21 December 2005
And in other rare news, Stacey, Ry and I won at trivia last night. 2nd place. In our minds. Aside from a crazy tiebreaker, we won second fair and square. Go Val!
I'm not sure what's going on with my blog. I was trying to be creative, but I'm just going to simplify it. I did, however, put links up on the right to a dozen or so of my favorite posts in case you had spare time and wanted to read some good ones.
Yesterday I turned into the biggest hypocrite. (I tend to do this a lot). I pulled into a very large mall in Atlanta to find the last remaining present (ahem, kris) on my list and could not find a parking spot. Everyone was driving aimlessly looking for an available one. It got to the point that I actually stalked some helpless woman through the rows. I was lurking behind her. Slowly coasting. I felt like a shark watching its prey. Several times she kept looking over her shoulder because obviously, a black 93 Corolla isn't that hard to miss or hear. She finally got in her car, reversed and as she was leaving, I darted into her space before a mini-van tried to steal it from me. Clearly, I had been there first. So far so good.
But when I left the mall and attempted to find my car in the sea of metal vehicles, I definitely walked down an entire row while 2 cars competed for my spot--then at the last minute, turned and went through to the next row over. Initially it wasn't intentional. But as I got halfway down the row, I realized my car wasn't on it and just waited out as long as I could. I definitely heard someone scream. Ah the joys of Christmas.
Happy belated Birthday, Maria
Happy belated Birthday, Meghan.
Happy Birthday (today) to Amanda.
15 December 2005
But today I was riding the escalator (one of eight that I rode today) and heard the stereotypical mall Christmas music in the background and I finally felt like it was Christmas.
The best part, however, occurred prior to this joyous feeling while in a Borders bookstore. I was at customer service--being that customer who cannot find what he is looking for because he got tired of looking. While typing away at the keyboard, the lady looked up at me and said with an attitude,
Now WHY is Celine Dion singin Feliz Navidad?
I could have fallen over laughing at that point.
14 December 2005
13 December 2005
12 December 2005
Now, onward to Christmas, dog-watching, New Years and ..spring semester. Thus proving that school consumes my life. Or that my life revolves around school. Or that school..
ok, i'll stop.
Stay tuned to a more-updated blog. For a little while at least.
08 December 2005
"THE POSSIBILITY CANNOT BE RULED OUT THAT A SLEET PELLET OR TWO COULD MAKE IT TO THE GROUND IN NORTHEAST GEORGIA."
Oh no! Take cover!
or better yet..
Get up on yer roof! (ok, so that's from Tremors, but I think that line is funny.)
06 December 2005
In other news, the bright red leaves out my office window have yet to fall from the limbs. Any other tree I see has half the leaves gone already. Perhaps they know I can see them.
I opened a stock trading account the other day.
I ate Thai food for the first time Sunday.
I haven't returned a movie that's been due since before Thanksgiving.
Who am I and where did rob go?
I must be the only person in Atlanta who thoroughly enjoys driving through Spaghetti Junction at the intersections of I-85 and I-285. Seeing 8 giant overlapping bridges makes you marvel at the work. I've always been a fan of infrastructure.
Speaking of Johnny & June Cash..what is a "j-pan band"?
03 December 2005
I'm currently sitting in my office at school on a Saturday afternoon working on schoolwork and resisting the latest temptation away from the office--the fire alarm. It has been going off for the past 25 minutes (and counting) and since I didn't smell smoke, I didn't leave. I left during the last fire alarm a month ago, why leave now? It's raining and it's cold outside.
But what brought me to the edge of insanity was that in the midst of working on a database in Microsoft Access, I was hand-delivered the error message of non-sense:
"You tried to commit or rollback a transaction without first beginning a transaction!"
Oh, well if THAT'S all I did, then allow me to correct myself. Whew. I don't know what would have happened had I committed my transaction initially.
What on earth. I'm so confused. And the fire alarm is blaring still. And I'm afraid I'll be reprimanded if I abandon my office now.
Back to rollbacking transactions into the oblivion.
01 December 2005
First, find tree in the barn and arrange 'limbs' in their respective color-coded categories. What, did you think it was going to be real?
Second, put in a Led Zeppelin DVD and add the "limbs."
Third, continue watching Led Zeppelin and add the lights.
Fourth, fail to take a picture of the tree with ornaments because Survivor came on at 8pm.
28 November 2005
So tonight after a visit to Sam's Club (10-pound bag of apples, 3-pound box of honey nut cheerios and 5-pounds of frozen salmon later) I also came home with two random boxes "because Curtis would enjoy them" I told Rachel. The boxes were a big hit with the cats--anything to preoccupy them from my new Lazboy recliner and my shoelaces.
Curtis immediately discovered his new playpen. But meanwhile, an unexpected turn of events led to ...
...Rachel and the fun GoGurt box. Of particular interest, the GoGurt box (if had bought in bulk with the contents) states it would contain 18 pounds of such "yogurt on the go."
WHY!? Why does anyone need that much yogurt in "portable tubes"? Why does anyone even need yogurt on the go?
22 November 2005
19 November 2005
Ok, so the whole horse commentary below has really got me laughing.
Scrubs season 2 is now on DVD. Ahem.
15 November 2005
I've begun reading on the train rides to and from school everyday. In other words, I have my iPod on and playing music to avoid talking to people and to avoid hearing the intercom playing very loud classical music and now I read so I can avoid the awkward stares that you have to encounter while you're in a train car with 50 (with only 20 seats!) other people for 11.4 minutes twice every day.
I'm in the peak of paper-writing season. But, I can safely say that I wrote my first draft of my lit-review paper for my thesis. Already. Now, if this 10-15 page paper on fractures would just write itself without my help, I'd be ok.
penny lane is in my ears and in my eyes
there beneath the blue suburban skies
13 November 2005
Wow, wait a minute, where did I go? Sorry. Well, for future reference, if I abandon the blog for a long duration again, it's most likely due to school. But hey, I pulled my first grad school all-nighter last week with a paper. This week will most likely be the same.
So here's a pic I scanned of my childhood. I'm the 1/2 cut-out one, followed by my sisters Bonnie and Melanie and her horse Blaze. I like the vintage look.
I'll be back.
