31 October 2005

up the stairs, 2nd floor, the one with the lit pumpkin on the rail

Living in an apartment complex for the first time yielded high hopes for trick-or-treaters.

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

it's beginning to look a lot like fall

It's about that time again. Time when we start seeing 18-wheelers with Christmas wreaths hanging on their grills. You know you've seen them.

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

chester drawers

After a viewing of the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, it was time to load up disc 2 of Christmas music, pull out the knives and carve some pumpkins. (And apparently turn on the lava lamp in the kitchen!)

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

hey, look!

Roommate adventures:"Hey stare at the tv (while the camera is sitting upon it--on self-timer) and pretend something really fun is on right now!"

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

tales of living with cats. part #37.

It continues.

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

i beg your pardon. i never promised you a zen garden.

Last night I came home to find that Curtis, one of two cats inhabiting our apartment, has taken upon himself to not only jump up on a high shelf in the living room, but also knock over a book about forests and play in my sand zen garden.

Sometimes I don't understand that cat.

18 October 2005

weather. oh goodness.

In an effort to continue my never ending quest to post pictures in lieu of me actually writing posts, here's the next. It was taken quite a few years ago.

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 live in a garbage can

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

a collection of music to drive and listen by

Wait, does this mean I'm a toddler now?

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


Today wheretheoceanmeetstheland (or WTOMTL as it's been coined) turned ONE. Big day.

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

where DOES the ocean meet the land?

random things to note today:

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

behold. i give you...

Today my blog is 360 days old. Saturday it'll be one year old. Along with Paula. Well, she won't be one year old but she has a real birthday soon. And her blog recently turned one year old. And the folks over at Cumulus (mandy and bodie) are now one year old too. And since the Noir Muse is 1.4 years old and has a really cool banner at the top of her page that I stole the idea of..

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!

bacon grease has washed away

I've had good haircuts all my life and I have issues when I go somewhere new. Such is the case yesterday in downtown Decatur because I wasn't about to venture 2 more miles into the big city of Atlanta for a decent hair cut.

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

snap, crackle, pop

It's been steadily raining for over 24 hours it seems. I do like the rain. I have my bedroom window open and all of the sudden it occurred to me just how quiet it was for a brief moment. And all I could hear was the rain. And I thought it was kind of neat so I tried to think of something it sounded like.

Bacon grease.

That's all I could think to describe it.

Spattering bacon grease.

apple condensation

It's raining. As with most buildings in this area, the roofs (why is it not rooves?) are flat and until now, I didn't realize what a disadvantage flat-roofed buildings had. From my office windows I can see the ponding of water on all the buildings and it really bothers me because there's no drainage for such water. It's a lot of water too. All I can think is how much fun it'd be if it was frozen and then they could start charging people to ice skate on tops of buildings. Not that Atlanta will dip below freezing that often but it's a nice thought.

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

time savings daylight

I've gone the whole week telling myself that this weekend was the weekend that Daylight Savings Time ended. Why did I think this? I also thought that Fall started in August. I mean, I even reminded people this week to set their clocks back.

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.