Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Super Powers

Last week, I finished reading a pretty good book by MJ. In said book, Clio (the heroine, not to be mistaken with this drug) attests that everyone has at least one random, seemingly useless superpower. For instance, said character has a knack for finding things and people. Like, say she was looking for a number two pencil in her SAT testing room. She would somehow be able to discern which person in the room had a spare they could lend her.

So, you wanna know what my bizarro super power is? Well, if you don't, you should stop reading right about now. Seriously. Stop reading unless you really want to find out what my trivial superpower is. Here - I'll even provide you with a distracting link to a shiny, happy website that will make you forget you ever read this blog (this may not be the best idea I've ever had, considering my current lack of readers, but it's too late now). Are you gone, non-nosy, disinterested people? Okay, (sad, small number of) devoted readers. The coast is clear. I can now tell you, without any reservations, that my bizarre and impractical superpower is ...

finding four leaf clovers.

No joke. I've found at least a dozen since I left for college about six years ago. Now, 12-ish in the course of nearly six years sounds kind of small and lame, right? But let's consider these facts:

1. Around 12 in six years puts us at about one every six months. Take into consideration that the grass/clover is dead and covered in ice, snow, or frost for about three months of the year and that makes one every 4.5 months, or roughly every 18 weeks. (12 months - 3 = 9 9/2=4.5 On average, there are four weeks in a month, so 4x4.5=18 weeks. There's some fancy math for ya, eh? Those who know me well are "ooh"ing and "aah"ing in their office chairs right now because those were some shockingly complex equations for me that turned out correctly - I think. This is sad, but probably true.)
2. A lot of people have NEVER found one. Ever.
3. This is the real kicker ... I don't really look for them that hard. Seriously. I basically glance at beds of clover while I'm walking and go, "Oh! A four-leaf!" and pick it up. End of story. If I do go out searching for one, I will usually find it within the hour. For instance, just this morning, I walked around the block with Scout, and every so often, I would glance into a patch of clover by the sidewalk. No stopping, just glancing while walking. As I walked up the path to come back into our building, I definitely spotted one out of the corner of my eye, right by our mail box. So make that about 13 in the last six years (please don't ask me to do that math. The-opposite-of-whole numbers don't play nicely with me).

So, thanks for giving me that freakish ability, God. Only You know if/when it'll ever come in handy in a practical situation, but it makes for an interesting quirk, regardless.

What about you (six*) faithful readers? Do some soul searching. Do you have a freakish super power that serves no real purpose except to break the ice at lame-o parties? I'd love to hear that I'm not alone. Maybe we could start a school like Professor Xavier and the X-Men, but instead of being for awesome mutants who could either save or destroy the world with the (un)timely use of their mutant abilities, it could be for slightly-less-awesome non-mutant people who could either save or destroy social situations with the (un)timely use of their quirks. Let me know what you think.

*I sometimes think I am overly-generous with my estimate of six whole readers. Most days, I feel like it's probably two. Or none.

Monday, April 7, 2008

I told you to expect some surveys ...

...and here's another dandy for ya. In light of the fact that I have NOTHING to do right now at work, I've ripped off yet another survey from the archives of someone's blog and decided to bore you with it. (Look on the bright side, all six of my readers: you will know me way better when all of this is done and will possibly have fodder for future mockery.)

Single or Taken: Married

Happy about that: Sure am! When outside forces get rough (finances, work, etc.) it's nice to know there's someone waiting at home to help you through it. Even when we're in foul moods and are being jerks to each other, it's nice to have someone to be a jerk with, and (I'm not gonna lie) sex is definitely a plus. (I apologize to my unmarried readers and anyone related to my husband.)

Siblings: one sister (whom I haven't seen in over a year ... that could be construed as a problem...)

Eye color: blue/green/gray hazel

shoe size: 8 1/2 to 10, depending on the style and shoemaker (whatever happened to the word "cobbler"? we need to bring that back.)