04 November 2005
If you know me at all, you know that I have shoeboxes, my Mom's old Avon boxes and boxes that people have mailed me that are filled with things that I cannot part with. Much to my surprise, my email accounts are turning into the same. So, in an effort to procrastinate further in my academia, I have reread most of the emails I have saved in the past. Be afraid. I'm about to post many quotes from those emails that stood out. Some are from recent months, some are from way back in 1999.
These are the things to note:
[Stacey]: I think one of the loneliest things in the world is getting off of a plane with no one there to greet you.
[Maria]: ya know, I'm only 24 but I'm ready to have my house and my white picket fence . . . this is my thought for the day . . . idealistic huh?
[Mom]: Everyone should have WD-40 along with a roll of duct tape!
[Kris]: I'm about to sound really cheesy and sentimental, but try to at least fool yourself into believing that I'm serious.
[Laura]: that's the way with old friends. that's why it's important to keep them. or not to forget them.
[Stacey]: you're not a bad friend, just a bad person. ha!
[Rachel]: actually the other day I thought to myself, "i wonder if i'm eligible for welfare?"
[Melanie]: I'm convinced that fireants are conspiring to take over the world.
[Bonnie]: I remember the hash that grandpa would serve on the tailgate of his blue truck...and I remember the silver things...
[Laura]: You (rachel) had said something like you looked like a stripper and I looked like I was about to slide down a cliff. when I read that, I of course busted out laughing.
[Paula]: Yea! I'm a mnemonic... and I've peed myself. Hey - you can remember the difference between the two Ps because I'm a person and "peed" is a procedure! Love it!
[Maria]: Oh your knowledge of soils has definitely made me even more attracted to you. thats it, keep smiling -- did i mention i look cute today too - hahaha
[Stacey]: cancel lab and let's go sequester ourselves in a cozy starbucks and read the newspaper or a magazine while drinking expensive coffee drinks. we'll get triple espressos and when we are finished we can run around whooping and yelling and flailing our arms about wildly. we should do that in front of the cats. that'll keep them away from you for awhile.
[Andy]: Maybe they both were top government spies who used the voices of Tigger and Piglet to send subliminal messages to children, and pooh bear was their communist leader. Just maybe.
[Emily]: he's like a cancer. i'm in remission most of the time, but every now and then, I have a little relapse.
[Leigh]: I made the mistake of looking at my pictures today and almost started bawling right there in the train station.
[Bonnie]: I had a spider in my ear this morning. does that beat ants in your ear?
[Me]: you go around the corner and i'm looking and all of the sudden I see Starry Night thru the hall--it's like RIGHT THERE!
[Mom]: Maybe she will fly back with him.
[Stacey]: live it up, buddy. pretty soon it's alarms going off at 6:15, dogs to walk and feed and give constant attention, $30K a year to make, hours of spider solitaire to play, spouses to clean up after... the list is endless. enjoy what you've got now.
[Laura]: hopefully we will never lose touch with each other--never. because we have so much history that no one else but us has.
[Maria]: jean on jean? yeah thats it. keep trying to convince yourself it looks good . . . how about I crimp my hair and then we go out. you just make it so easy.
[Rachel]: and my logic was that I didn't know if it's illegal to approach a postman while he's delivering mail.
[Kris]: rob, you're a man beyond your years. if you could step out of you and look in, you'd definitely see that. everyone else does. I totally dig you.
31 October 2005
I left my Monday evening class early and got home at a reasonable daylight-standard time. Noticing the roommate was home and probably anxiously awaiting the next batch of trick-or-treaters, I childishly knocked on the door with a rat-tat-tat-tat. Door opens. Roommate sees me and disappointingly says oh, it's just you.. and the all-black cat, Curtis, stands in the doorway for all the world to see for it is truly his night.
The roommate had made Halloween treat bags complete with assorted chocolate, jolly ranchers and even plastic whistles. I'm impressed. So impressed that I sample the assorted chocolate.
Only 2 trick-or-treaters had arrived before me but I was determined to see one. A real one.
An hour passes. Still no knock. There's even candles in the windows leading the way, I think to myself.
I was carrying on about how I had mistaken the corn beef hash that she was making as "corn bean hash" and wondering why it wasn't pork when I hear a faint knock at the door. I bolt to the door and as it opens I hear.. they aren't home. But I see no faces--they were already headed down the stairs. During the bolt, I had forgotten the candy. I turn around, grab it and head out the door in my socks chasing after them down the stairs.
Wait, wait, I AM here! I'm sorry. Come back! I was in the kitchen-- Didn't hear-- Here you go--
The mother of the children was standing behind them. She kept smiling and thanking me.
Meanwhile, all I could think was how crazy she must have thought I was chasing after her kids so they could I could give them assorted chocolates, jolly ranchers and plastic whistles.
30 October 2005
And here's a concrete pipe from a construction zone on the side of the road that I saw and I thought was cool while I was sitting in a traffic jam.
25 October 2005
After minutes of contemplation, the idea had arrived for me to carve. But what could it be? I'll leave you guessing until another pic. And yes, folks, we do have a lava lamp in the kitchen. Who doesn't? (ahem, not my idea--although it is my lamp)
And here's Rachel with a titanic pumpkin and a vast quantity of apples. Another Good Housekeeping shot. The pumpkins had been sitting outside all day so the guts were really cold.
Rachel and Jeff exhibit the finished products. Mine is on the left. "Oh," you're thinking. "It's a .., wait what is it?" Ok, fine, it's a tree. It looked good in real life. And yes, there's a crescent moon beside it. And yes it looks remarkably similar to the SC state flag--but it wasn't my original intention. I guess I long for SC again. Rach and Jeff's pumpkin is on the right--a cat and star and lightning bolt and ..bananas? And while Rach was bored, she carved one of the many apples into an Atlanta-apple-a-lantern. Apparently they thought the pumpkins were birthday cakes.
And I had to throw this one in because it's me and because I got a good laugh out of it. Got to love those old man slippers. And Rachel's pink kitchen rugs.
And last but not least, Happy 21st Birthday, Emily.
23 October 2005
We looked so stupid.
And to usher in the first cold front of the season, we decided to make food and listen to Christmas music. Again, looking stupid all along. Mmmm, Peter Pan peanut butter.
