self absorbtion. i am aware that i suffer from a chronic lack of capitalization, but i bathe in the comfort of not writing 'like' superfluously into my yammer.
25 May, 2004
the parents might be moving. dad might well be offered a job half way across the country and they might actualy go through with the whole thing and sell the house where i grew up and where most of my childhood still resides. this terrifies me. home is, yes, where the parents are, but for me, a good deal of home is also THAT HOUSE where many of my formative years occurred. where so many life events took place. where slumberparties reigned in the spare room and long summer nights were spend in the garage and trees were sat in where life was contemplated as a teenager. how do you leave that behind and move on? i dont begrudge my parents their hope and adventure, but i do begrudge them the right to move out of my house. many people refer to their parents house as just that, but mine will always be my house, my home. i sort of feel like if they move, my childhood will officially come to an end. attachment and sentimentality is a curse that i suffer from. oh that i could grin and bear this, but i cannot conceive of them actually moving from the house that they too love. i cant picture bringing my kids home for the holidays anywhere but there. cant see going to visit my parents without my room to spend the visit in. and even as i type this, tears well up in my eyes, and nothing is set in stone yet. the job is not offered, a new house not scouted, my house not sold. but even the thought of it brings me to tears. cant imaging what my reaction will be given a reality. too light outside for stars to wish on. and it's cloudy tonight...
- posted by Claire @ 7:13 PM
2 April, 2004
it's funny. while in theory i am the sort of person that would keep a blog and keep it regular and often...well that's not entirely true. blogs are a little too voyeristic for my taste, at least for my posting taste. too...maybe self important? no, that's not it. my main problem with posting is the coding and tech part. i like having a diary (have kept one since i was in 3rd grade), but i like the immediate pen and paper of the whole process. dont have to code around it to end up with an entry, and on top of that, i'm not someone to post my life. i guess that's thwarted by my writing this now. well rabi, congrats, i've been reading your posts for a couple of months now and thinking just how beautiful your depiction of everyday things and everyday moments is and feeling like i've lost what little eloquence i might have once had, and that i want it back. so that brings me to the here and now. i'm sitting at the table in savory, the cafe/restaurant place in takoma park that i've cottoned onto since philip, big radish-colored mug of mango tea, . there's a steady rain coming down outside, gentle in the way that spring rains should be. has been mentioned rather often by multiple people how this is seattle rain. seattle seems to be coming up a lot lately. reserving my thoughts on.... ha, how appropriate: jewel's "always" just started playing on my random mix of mp3s.... anyway, reserving my thoughts on the seattle matter.
mark, danielle, and garrett are staying at my apt for a couple of nights, a teachers conference beckoning the latter two and mark providing the ride. it's really good to have swatties around, laughing about swat-specific hilarities and jokes that (i swear) only swatties really get. danielle exclaims at regular intervals that there really is life after swat and how much she wants an apartment to decorate. garrett mentions that in going to the career center and saying that he thinks he might want to just get some crap job, to just make some money, she told him that he can't. just cant. because as a swattie, he will work harder and better and more efficiently than anyone his boss had ever encountered and that he will get worked to death for not enough pay. he could not just get a crap job. and she was absolutely right, that's exactly what happened to me at ritz. god, ritz, what a bad idea on my part. well, not inherently, but certainly in practice. just as described: i worked better (i think i can say this) than anyone they'd had previously, and did it by myself, and indeed i did get worked to death for a quarter of a shell of a once-salted peanut. yay for streamsage which took me under its wing and gave me something more worthwhile and lucrative to do, if boring.
19 May, 2003
Nori and I were in the Poconos for the weekend, Mom having traded our time share for a week at a resort on Lake Wallenpaupak (sp?). It was largely a weekend of movies, good food, and laying around doing very little. Good stuff. We watched Beaches last night, the Bette Midler movie. Reminds me so clearly of fourth grade. Spending the night at Jennifer Esparza's house for her birthday, conjuring Bloody Mary in her bathroom mirror, staying up later than I ever had at that point watching movies. I watched Beaches that night, the last one awake and still watching whatever was left of the rentals. It reminds me how important old friends are to me, how I am my past and am those times with those friends, friends I've had since elementary school. And somewhere, Wind Beneith My Wings will always be my favorite song, with slightly slowed down footage of that 4th grade year. Of Nicky Bustamante sitting down at his desk and missing his chair. Of Sara Bazan dumping her desk on Travis Slagel and getting her first conduct mark. Of Trey Darslek saying something about someone being funky but accidentally leaving out the "n". Of the anniversary of Castle Hills and the march of all the students down the street in celebration. Of Mrs. Huggins, my favorite teacher for a very long time. Of feeling so comfortable in a place and time in my life that I can't be shaken of knowing that then and there, everything is right, is how it's supposed to be. A feeling that I have now, here. It's been a while since I made that definite realization. I think I might write to Jennifer and say hi, that I thought of her while watching Beaches and to thank her, many years later, for a very fun party then. It would make me happy if someone were to do that for me, so I think I'll let her know.
Update: I got a B in organic chemistry, thus rocking the final in order to pull up my grade that much. Am very happy and very very relieved.
So much has happened this semester, this year, and yet, very little has changed for me. Somewhere in there, in the last four years, I'm supposed to have become an adult. Funny, that. I feel exactly the same as I did in fourth grade. Exactly the same. Taller, maybe. I would be happy to report 12 years from now that I felt exactly the same as I did when I graduated college. I guess I have yet to see about that.
13 May, 2003
I survived my orgo final. the last structured, in a closed space, timed exam i will take for a long time. i have the virology take home final left, but we have it for 24 hours and it's open note, open book, open internet, just no talking to each other. fine. i didn't get killed by the orgo final, i just hope i survived enough to get a straight C for the course. really really hope. good lord, college is almost over. this is strange.
dude, so i've really thrown a lot of stuff onto my site in the last few hours. this sort of thing happens when you're not cramming organic chem knowledge into your head for a week and a half straight. so check it: quotes.
and now i'm going to bed.
11 May, 2003 (but closer to the 12th)
it's officially started: my end-of-something-big-collection-of-whatever-it-was-memorabilia. my conscious mind has finally perceived the end of swarthmore and has put my packratism and oversentimentality into overdrive. i bought two senior tshirts, all the deans' shotglasses, am trying to find out if mike can get the rest of the complete files of the sixteen feet quakermatchbox results from the last four years. am very seriously considering bringing down my video camera from off its shelf and charging the battery. have been chastizing myself about not carrying around my camera at all times. thought about going through all the programs of all the performances from the last four years to put them in order and make myself a list of the recordings i want to get a hold of from lang sometime in the near future. this is how i work. i have lists of things that i was introduced to as a result of swarthmore, a very long document about my favorite moments at swat, all that stuff with which, if anyone were to want, i could create a multimedia-post-swat expirience. i did this for high school, there's no surprise that i'm doing it now. i'm a bit surprised it didnt manifest itself sooner. my sentimentality i mean. this might be part of the reason that i'm starting this bloggish thing now. sigh. three weeks to the day and counting, with no rush.
11 May, 2003
Ok, so i've coerced myself into making myself a sort of blog page. i dont know how i really feel about this yet, and it certainly doesnt look how i want it to yet, so give me several breaks. especially till after tuesday (orgo final). fun fun. blah.