30 March 2006

Luckily, Creepy Art Cheers Me Up

Three things I hate today:

1. Overly helpful people. I don't need you to give me a dissertation on the procedure I'm about to do--I just need to know where a reagent is. I don't need you to clean up and organize my stuff--that just makes me unable to find anything. I know that you're eager to be helpful, but when you do more than I ask you for, you are not being double-plus helpful, you are being patronizing and counter-productive. Please dial it back.

2. Being behind on sleep. I keep doing this thing where I start doing something for school early in the week, say Sunday or Monday night, and end up staying up until like 4:30am because I don't notice the time when I'm actually working on something. Well, then I have to turn around and get up at 8:00am (I know, ungodly early, right?), and I swear I'll go to bed early the next night, but then I have to prep for class or I get all alert at like 11:00pm, and then by Wednesday and Thursday I don't get anything done because I'm exhausted. My dad suggests I set an alarm for bedtime, which I actually might do.

3. Stamp machines. I don't even want to talk about it.

Two things I love today:

1. My new creepy painting that was free. As I biked out of my alleyway/parking lot yesterday morning, there was this awesome painting just hanging out, propped up at the end of the parking spaces, facing the street. When I came home again, it had blown over and been driven over a couple of times (overlapping tire tracks, don't you know), so I propped it up again, but now so it was less visible from the street, to buy some more time to figure out what was going on with it. This began Possibly Free Painting-Watch 2006, when I checked on it like six times while I was talking with my friends on the phone. It hadn't moved or anything by 1:00am, so with their advice, I finally decided to take it (protective custody so it wouldn't get trashed, if nothing else), but keep an eye out for lost-and-found notices for it. So if you are in Tempe and are minus one painting that is somewhat reminscent of the work of Jhonen Vasquez, please let me know at mercurial_girl@bust.com.

2. Teddy Thompson's Separate Ways. I'm obsessed with the title song. Too bad my connection is dial-up (What? It's free!) and I don't have like an hour to upload it for you. Buy the album, you cheap bastards.

24 March 2006

I Have a Cult Following

I've just returned from the video store, where I charmed all the clerks in the place by my innate talent for simultaneously wearing a Star Wars-themed shirt and owing late fees on Serenity. Before I left, one had introduced himself and told me all about Star Wars Trivial Pursuit and The Simpsons drinking game, and the other accidentally ripped my receipt in half, giggled awkwardly, then forgot to hand me my DVDs. It was like Scarlett O'Hara at the Twelve Oaks barbeque. If Twelve Oaks were an engineering school.

I correctly predicted when I bought the shirt that it would make an excellent geek detector, as only major Star Wars geeks recognize it for what it is. I should have known it would be too much for the video store guys to handle, though, because seriously? Video store guys love me. I guess this is because I am girl-shaped, yet say comfortingly geeky things like, "Is Sid and Nancy checked out?" and "Do you have the original release of Donnie Darko? I hate the director's cut." and "I just hope [Batman Begins] is truer to the books." Still, those things have caused unusually attentive customer service--perhaps a tour of about 18 other movies I should rent next time--or the mysterious disappearance of a late fee, but only from isolated clerks at a time. I've never single-handedly caused the normal store operations to grind to a halt. Er, more of a halt. The Star Wars t-shirt would be dangerous in the wrong hands, people.

Also, in looking for the link for my geek detection shirt, I just learned that these exist. I can't believe I've survived this long without them.

20 March 2006

What's Next? Footloose?!?

My cheesy gossip magazine of choice has just cheerily informed me that production has just begun on a big-screen adaptation of the Broadway smash Hairspray, to be released in 2007. Ah yes, interesting. Do you mean, the Broadway smash based on the 1988 movie of the same name by the brilliant John Waters?!? You know, the one you completely failed to mention in your blurb?

Does anyone else find alarming the emergence of the less than 20-year movie to Broadway to movie remake cycle? Alarming, or completely balls-out insane?

14 March 2006

Night of the Living Dead Anthropologists

I am now back in sunny, yet flooded Tempe (we had a day of rain while I was in the frozen North and everyone's yard is holding an inch of water), and have so far spent my Spring Break feebly sipping Emergen-C mixed with juice while lying in bed reading Patrick O'Brian novels or lying on the fold-out couch watching Lord of the Rings, although the latter is pretty unfulfilling because I only have the first two and I find The Two Towers a bit of a downer to end on. I apparently caught some kind of respiratory virus in Anchorage, which made the last several days of the conference I attended there both miserable (attending sessions with head propped against wall, attempting to blow nose unobtrusively, yet necessarily every two minutes) and hilarious (see above, RE: attending conference as walking dead; also, swapping over-the-counter remedies with fellow zombie-anthropologists because about one-third of the conference appeared to have the same disease). But the following unmitigated great things happened in Anchorage besides my catching the plague:

1. I got to see my lovely friend Mikie, and meet her fantastic new husband and their adorable huskies--the uncle of one husky is the star dog of "Eight Below", I am told. Since she lives so far away, we only get to see each other every two years or so, so this really meant a lot to me.

2. I reached a new extreme in caffeine addiction early in the week, when I had a double mocha with lunch, then ordered a large drip coffee to go before we left the restaurant. In my defense, I was only maintaining consciousness through chemistry that day, as I had been up late completing my computer simulation homework (very nearly the best program EVER! thank you very much).

3. I did my first conference presentation ("Nutrition and the Paleopathology of Infectious Disease", if anyone cares). My advisor told me several times how happy she was with it, and several people came up to me later in the conference to tell me it was "brilliant" (in the spirit of full disclosure, this was meant in the British sense of "great", not the American sense of "extraordinarily smart") and ask more about it. One spoke to me about it and asked for the written version while I was en route to the coffee cart, and when I finished trading information with him and turned to order my coffee, the lady working there commented in a nudge-nudge, wink-wink way that "he was pretty good-looking--for an Australian". Are they not normally a good-looking people? I did not think that was the case.

06 March 2006

Escape from Tempe

I am in freaking Alaska right now, and it is wintery and awesome.

That is all.