Self-proclaimed Good Housekeeping people. The apron was forced on me while I was stirring, I might add. It was not a choice.
21 October 2005
This morning, I wake up to a quiet apartment (well, quiet after I finally turned off my fire-engine sounding alarm). Little did I know that in the middle of the night, a cat named Curtis had roamed around the apartment, like always, but this time had found a closed door that wasn't fully closed.
My bathroom door.
The cat is smart. I'll give him that. He knows when doors are fully closed. He pushes and opens them to reveal a room he's forgotten all about. A mecca of toys, to say the least. Sometime during the night, he found the golden toy.
The roll of toilet paper.
That's correct. Just picture it. A little, black cat walking into a pitch black bathroom and finding a random sheet of toilet paper hanging from the dispenser and discovering that if he pulls on it, it just keeps unraveling. In the dark--did I mention that already?
An entire roll of toilet paper littered my bathroom floor this morning when I awoke late for class. There wasn't even any left on the roll. No small glued corners. Nothing. I'm surprised he didn't just take the roll off too.
I suppose he needed it after he pounced through my zen garden??
[Editor's note: the following was a response from Stacey]:
i think, in order to fully understand curtis and attempt to be his friend, you should go home and re-enact the scene with yourself playing the role of curtis. try to feel his enthusiam and joy. i imagine it went something like this: what is this dangling from above? oh, it moved! i must protect my humans. i should paw at it and see what it does. yippee! it just keeps flowing and flowing! oh, look! if you rip it up it kinda floats on the air! weeee! i wonder if it tastes good. yuck, that's gross! kill it, kill it! i must protect robin!
20 October 2005
Sometimes I don't understand that cat.
18 October 2005
It seems I was a fan of weather a while back since I took pictures of clouds. This is at my parents farm. I do remember taking pictures of clouds before this and my mom not being a fan of paying for my random sky shots when they were developed though.
Regardless, this cloud looks like the beginnings of an anvil-shaped thunderstorm. The coolest of clouds--in my nerdy opinion.
And while I have you listening, I figure I'd exclaim to the world my disgust with the subway in Atlanta. Tonight the entire east line (not sure about the other 3 lines) ceased operation while I merely 200 yards from my station. According to the train operator, "the tracks were out of service" all of the sudden. Alas, it only took an hour for it to start working again.
And being the gentleman I am, I was standing up the entire time to let the other passengers sit. It's just the common Marta courtesy.
Good thing I had my ipod with me and was listening to depressing Ryan Adams music the entire time!
It just makes me laugh. So much. This is me and Stacey on my first Geology Club trip in 2002 at the Grand Canyon--clearly.
I'm not sure what's more funny--how different we look or the guy on the left leaning to take the pic to get "a better shot." Obviously, the 3 extra feet made the difference in his shot.
Anyways, this pic was to prove that I looked completely different 3 years ago. Before the geology roughed me up, I suppose.
I'm copying Rachel's old child pose/pic post earlier. I've been on a scanning frenzy tonight. This is me (obviously) high atop a mountain (not really) in southern California in 1986. Yep, that's me. Bowl haircut and Popeye tank top. And apparently bad posture, or either irregular arms. But no glasses--yet. Those would arrive 10 years later.
Just thought I would share my wealth of pictures.
And since it's technically Tuesday now, Happy Birthday Paula!
16 October 2005
Today is Sunday. I have successfully dropped every food item imaginable on the kitchen floor including mixing utensils covered in pancake batter. So, as of 1245, the kitchen is now spotless and greased with Murphy's Oil Soap For Wood Floors. Only, the kitchen floor isn't really made of wood--faux wood, would be better I suppose. So, I was hesitant to use "wood floor cleaner" until I read the label: Great for Wood Floors--AND MUCH MUCH MORE!"
Well, in that case, of course I used it.
I received 8, count em EIGHT, coupons from Blockbuster on Friday night. I'm not supposed to spread the word, but they are in a class action lawsuit and are just giving away these coupons. So, go!
Last night I went with friends Laura and Lee to the greatest place on earth. No, not Disneyland. A barn! Not just any barn..Everett Brothers Music Barn. I got to see raw bluegrass music at it's finest--in Atlanta. Who knew. Listening to bluegrass just makes me want to learn the banjo, mandolin and guitar all at the same time. If you visit me in Atlanta, I'll take you there.
On Friday I saw Elizabethtown. And judging by the critics, "it's awful." But, as in most cases, I thought the movie was brilliant. Perhaps many of you won't like it, but it's incredible. As is the soundtrack--a collection of music to drive and listen by.
15 October 2005
And since I'm lazy and not in the mood to think right now, I'm going to re-post my very first post that got it all started. Yeah, it's in my archives, but I wanted it to be seen again.
Many more to come. Don't fret.
recovering the chicken:
well, so it's my very first one. you're either very excited i'm finally writing my own, ahem.. blog.. or, you're devastated that my life has come to yet another stalking phase. either way, i made it--courtesy of a conversation with paula tonight.
it seriously all started because, well, because paula was born. no really, her birthday is this coming monday and i decided to take her out to eat tonight since i wouldn't be in town the remainder of this weekend. good thing we were both hermits for this thoughtful friday night, eh? we attempted a rather packed Olive Garden first. 40 min wait? this found us outside in the christmasy cold weather pondering our chances of starvation from waiting so long or going elsewhere. around this time, an older couple comes out with doggy-bag in tow. the husband proceeds to light up his cigarette that he was probably anxiously awaiting. he speaks to his wife, "can't believe they ran out of chicken" in a rather monotone. 6.34 seconds later i realize that gullible is not in the dictionary either. hmm, had his wife not shaken her head in a somewhat laughable pose, and had paula not laughed out loud, i probably would have just believed him. sometimes i'd rather not let people know that i'm that gullible. well, we contemplate a few more mins and decide to leave. i stand in line to return my buzzy/light-up toy that they give you and while standing, i decide that i want to tell the hostess a lie. a compulsive lie? all i could come up with would be to say "i'm sorry we have prior commitments." but i chickened (really, no pun intended) out and said that we were unable to stay.
so, we head to atlanta bread company. after a 3-minute gaze at the menus we approach the somewhat glazed cashier. paula orders her half and half and i order my chicken panini concoction. the glazed cashier looks up and says "i'm sorry, we don't have any chicken right now." she obviously thought we were on drugs from the amount of laughter that ensued from her monotone comment. then it hit me, what on earth will i eat? i've been branching off enough already and then it occurred to me that i only eat chicken at ABC. i settled for the vegetarian panini w/o mushrooms. she glanced down for a second (apparently to fix her robotic arm?) and said, "yeah, you can have that." whew. later on, she was sweeping very close to our table and i leaned over and asked if they had any chicken now. of course, she said they did.
perhaps the man at olive garden was a soothsayer.