Height: my driver's license says 5'1", though i believe i'm technically only about 5' 1/2"

What are you wearing right now: white v-neck, camel hooded sweater, brown trousers, my sassy brown boots, and an awesome pair of brown/purple/orange argyle socks

Best place to go for a date: i'm a big fan of the barnes and noble - it has all the essential elements:
a) good coffee
b) fodder for great conversation (people watching, magazine headlines, reading bits of books to one another, talking about new cds together while sharing those GIANT headphones...)
c) a plethora of reading material to kill an appropriate amount of time before departing, if the date SUCKS.


Kind of pants: well-worn jeans (preferably from the gap - they're the only jeans that effectively hide my thunder)

Number: 17

Animal: giraffe

Drink(non alcoholic): java chip frap from starbucks

Sport: FOOTBALL AMERICAN (Go Packers!!!)

Month: October (I'm so glad my baby was born a little early so she could be an October)

Juice: I'm a big fan of the cran-apple

Favorite cartoon character: i like Cheese ... but I'm also a big fan of Daria

Given anyone a bath: my daughter, just yesterday morning.

Bungee Jumped?: heck no at all. i choose life!

Made yourself throw-up?: sadly, yes.

Gone skinny dipping?: yes.

Eaten a dog?: not as far as i know ... i do eat a lot of Chinese food though ...

Loved someone so much it made you cry? of course (who doesn't AT LEAST tear up at their wedding vows?)

Broken a bone?: collarbone, age 9(ish). let this be a lesson to you all: never play football on a sloped, rocky surface.

Played truth or dare?: who hasn't done this?

Been on a plane?: a few times

Been in a sauna?: not a bad way to lost weight, if you like frizzy hair and hate actual exercise.

Been in a hotub?: of course

Swam in the ocean?: a few times, but truth be told, i don't like going out past my knees much. i have seen these classic films one too many times and am TERRIFIED of being eaten.

Fallen asleep in school?: a few times, yeah

Ran away?: once, when i was a very small child, my mother was watching Lord of the Flies, and when it got to the part where they killed Simon, I was so afraid that I ran away. (my sister was up the street at a friend's house and i ran there because i didn't know what else to do. i was probably about six.)

Broken someone's heart?: Yes. I was technically engaged to this guy in high school, and he wasn't always the awesomest of people, so, after dating him for about two and a half years, I broke up with him .... right after he showed up at my house with flowers for no reason. He handed me this bouquet and a copy of The Princess Bride, and my response was, "We need to talk." Whereupon we went to my room, and all I could really say was, "This isn't working..." and he sat there with tears in his eyes saying nothing, so I said, "Ummm ... are you okay?" and he said, "No, Hannah. I'm pretty f***ing far from okay," and I basically proceeded to tell him I had plans to go to a girl friend's for the evening and needed him to become okay and leave so I that could I go. Then, about two weeks later, he called my house, and I talked to him for about 15 minutes before I told him I had to go get ready because I was going on a date with another guy. Ryan, if you are reading this (very doubtful), I was a jerk, and I'm sorry.

Cried when someone died?: seriously? heck! i cry when people i don't even know die!

Cried in school?: sadly yes - this is never a good move if you strive to be seen as either hardcore or remotely cool

Sat by the phone all night waiting for someone to call?: not sat up all night, but i have stayed up until 2am and gone to sleep with my phone under my pillow in the hopes that someone would call.

Saved IM conversations?: yeah - if someone says something particularly spectacular, i'll save it for potential book fodder (man! the word of the day today must be fodder or something!)

Saved e-mails?: see above. i also have to save a bunch of emails from work in case of future issues with students, professors, documents getting lost, etc.

Made out with JUST a friend?: made out, no. kissed, once.

Used someone?: of course - we all use people in some way or another. it is a sad inevitability in this world.


Your good luck charm?: i don't have one

New fav. song?: i was a pretty huge fan of the random, quirky, awkward, nerdy love songs in Juno (which I finally saw this weekend).

