Monday, November 29, 2004

Sara left to go back to Boston this morning and I already miss her very much.

I am sad and I don't feel like writing much.

The carpet here keeps taking a beating thanks to the dog(s), but more on that later.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, if you celebrate it.

Two more weeks and I am back to Boston to be with my sweetie! Yay!

Monday, November 22, 2004

I am back, but Sara is here. So my time is devoted to her [she is napping right now, so I am doing some computer/email sorting].

The trip? Fantastic. More about it later.

Short story:
We took the dog for a walk today on a trail where people also ride horses. When we were not looking, the dog started eating some horse poop. I know, yuck! It's the first time he has done this - and he has been exposed to horse poop on many occasions.

When we got home, I gave him a greenie bone (a bone that brushes his teeth and freshens his breath). I was making some tea when I heard that horrible sound no dog owner ever wants to hear: blurp, blurp, blurp...hack. Yeah, the dog puked the greenie bone, some of his breakfast, and the nasty horse poop he had eaten all over the living room.

Fortunately I had just bought some carpet cleaner. It works fairly well. Although I am going to have to rent a carpet steam-cleaner and shampoo the carpets sometime.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

I'm leaving on a jet plane ... (actually, it is a prop plane - the only kind that flies here).

I can't believe I am traveling again today. While I am not looking forward to the air travel, the destination should be lovely.

I was supposed to go to a conference in San Francisco today, but the organizers moved it to Atlanta in December because of a labor dispute at the conference hotel. I was able to get refunds on my registration fee and my hotel deposit, but the airfare was non-refundable and the change fees were almost as much as the plane ticket itself. So I am flying to San Francisco.

Tonight I will visit with my sister who lives there. I finally get to meet her boyfriend of I don't know how many years. Then Sara arrives tomorrow. I am borrowing my sister's car and we will drive down the California coast. I will tell you more about it when I get back. Now I need to finish packing and head off to the airport.

Have a great weekend everyone (aren't you envious that mine starts today?)!

Addendum: I found out that the college will pay for my plane ticket since I was supposed to go to the conference and they were going to pay for that. YAY!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Rich and Powerful People

You would think that certain people who have loads of power and money could afford some basic products to help their public image. For example, why doesn't...
  • Condoleeza Rice get braces?
  • Dick Cheney get some laxitives?
  • Bill Gates get a better barber?
  • Donald Trump get a better hairpiece or some hair transplants?
  • George Bush get a speech therapist? Same goes for Ahnold...
  • The Red Sox get a shaman? Oh wait...they broke the curse this year. They must of secretly gotten a shaman. The Cubs should get one too.

Can you think of any others?

Monday, November 15, 2004

Adventures with Contact Lenses - Part I

I got my contacts on Friday.
Saturday, I managed to get them in my eyes in about 20 minutes.
Sunday, I cut the time to about ten minutes.

This morning I was going to get a haircut. I thought, Great! With my contacts I can now see how the haircut is going. I don't have to wait until the end when I get my glasses back to see the new hairstyle surprise. I gave myself half an hour to get my contacts in. The right side went in pretty easily. The fun began with the left side. I could not get the darned thing in. I pulled my top eyelid back, pushed the bottom eyelid down, wedged my eye open with my fingers. Nothing worked!! Meanwhile I was shedding eyelashes like a mangy dog and dropping the contact like it was a hot potato.

Finally, I got it in. Or did I? I closed my right eye to discover that I could not see through my left. The stupid contact was not in. Damn it! Where did it go? I searched all over the bathroom counter. No, it wasn't there. I looked on the floor without success. The trash where I threw the tissue I used to wipe my tears? I emptied out the small basket with an old toothpaste box, some tissues, and old razor blades. Not there. I looked at my eye, was it stuck under my eyelid? I could not see it.