14 October 2005
I hate that stupid toothpaste commercial with Emeril(?).
No matter how hard I try to cover the vents in my office with folded paper and scotch tape, the air still finds ways to seep around the cracks and chill my office to a unbearable 34 degrees.
My new coffee thermos that I purchased in hopes of finding THE thermos that won't spill from the lid has "STANLEY" written on the side of it. It's the brand name, obviously. But as I'm on the subway, holding my scolding hot coffee and trying not to spill it everywhere, I start thinking that what if some people don't see that as obvious and actually think my name is "Stanley" and wonder why I would go as far as imprinting it on my thermos. So I generally hold it so "Stanley" can't be seen. And for the record, I spilled a record amount of coffee on my white shirt on Monday. Twice.
Obviously I dislike Emeril and Stanley today. Watch out.
09 October 2005
I give you, the new and improved wheretheoceanmeetstheland blog.
Ok, so all I changed was the banner and the background. But perhaps I'll do more before I turn 1 on Saturday.
A year ago seems like so long ago. I had graduated. Was working for the government. Wasn't in too much debt. Was worried about petty things like the GRE and graduate school applications. I wasn't running extensively a year ago (thanks Kris).
Last year if someone had told me I'd be living in Atlanta, at a great school, with a great stipend and enjoying climatology, I would have said...GREAT!
It took some motivation on my part. Some courage. I drove past the place twice and stalked it out. Once I found a parking place, I stalked it again by walking past it twice. Both times with my sunglasses on. Next door to it I noticed a kid's version of the same store but didn't think twice about it.
I walked in the 'grown-up' store and asked if they took walk-ins. Sure! Hold on one sec.
Great, my lucky day.
After about 2 minutes of typing away at her keyboard like she was chipping away ice from a glacier, she looked up and grinned. Yep, but we're all booked here. But Lisa can take you. She's actually next door. In the kid's store. Do you want to do that?
I was floored. And I was passive. And I agreed to walk next door to the kid's store because after all, it sounded fun. I found "Lisa" and when I told her I was sent from next door, she looked puzzled and thought out loud, wow, they MUST be crowded over there.
Everything was going fine until she pointed me to my chair--a small, bright orange kid's haircut chair, if you will. I reluctantly sat down where she promptly started hydraulically raising the height of the chair and in the process, my feet were actually hanging in the air because of a lack of a foot rest.
Could it get any better than this, I kept wondering. Oh, it can. On each side of the mirror were flat-paneled monitors displaying Shrek 2.
She told me it was fun cutting kid's hair. Did she think I was 12?
Anyways, the haircut was decent. I lied and told her I'm definitely coming back! When I was told it was $30, I picked up my jaw off the floor, paid and walked out.
When I was walking back to my car, I passed a Great Clips with a sign in front of their store advertising "$13 haircuts!" All I could think was, sure, $13, but do they have small, orange chairs, green walls and Shrek 2? Surely that's where all that extra money goes to.
07 October 2005
That's all I could think to describe it.
Spattering bacon grease.
I've had a rough week. Taking 3 grad classes, seminars, meetings and teaching two intro labs has finally started feeling overwhelming. I'm resilient though.
Last week I received $10 off coupon for Old Navy/Gap. On Monday, I received 10 coupons for Target. On Wednesday I received my first of many rebates in the mail--$50 Best Buy gift card. Then yesterday, I received 3 Best Buy coupons for 10% off this weekend. And it's tax-free this weekend in Georgia. And the icing on the cake--I got a raise in my grad stipend. So with all the work I have to do with school, the logical thing to do is to spend money this weekend.
What a burden.
01 October 2005
Today on the main doors to my office building was a sign that read "Pesticides will be sprayed this Saturday in this building." First of all, since they had to post the sign, does that mean that it's harmful if we enter and remain in our offices? And second, why did they italicize "Saturday"? Are they using it loosely?
Maybe they were confused about Daylight Savings Time too and thought if they sprayed it at 12AM Sunday morning, it could technically be Saturday.
27 September 2005
Indeed, you are looking at Tuesday's lunch. I opened up my tupperware container to reveal the sandwich, half row of fig newtons and 15 assorted M&Ms. It made me laugh when I saw it because it looked so scarce. It could be worse.
Speaking of pics, I updated my webshots page. Somewhat updated at least.
26 September 2005
I always wondered about the "happening so fast" moments. I had one once in an automobile accident that wasn't my fault but I could have prevented--if only it hadn't happened so fast.
So this morning, this woman must have slipped on the damp, metal grates of the downward escalator. She took a big tumble and landed at my feet at the precise time the escalator was plateauing at the bottom and starting its cycle over again. There was no emergency button to push. There was no security to help. It was just me and 5 or so other people trying to help this woman up who was stiff and not reactive at all. She laid there for probably a solid minute because no one could get her up.
She even grabbed my arm and I grabbed her's out of instinct but it happened so fast.
It's weird how your mind works in those situations. You're doing everything you can--at the time. But then 10 minutes or 3 hours or 1/2 day later you realize everything else you could have done.
Of course, you can't live life in the "i could have done ..." category either. Ah, complexes.
24 September 2005
Today I sat on the couch and watched a documentary on a glacial lake that formed during the glaciation some 15,000 years ago. It was on Nova. I felt particularly interested because I'm currently teaching glacial processes in my geo intro labs. I kept saying to myself, "I knew that! I knew that too!" Again, a key factor in making me realize that it's all worth it. Debt and all.
I want to take a vacation to Montana.