Last thing you ate?: a mint (promptly after having mexican for lunch)

What kind of shampoo/conditioner do you use?: i alternate b/t bath and body works moisturizing shampoo and Dove


Believe in love at first sight?: lust, sure. serious, hyperventilation-inducing attraction, of course. tongue-tied, knees get weak, i really like you feelings, absolutely. real, true love, not at all.

Long distant relationships?: things could be worse

Who was the last person you slow danced with?: brendan at joel & shannon's wedding last summer (with my fat, preggo belly in the middle)

Who makes you smile the most?: Brendan ... or maybe Jenn ... and Scout.

Who knows you the best?: Brendan and Kristi.


What did you do yesterday?: drank coffee, read my Bible, bathed Scout, went to church, got a lecture from Steve Martin about my "moderate" political views on facebook, went home, read a great book, went to the movies with kristi, made a big scene at the drive-thru about which happy meal toy i wanted, went to small groups, watched a hilariously bad classic movie, had an encounter with the premiere item, and went to sleep.

Have you ever hated someone in your family?: i'm sure i thought so on many occassions in my adolescence.

Gotten any awards?: yep. graduated with honors in high school, won a scholarship or two, graduated magna cum laude from college, and won an "excellence in poetry" award from my English dept at college.

What car/truck do you wish to have?: dodge durango. it's the cool mom's version of the mini-van. i only wish they made it in a hybrid so i could feel less guilty about it.

Good Singer?: i'd say above average, but i'm not gonna win competitions or anything

Have a lava lamp?: nope - i went through a 'dirty hippy, led zeppelin, and black velvet posters' phase in high school where i wanted one, but it never came to pass.

When you last showered?: this morning

Coffee or tea?: coffee (though tea will do in a pinch).

Are you oldest, middle or youngest?: baby

Ever been in a fight with your pet?: no - that would be insane.

Been to Mexico?: nope

Been to Canada?: no, but i've seen it (from niagra falls)

Been to Europe?: Ireland, Wales, and England

What book(s) are you reading now?: Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller and Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

24. Future KIDS names?: not sure what we'll name any more girls. i mean, i like tons of girls' names, but they either don't go with our last name (aurora 'rory' allison anyone?) or brendan thinks they're too 'frilly' (lorelai) or 'progressive' (finn, fallon, hollis, etc.). for boys, however, we're fans of Julian Michael, Connor Justice, Benjamin, Tobias, and a variety of others (here's hoping the remaining four in our brood all have Y chromosomes)

29. Piercing/Tattoos?: no, but i would still like to get one of those tiny diamond nose studs (much to the husband's chagrin).

30. What are you most scared of right now?: zombie invasion. hands-down.

31. Who do you really hate?: satan. that's pretty much it.

32. Do you have a job?: sure do (technically, of course, there's nothing to DO at said job right now, so ...)

33. Have you ever liked someone you didn't have a chance with?: three letters for you:J T T

34. Are you lonely right now?: sort of - i feel kind of out of place here at the new job, especially now that a certain attention-commanding person has arrived for the afternoon.

Song that's stuck in your head right now?: the michael cera and ellen page version of "anyone else but you" and the party blower solo from hank's song mantioned in last week's post.

Have you ever gotten beat up? only by my sister.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Reader's Block

We've all heard of writer's block. It's that (real or imaginary, depending on which writer you speak to) wall that writer's hit sometimes when they have been writing for some time and just can't seem to think of anything else to write. Maybe they get lost in their own composition. Maybe they're just burned out and have no more ideas. Or maybe (like me, at this present moment) they have a squirming infant in their lap who keeps kicking their arm, refuses to take her evening nap, won't consent to playing quietly (or even not-so-quietly) by herself beside the desk, and will not be happy unless she has successfully wiggled out of their lap and pressed every key on the keyboard at least twice.