Time was getting away from me and I had to get to my haircut appointment. So I took the right lense out of my eye and put it back in the case. As I did I thought I fel something in my left eye. I decided to probe way back under my top left eyelid, and low and behold, there was the missing contact. No time to fuss with it then, so back in the case it went and off I went (slowly - read the previous post) with bloodshot and teary eyes to get my haircut (which despite my near blindness during the process turned out ok).

Epilogue: After my haircut, I came back and gave the contacts another try. The right one went in easily again, and after a brutal struggle with the left one, I finally got that one in too. I am not sure if I will be able to deal with this everyday, though.
Misc.
  • Got a speeding ticket yesterday. I was going fast, I admit it. The reason? The highway was going from 4 lanes to 2 and I was trying to get by some slow traffic before then. I am sure a lot of people do that and that is why the cop sits where he was. It's the speed-limit from here on out, baby. So if I am late, you know why.
  • Before my ticket, I went shopping for films. I bought the aforementioned Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. I also purchased Coffee and Cigarettes, which Sara and I watched together a when I was in Boston. It will be useful for some of the classes I teach. I don't know if I recommend it. I liked it, but it is very strange. And I acquired A Day without a Mexican. I heard about this film a few months ago and I have been eager to see it since then. I will post a review later on.
  • It's been too damn foggy around here. On Saturday I went up into the mountains to look for some sun. I found a few peeks. There was also some snow.
  • I definitely need to move closer to the Equator. Darkness by 4:30 is no good.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

After I watched Before Sunrise, it quickly became one of my favorite films. I saw it when it first came out in 1995 and I have not seen it again since then. The film is about two strangers, a French woman and an American man, who meet on a train. They both get off in Vienna and they share thoughts, affections, and past experiences during one 14-hour tryst. The film ends when the French woman boards a train. They agree to meet back in Vienna in six months without exchanging addresses, phone numbers, or anything.

The film touched the romantic side of me and it was an experience I could relate to. Having traveled alone through Europe while studying there both as an undergraduate and graduate student, I met many people. On occasion I met fascinating women with whom there was a romantic spark (this was before I met Sara, of course), but nothing ever came of these enounters. At most there were some nice dinners and interesting conversation. After these experiences, I would think to myself, "Wouldn't it be cool/romantic if...?" The film was the response to my musing...

Last night I watched the sequel, Before Sunset. The film jumps back into the lives of the two characters nine years later. It answers the question whether these two people met up again in Vienna and it explores what they have done with their lives. I loved this film too. It mutes the naive romanticism of the first film with the cynicism of the realities life throws at you. Yet it also rekindles the romance that lies in the souls of people.

While I don't relate to the direct experiences of the two characters anymore, I do share some of the realizations they discovered as they grew older.

The fact that I thoroughly enjoyed these two movies reveals the consistent struggle within me between the romantic, the pragmatist, and the cynic. I do not know if this makes me a balanced person or one that should be medicated...

Friday, November 12, 2004

After 17 years of wearing glasses, today on a whim while I was at the opthomologist I decided to get contact lenses.

I am not wearing them right now because I am too squeemish to stick them in my eyes. Just kidding. I am not wearing them because my eyes have been poked at enough today.

The process of getting them was not as routine as it usually is. It turns out that my right cornea is flat (I wonder if that would get you out of the draft just like flat feet). Yep, I have defective eyes...they were made in Mexico.

[When I was little there was state run propaganda in Mexico to generate confidence in people to buy Mexican products - which were inferior and rather shoddy thanks to protectionism. The slogan of the campaign was:

Lo que está hecho en México está bien hecho
.
I was hecho en México hence the abnormal cornea.]
.
In any case, the first pair of contacts they put on me did not fit correctly. I had to get a special pair to accommodate my flat cornea. This meant a lot of extra poking in my eyes.
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It was almost miraculous, however, to be able to see clearly without the borders of my frames (and in my peripheral vision). It was also strange having two pieces of film in my eye. One eye adjusted well (the well-adjusted one?), but the other one complained the whole time (the rebelious one?).
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I like my glasses, though. I don't think I will stop wearing them altogether. However, I need to get new ones as my eyesight has deteriorated even more sine the time I got this pair - oh, about five years ago.
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I also found out that I have rather large pupils (it makes sense since I am a rather large guy). This meant that the doctor did not have to dilate my eyes during the exam. A good thing, I suppose. Also the pressure in my eyes (measured during my glaucoma test) is normal in the right eye (of course) and excellent in my left eye.
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At some point I want to get the contacts that change your eye color. I think that would really throw people off. First, however, I am going to have to get over the squeemishness of sticking foreign bodies into my eyes.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