22 September 2005
Tonight I learned some information about cyclones and anticyclones in my climate class and when I got home, I was watching the Weather Channel (imagine that) and I put two and two together and actually saw some stuff on a cloud pattern map that I recalled in class and then I finally felt like I knew something and that taking more money out on student loans to pay for my continued education for two more years as a graduate student really is going to pay off because yesterday after my class about fractures of rocks, I wasn't really thinking the whole being in debt for this class was really worth it.
And then standing on the subway all the way home on one foot was fun. I wasn't injured. I was just tired of standing and decided to cross my leg and just rest it on the other foot and therefore, stand on one leg for the 11 minute train ride. I only almost fell once.
I should start a blog about my occurrences on the subway. A book could be written. Tonight I saw a duplicate homeless person on the train. Duplicate in that I saw her on the train a few weeks ago. And homeless in italics because I'm seriously starting to doubt if these people are really homeless because this lady had a huge earring in one ear.
Yesterday I finally got to ride on one of the new train models. It had televisions on it and for once, wasn't carpeted. I've yet to figure out why they put carpet on the old ones.
And Tuesday a cockroach ran up beside me on my seat. It was the first non-human living thing I've seen on the train. I flicked him off nonchalantly like I didn't even care.
19 September 2005
I feel as though I've moved up in the world today. I have geologic papers strewn about amongst geology intro labs and lab quizzes. I have a new cell phone (same number) that actually rings now. I have no concept of how hot it is outside because I've vowed to stay indoors all day until my night class is adjourned tonight. I'm pretending there's not a heat wave in the middle of September. So far I've done a good job since I had to leave for school at 7am and actually had the heat on in the car.
And today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day and the geology department is so cool that they brought in hordes of good food for lunch and all we had to do is make pirate sounds before we could eat it. Brilliant!
And I can even see trees from my office.
15 September 2005
14 September 2005
He proceeds to tell her that a bird flew into his car while he was on I-75 (major artery here in Atlanta) and in the whole shuffle, his glasses broke. This caused the entire store to stop what they were doing to observe the man. I, of course, started laughing as did the woman. He told the story a few more times for whatever reason and kept describing it in great detail.
"Just flew in through my window and hit me!"
The only thing I could ask was not how he escaped the whole ordeal but more along the lines of what happened to the fine-feathered friend.
"I killed it," he said. "It was just a sparrow."
11 September 2005
I must admit that I had a long, but highly enjoyable weekend. Got to see Coldplay in concert, got to hang out in Columbia, got to enjoy myself at a party, got to eat lunch at Panera, got to hang out with tons of friends and of course, got to learn the aforementioned lyrics.
On the ride back into Atlanta, I realized that seeing round hay bales in a field that's off in the distance is probably one of the most picturesque scenes of nature I've ever seen.
Go look for some.
I sat and watched the Weather Channel for an hour tonight. A solid hour. I was equally intrigued that there's a hurricane named Ophelia as I was about a small thunderstorm in Oklahoma.
Sometimes I wish I was in Oklahoma.
Or maybe looking at a field of round hay bales in Oklahoma.
Or maybe I just yearn to be working at the Weather Channel.
07 September 2005
He's about the size, if not smaller, of the spider in the upper-left corner of the $1 bill.
Happy belated birthday (only by one day!) to my sister Bonnie! The big 28.
And happy birthday to Andy. The big 23.
06 September 2005
05 September 2005
03 September 2005
Due to procrastination and the yearning to not do anything with grad school, I have opted to stare at some of my pics. These were two separate shots--but the same spider. One was with the flash and the other was not. I like how the detail of the web can be seen in the first. They were taken in Spartanburg on a bridge crossing a creek to an old, burnt mill. I forgot I had even taken them until now. Clearly, my fear of spiders has receeded enough to flash a bright camera bulb at them.
To properly read one, one must be wearing linen pants, cross their arms, stand on their right foot and have the magazine on the floor two feet away. Oriental rug is optional but optimal for more adequate balance.
01 September 2005
Nothing like pure laziness induced by technology.
I'm beginning to think that the subway is my friend whether I like it or not. And frankly, just like you know how to walk in the shower/bathtub without slipping, you unintentionally learn how to stand on a subway as it barrels from 0 to 60 mph in 10 seconds.
31 August 2005
28 August 2005
The Weather Channel is now going by the pseudonym "The Hurricane Central."
CNN is declaring itself as "The Hurricane Headquarters."
And FoxNews just wants to be on "Hurricane Alert."
Whatever will the news cover after the hurricane season?
Meanwhile, I'm glued to my tv.
27 August 2005
The whole graduate school scene thing at Georgia State is a world of it's own. I guess that's the same anywhere though. My experience just seems to be heightened. Mainly because of the subway, Marta. I'm either forcing myself to not make eye contact with anyone in order to not spark a conversation or I'm anxiously awaiting my arrival back at home so I can wash my hands. Germ-mobile is a more apt name for it. I did find myself saying "wow, I kind of like the 930 crowd" this morning though. Everyone seemed so sedate and reserved and I saw people smiling!
Sometimes I do catch myself staring at the Atlanta skyscrapers getting larger and larger as the train coasts into the city. I always know it's my stop when I see the back of the large Coca-Cola cut-out letters in the sky.
But I will say that I'm a big nerd. I'm way too enthralled with my climatology class and subsequent potential thesis topic that already has data. And on Monday I'm getting a bigger office that has windows and my own "really fast computer." Can't wait to stare outside and, well, see skyscrapers.
24 August 2005
A flashback to fall of 2003. The greatest field excursion course of USC was the annual trip to the Everglades--if you took the course.
This is Audrey and I. Note that I am not in the water. And I'm writing in my field book with a pen. And she is reading the manual for the GPS. Clearly, we do not fit the geologist profiles.
Two years ago. Wow.
23 August 2005
And if that's not enough, all the buildings at Georgia State seem to be interconnected to one another in weird, tangled patterns. And random doors lock at 515.
And if that wasn't enough, my first late night attempt on the Marta subway was undermined by a falsely labeled marquee on the eastbound train. I wasn't about to get on the wrong train although I was clearly on the east line. So when the train arrived, I cowardly walked away and back down the escalator to find a map. Upon realizing I had just missed my train, I was forced to wait 15 minutes for the next--which was correctly labeled. It was like a bad prank. At least it was less crowded. And everyone seemed to have their headphones on. One man was really jamming to his music. With his sunglasses on. At 9PM.