In short, we've all heard of writers who just can't write anymore, due to any number of reasons. What (I am assuming) is a far less common phenomenon is that of readers block. Well, trust me: I can attest to its existece because I currently have it. There are just so many hundreds of pages you can read on spirituality and education before the eyes gloss over and you realize that you haven't retained a word of the last three pages. Having found myself in that predicament at least twice in the past hour (and subsequently re-reading roughly six to nine pages of one dissertation in the past hour), I have decided to do something a little mind-numbing to cleanse the palate. And what is more mind-numbing than an internet survey? Nothing comes to my mind (although my husband would argue that VH1's Best Week Ever comes close). So, without further ado (mainly because I really need to gt back to reading that dissertation so that I can finish it before Pushing Daisies comes on), I bring you what will probably be the first of many surveys to come in the following weeks:

1. Favorite Beatles song: tough call ... I've narrowed it down to "Hey Jude," "Let It Be" and "Revolution" ... I think we'll go with "Hey Jude" on this one since I want to get a dog and name it Jude and because John wrote it for Julian, which is what I also want to name our first son (you don't name a child and a household pet after a song unless it's favorite).

2. Favorite Rolling Stones song: either "Sympathy for the Devil" or "Can't Always Get What You Want"

3. Favorite Doors song: hmmm ... "Riders on the Storm" isn't necessarily favorite, but it is the first one that came to mind, so I'll roll with it.

4. Favorite Bob Dylan song: I'm just gonna go ahead and be stereotypical and say "Like a Rolling Stone" (I blame it on the montage set to this song in the TV-movie I saw in high school, The 60s, featuring Julia Stiles).

5. Favorite Led Zeppelin song: "All of My Love" ... or maybe "Misty Mountain Hop" ... or maybe "Kashmir" ... dangit

6. Favorite TV theme song: I'm going with the O.C. on this one (big shocker there, I know) - "California" by Phantom Planet, in all of its lyrically-challenged glory.

7. Favorite Prince song: "Raspberry Beret"

8. Favorite Madonna song: "Cherish"

9. Favorite Michael Jackson song: "Thriller" (Can anyone legitimately choose another?)

10. Favorite Queen song: "Killer Queen"

11. Favorite N*Sync song: "Bye, Bye, Bye" (thankfully, this is where they - and my affinity for them - went [though not in that order]).

12. Favorite Al Green song: "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You"

13. Favorite Bruce Springsteen song: "The River"

14. Favorite Cure song: I honestly don't know if I've ever listened to the Cure ... for someone who claims to be such a music afficianado, that seems terrible. I kind of feel a little bad about that.

15. Favorite song that most of your friends haven't heard yet: Considering most of my friends haven't heard of the majority of the music I listen to, I'm going to go with "Transatlanticism" by Death Cab for Cutie OR "Lover I Don't Have to Love" by Bright Eyes.

16. Favorite Beastie Boys song: "Intergalactic"

17. Favorite Clash song: "Should I Stay or Should I Go?"

18. Favorite Beach Boys song: "Wouldn't It Be Nice?"

19. Favorite Cyndi Lauper song: "Time After Time"

20. Favorite song from a movie: Air's "Playground Love" from The Virgin Suicides or Beck's "Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometime" from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

21. Favcorite Jeff Buckley song: I know it's a cover, but I don't knwo any others, so "Hallelujah"

22. Favorite Johnny Cash song: I have to admit, that as much as I enjoy his voice, I'm not familiar enough with his repertoire that I could go very far beyond "Ring of Fire" (again, I hang my head in shame).

23. Favorite song from and 80s one-hit wonder: A-ha's "Take On Me" (at least, I don't think they had anything else that could be considered a "hit")

24.Favorite Pink Floyd song: "Comfortably Numb"

25. Last song you heard: Hank Green's "The Man Who Throws the Tetris Piece" (that party blower solo makes me laugh every. single. time.)

Okay ... back to Dissertationland.