So after telling us that we need to supplement our diet with vitamin E to live healthy, now they are telling us that it will kill you sooner. In that spirit, let me tell you about a few things that are bad for your health:
  • Writing a dissertation.
  • Being very far away from your sweetie.
  • American politics.
  • Food.
  • Work.
  • Driving in Boston (and Rhode Island).
  • Following any advice that starts with "A new study suggests..."
  • Rugby.
  • Medical school (law school and grad school are also bad).
  • Unemployment.
  • Underemployment.

That's enough for today. Be healthy!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Random Thoughts

I have too much to do!!!

That means I have less time to goof-off. Rats! That is what I do best.

And this jet-lag/time changes is killing me. I am in perpetual space-out mode.

[YAWN!]

It has gotten cold and foggy around here. I don't care for the damp, moist cold. It chills you to the bones. Brrrr...

Today I fought it off with some home-made vegetable soup (healthy too!) and a nice warm fire in the fireplace.

Ok, I am off to curl up under the covers. Maybe the dog will be let up onto the bed tonight...it's just much warmer that way!

Monday, November 08, 2004

I am back from Boston. But I am beri beri tiard...so I won't write much.

Had a lovely weekend with Sara.

Now I have to come back to reality...sorta.

Friday, November 05, 2004

Post-election therapies:
  • An hour and a half discussion with my students in class about the outcome, their fears, and their plans. The #1 concern? A return of the draft.
  • Satirical jokes: they are floating around the blogsphere - maps, magazine covers, etc.
  • Yoga...ahhhhh.
  • Brownies and Ben & Jerry's.
  • News avoidance. Although I had a peek today: some bits of good news. Specter is ready to use his position in the Judiciary committee to defend Roe v. Wade and Ashcroft is leaving.
  • Trip to Boston...where the Red Sox still are the winners of the World Series and my sweetie will confort me (truth be told we will comfort each other).

Back on Monday. Have a good weekend (put this past week out of your mind).

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Post election poll...

<---- Check it out.


Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Fuck...

There is so much to say about the election and the state of the nation, but I am still too pissed off/depressed/upset/stressed to deal.

Fuck, indeed.

It's over.

The Bush machine won again.

This country is so screwed. Unless you are an evangelical (hypocritical) Christian.

I am depressed.


Tuesday, November 02, 2004

AAaarrrghhhh!!!!
I hate this! I was on an optimistic kick earlier, but now I am very pessimistic.
That map is just too damn red.
There are fishy things going on in Florida (again!) and in Ohio. Is the election being stolen again?
I finally broke out the cerveza. I wish I had tequila though.
It is going to be a long night.
Wha...?

Why are you here?

Go VOTE!!!!

If you already voted, go make sure all the people you know vote. And then make sure all the people they know vote.

Then come back tomorrow so we can all celebrate or cry together (if it is not decided that will be a different reason to cry).

Come on Everyone

Make sure you vote tomorrow! Even if you are in a strongly red or blue state.

And make sure that everyone you know votes. Remind them (as if they would forget). Pester them. Make them pester other people.

Let show everyone that the polls were very wrong.

Then it will be time to heal. Although if the red guy wins, we all know that won't happen. We have had four years to heal and a major event that brought us all together, but look at where we are today.

So go vote (for Kerry, of course - actually vote your conscience, even if it means voting for Bush, just make sure you vote).

Monday, November 01, 2004

New Poll

Check out the new poll. It will only be up today and tomorrow.

By the way, Autumn was by far the most popular season.