I just sat there, in the handicap plastic fiberglass seat and contemplated my schedule, thought about what I needed to buy at the grocery store (gallon of milk, a gallon of orange juice and bananas) all the while clutching my 7 year old, yellow Timberland bookbag with Wyoming and Jackson Hole patches sewn on.
22 August 2005
Your appreciation for oddities might make you seem eccentric to others.
So, today is my first day of graduate school. And it's a night class. Just like all my classes for some reason. Here's hoping I don't get lost--much like I did on Friday when I was trying to buy my books. Heck, I got lost getting off the subway. This potentially does not bode well for today.
18 August 2005
I feel as though it's an important, grown-up investment. And similar to other important, grown-up investments I've made, it was also in August.
Last August ('04), I purchased a brand new washer and dryer.
The August before that ('03), I purchased a brand new laptop.
The August before that ('02), I bought a new cell phone. Okay, so that's not that great.
During the August of 2001, I think I was broke. But the August of 2000 I bought a desktop computer with graduation money.
I had this revelation today while driving to Sam's Club to buy a large quantity of coffee with the minuscle amount of money I have until I start teaching geology labs. The coffee that will keep me awake during the days as I start my graduate career next week. The coffee that will last for a few months. The coffee that will undoubtedbly spill and I can clean up with my new, yellow, bagless Hoover vacuum. And I'll feel proud.
08 August 2005
And today I discovered I have free cable.
And the wireless signals streaming from everyone's non-password protected wireless connections are great too! Well, until we get our own internet.
More to come soon, and hopefully pictures too.
Happy belated birthday, Leigh.
04 August 2005
Yet another picture. It's actually a ploy to keep everyone interested in my blog while I'm busy packing and moving to Atlanta. I won't have the net for a while, so I might be sporadic in the next few weeks.
I took this a long time ago. Perhaps 7 or 8 years ago. I think it's fairly nice. It's my niece, Elizabeth and the family dog, Jack.
Well, his spots at least.
02 August 2005
When I was at my parents house today, I decided to invade all the stuff that lingered in my old bedroom. The stuff that I never brought with me to college. Most of it was the most random stuff I could possibly manage to collect and keep in shoeboxes. At the time the objects/notes/movie stubs meant something but 1/3 of it I have no recollection of why I kept. The other 2/3 however, has significant meaning. I'll enlighten with a few samples.
That was an excerpt from a typical letter from Laura in 12th grade--back in the day. Isn't it great?
I don't even remember ever receiving this letter from Em. I didn't even go to the prom with her. I went with the aforementioned Laura who couldn't draw correct lines with her inaccurate perception.
01 August 2005
Further proof that the frog is competing with the crow to be the alpha spirit animal for me. This little guy has been on the back porch for a couple of weeks. Every now and then I'll spot him on the wall and this morning he happened to be lurched behind the random key box that the realtors never retrieved on the back door.
I wanted to post about the frogs singing to me yesterday but I thought I'd be laughed at. But after seeing this frog, I figured I'd tell you. Ever since I moved into this house, there's been an abundant amount of frogs around the yard. There's a medium-sized tree in the front yard that contains more of these frogs. Every time it rains, they start singing, or whatever it is that they do. Perhaps they are just talking. Yesterday a large storm came through and after each thunder clap, they'd increase their chatting briefly, then go back to their murmuring.
The ride up consisted of sitting in the middle of an old van listening to classic country music, eating pistachios and drinking chocolate milk.
I have never moved so much stuff in my life. The bruises on my forearms and the blood stains on their dryer are the small sacrifices I made.
The ride back consisted of empty stomachs and rummaging through the van only to find a 3/4 eaten pack of chocolate sugar wafers that no one could determine the age of. And since it wasn't made of mayonnaise or egg, I quickly devoured them. The softness and lack of taste though, led me to believe the age was well over 6 months. Eventually a jar of peanuts was found and it was gone in a few handfuls.
And with it finally being August, I am reminded that I will be moving to another capital in a few quick days. Gives new meaning to august and everything after.
Happy August--rabbit, rabbit.
29 July 2005
Soon there will be no more office parties--although yesterday's farewell fried turkey, corn on the cob and homemade strawberry ice cream was outstanding. No more commuting to work and feeling like a grown-up. No more blogging at work. No more Jimmy John's subs for lunch. No more time sheets where I have trouble adding to 40 in my head. No more broken air-conditioners (i.e. 3 out of 5 days this week). No more power surges during afternoon thunderstorms that cause you to lose your data.
No more restricted paper towel dispensers.
27 July 2005
Back to me driving away this morning. I jumped out of my car to retrieve the note that was attached to a gallon-sized Tropicana orange juice jug. The "public notice note" had a long list of why the notice was relevant with boxes beside them. Apparently, whoever left the note, failed to check the box to tell us how stupid we are.
After a few minutes and a vicious fire ant that bit my foot, I decided that my gallon-sized Tropicana jug was the culprit. On the bottom of the jug was the number 7 inside the recycle symbol. They won't take ANY of our recyclables if there is a plastic number 7 in the bin. Who knew? It's like all the other plastic is contaminated now.
Speaking of numbers, I have a challenge. If you're sitting down, pick your right foot up and turn your foot in clockwise circles. While doing this, take your right hand and draw the number 6 in the air.
24 July 2005
Speaking of commercials, I blogged a few months ago about the Charmin bears needing toilet paper. Well, they are back! With their kids. Ready for more toilet paper. But WHY??
I think I'm back to blogging again after a small hiatus. I have one week left at a federal job with an income where I'm capable of paying my bills. And then, I'll be done with another job that looks nice on my resume, moving to another state capital and jumping onto the grad school bandwagon for two years so I can earn a job observing the weather.
That better be one good bandwagon.
20 July 2005
13 July 2005
An excerpt of the end, if you will:
"i hope that all of us, if we haven't already, will find our bliss. whether it be running a 5k in the rain, writing our every thought in a beat up spiral notebook, tending to roses, chasing tornadoes, watching black and white movies, constructing impossible bulletin boards, or contemplating the blissful existence of cows... whatever your bliss may be, i encourage all of you to cling to it as hard as you can, because it will ultimately save you in your journey ahead."
Cows! Tornadoes! And I've run a 5k in the rain!
11 July 2005
I woke up with the intentions of going on a morning run before work but I failed to wake up with my alarm as it incorporated itself into my dream--again. By the time I actually did wake up, I felt guilty for eating breakfast and further making myself late to work, so I skipped it all together and decided a glass of no-pulp orange juice would suffice. Who am I kidding?
Finally journeying out to my car in the miserable morning humidity and dew, I opened my car door to spot hordes of fireants all over the inside of the front seats and floor. They were in an army line and carrying small chunks of food down to the ground. In an attempt to find their way in, I spotted a blade of grass that was at the same height as the bottom of my door. It was their land bridge to the giant mecca of granola crumbs. I used to not be so dirty with my car, but lately, I've not really cared. As a result, I had abandoned 2 granola bar wrappers and a Twix wrapper which were completely void of any edible food residue whatsoever anymore.
With all four car doors open, I sprayed the lethal bug spray everywhere and massacred the hiding with a blue flyswatter everytime they peered from a crack. 15 minutes later I was swarmed by mosquitoes and had to deal with 15 or 20 bites from them. I'll take a mosquito bite over a fireant bite any day.
Then the mosquitoes got into my car and I had to drive away with the windows down.
Then my scolding hot coffee started spilling everywhere, so I had to gulp 1/2 of it down so I could drive erratically without spilling the remainder of it.
Then I nearly ran out of gas because I live in the middle of no where.
Then I got to work and my contact popped out.
01 July 2005
This is where infrastructure takes a turn for the worse, literally. At the bottom of the hill comes the merge. The merge of a spur and an interstate. Both have 2 lanes. Both are equally congested. Both have cars and carpools of hungry individuals eager to make it home for Oreos or Fig Newtons or a glass of orange juice. Or an apple. Or a slice of cold pizza.
Regardless, everyone anticipates a simple merge. But no, you're shocked to find out that of the two infrastructures merging, the four lanes become three and the two center lanes are the ones merging into one. Imagine being in lane two or three and realizing that it's a competition of Chicken to see who gets the first place spot because lane 4 has a semi in it and lane one has a BMW who's driving erratically. Ok, so this hasn't actually happened because I've realized that you just need to be an outside lane to survive the daunting task of merging, but I'm just warning you.
30 June 2005
My favorite part:
Unfortunately, after I unscrew the lid [of peanut butter], I have to deal with the silvery cardboard thing that is somehow welded to the top of the jar...And there is always--always a little bit of that silvery crap that sticks to the top of the jar.
29 June 2005
I reached out to touch it in that ET-phone home-point to the sky with one finger-kind of reach and he jumped about 4 feet onto the porch. I didn't want him to summon the medium-sized, slimy, shiny green frog army, so I quickly walked in the door where I was greeted by a rather large 4 year old lab who was anxious to see who was on the other side of the frog-infested door.
I think the frog is my spirit animal now. It was once the crow.
27 June 2005
On the particurlarly long, perilous journey back to SC, I started questioning those "WIDELOAD" tractor-trailers that I saw on the interstate every now and then transporting massive objects that look like what Paul Bunyon would have used had he played with Tonka Trucks. I mean, I saw a post-driver that was the size of at least 3 UPS trucks. Shortly after, another "WIDELOAD" followed carrying a rather large metallic drum. Perhaps someone desperately needed to bury an enormous time capsule. Yes, that's definitely it.
Did anyone else find it odd that the voices of Piglet AND Tigger BOTH died this weekend? Well, I did.
22 June 2005
21 June 2005
I grabbed a new, blue buggy and headed into a second set of doors anxiously awaiting to see what the store was made of. Turns out, it's just a larger version of any other supermarket, just fancier, and I liked it. And it has a Starbucks inside.
My journey began in the mecca of fresh produce. I think I stood there, amazed, at the sight of so many fruits and vegetables. Apparently everyone else had already traversed my steps because all of the plastic produce bags were gone. All I wanted was a white onion and to have it in a plastic bag. I can't just have my onion rolling around in the buggy, now can I? After a relentless search of 6 or 7 bag dispensers, I finally find the elusive bags on a dispenser near the end of the aisle.
I grabbed a bag and headed back up for my white onion when I halted everything because the bag had, in large letters, "Fresh Corn and Fresh Yams" with outlined figures of corn and yams underneath. I put the bag down and started searching for another dispenser. After a few more searches, I found a new set and looked at the new bags which also said "Fresh Corn and Fresh Yams." At that point I convinced myself that only corn and yams could go in those bags and that it must be so that the cashiers could easily determine what's in the bags instead of trying to peek inside.
Yes, I am blonde. And yes, I waited until someone else walked up, picked up a bag, read the description on the bag and put, oh no, not fresh corn or a fresh yam, but an APPLE in their bag.
And this morning, my name was mentioned on the Pam Stone radio show. The first thing that came out of her mouth was "Family member, Robin, sent me this hilarious news story..." This is in conjunction with another news story I sent her on Friday and she opened the show with also. I now have 14 minutes and 49 seconds of fame remaining!
17 June 2005
Upon thinking about this for a few minutes, I was quick to say that I'd never had strawberry ice cream before. The day progressed. Then I said it again to reiterate the fact and even added the question of do ice cream companies even make strawberry ice cream.
A coworker did not hesitate to say, "You do know the pink ice cream in Neapolitan is actually strawberry, right?" It had never occurred to me before. All this time I was thinking that strawberry ice cream was actually vanilla with strawberry chunks in it.
Who knows what kind of rock I've been living under. But hopefully, with my geology degree I'd be able to determine what kind of rock it is.
12 June 2005
And there's nothing more relaxing than staying up until 4am playing games, falling asleep on a therm-a-rest and waking up in the same position as if you never moved at all.
Then driving home singing old country songs. I mean, how fun are we? Ha.
Check out Ryan Adams. It's good-time music.
09 June 2005
They all waved back!
Even the ones in the Miatas and BMWs and Mercedes'! On Tuesday when I ran there I actually spoke to one of them.
Tonight I found the subdivision/club pool that had no "no trespassing signs" so I jumped right in and lingered until I felt really guilty. All five minutes of it.
Next time I run, perhaps I'll be recognized and be invited to a birthday party or something.
An excerpt, if you will:
"But then most things in the world don't seem right to me. On the dashboard of our family car is a shallow indentation about the size of a paperback book. If you are looking for somewhere to put your sunglasses or spare change, it is the obvious place, and it works extremely well, I must say, so long as the car is not actually moving. However, as soon as you put the car in motion, and particularly when you touch the brakes, turn a corner, or go up a gentle slope, everything slides off. There is, you see, no lip around this dashboard tray. It is just a flat space with a dimpled bottom. It can hold nothing that has been nailed to it.
So I ask you: What then is it for? Somebody had to design it. It didn't just appear spontaneously. Some person--perhaps, for all I know, a whole committee of people in the Dashboard Stowage Division--had to invest time and thought in incorporating into the design of this vehicle a storage tray that will actually hold nothing. That is really quite an achievement."
And these are the things I think about on a daily basis. Just think, I could have written a book like this by now. We all take that little compartment for granted but have you actually ever thought about why it's there? Aesthetically purposeful? Of course, now you'll be driving and look over to see this dashboard tray and have to think about it.
06 June 2005
The internet has yet to make it's appearance at the new house. The cable guy blamed it on "a system-wide error and the construction of a nearby dam." Oh right.
Suddenly, my dryer stops producing heat. Yes, my 10-month old dryer that I'm still paying off on my Best Buy credit card, ceased heat. So tomorrow they are coming out to repair it. I'm hoping it's not a user error as the time I spoke to technical support for my old desktop computer for an HOUR. Then I realized I had a book sitting on my ESC key and it was preventing the reboot. But that was 2 years ago. I think dryers are easier to operate.
Then, it all culminates yesterday morning while sitting around the living room with Andy and Jenna watching Inside the Actor's Studio with Angelina Jolie when the cable (all 70 channels) abruptly halts. And I'm serious when I say that a blue 18-wheeler driving down the road took out the newly installed cable.
So yesterday I was back to living primitively again. It was kind of nice though. I thought about reading, but I took a nap instead.
And I'm wondering if it's any coincidence that my last post was titled "roll on 18-wheeler, roll on."
02 June 2005
Back to the true spirit of this blog...my idiosyncrasies? No, well, yes, but that's besides the point. I'm back to sharing insight of my days as long as I have some.
On Monday night amidst the packing, Stacey and I headed to Starbucks to indulge in late-night coffee before playing challenging rounds of the ever-popular game, Phase10. I ordered my coffee while Stacey inquired on how to order 'no sugar' in Starbucks lingo. She got her name on her cup and I, slightly miffed, asked if I could have my name on the cup as well. I assertively said my name, and it never fails, she had to ask for it again.
After a few minutes of writing, making the coffee and walking out the door, I realized that my cup read "Rob--the jealous one." How fitting.
I would have taken a picture to show all the world, but my camera was (and still is) safely packed in one of the many random boxes that encompass my bed in my new room.
Today I found out that Caesar dressing does NOT have mayo in it. Instead, it's coddled eggs and anchovies. That's better, right?
25 May 2005
"it's one of those days where you just want to take the weather and [insert hand motions] ploop, snatch it up in a tupperware container and burp it out, oh, I don't know, sometime in August."
In other words, it's cooler than average. But just in case you want your weather in the form of some sort of Dan Rather commentary, catch one of our Columbia weathermen.
24 May 2005
Grits were also served. I didn't eat them because they were yellow. I have a complex with eating yellow grits because I once ate cheese grits and well, I don't really like cheese.
Tomorrow I'm going to Starbucks for breakfast where I'll inevitably forget what to order since it's been a few weeks. Last time I shouted that my name was Rob. The magnitude of my enunciation was incalculable.
If you haven't heard of the autoblogger, then check out the trailer here. Glad I'm not the only one like him.
23 May 2005
Today we had to shut our computers down at 4pm and that just threw everyone into a spiral since no one knows what to do without that minor modern convenience. Some of the folks on my wing started talking and realized that we should have another office party before I leave on July 31st. That menu will included fried turkey and homemade strawberry ice cream. Good thing I put in my 2-month notice last week.
For the record, I played Monopoly with friends Stacey and Ry over the weekend and I can officially say that I won a very intense game. Yes, I WON. All those years of family game night playing Monopoly have finally paid off.
I start grad school in exactly 3 months. I better go buy some pencils.
20 May 2005
My roommate (Andy) is on vacation but I have gained 2 extra houseguests (Stacey and Ry) and 2 extra dogs (Annie and Daisy--the THIRD dog named Daisy in my life) in the process.
I stumbled upon a top ten list of favorite words that are not listed in the dictionary on merriam-webster.com. My favorite:
#5. cognitive displaysia (n): the feeling you have before you even leave the house that you are going to forget something and not remember it until you're on the highway
Today I left without my rainjacket and had to return to retrieve it. Upon reentering my house, I found my just-poured 4-cup of coffee in my thermos on the table in plain sight so I wouldn't forget it.
While I'm at it, my second favorite word:
7. phonecrastinate (v): to put off answering the phone until caller ID displays the incoming name and number
Oddly enough I would agree with this but I generally don't answer my phone period.
16 May 2005
Well, ok. I didn't take an x-ray of them.
Ok, I didn't buy an x-ray machine either.
I'm sure that would kill them faster than the pollution air and the acid rain though.
15 May 2005
Well, it's been quite the busy past few weeks. I mean, I raised tadpoles into frogs and freed them into their original habitat and I got accepted into graduate school. I'm not sure which I was more excited about. But, the truth of the matter is, I'm moving to Atlanta at the end of July to pursue my M.S. in Geology from Georgia State University.
Good thing I set my frogs free because then I'd have to take them to another state capital to live, huh?
Random items I saw on the side of the road within 10 minutes of each other, yet have no significance:
a dead deer
a Winnie the Pooh stuffed animal
Happy belated Birthday, Karen!