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July 24th, 2008

12:24 am - What 4th century god had to say...

This is totally on my next summer online reading list:

Oldest Bible Pieced Together

(Go ahead and say it)

July 4th, 2008

06:31 pm
Long and pointless meme, ganked from ignorant_bliss, for, really, no good reason. Read only if you wish to waste your time. Seriously.

(Go ahead and say it)

July 3rd, 2008

10:20 pm - Wherein our heroine whines again.
This weekend's goal: Rip apart whole apartment. Make four piles: goes on craigslist, goes to Myopic Books, goes to Brown Elephant, just plain goes. Maybe five piles- has anyone ever had any luck with Crossroads Trading Company? I've been jumping over piles of clutter for far too long.

Plus, this way I'll have less stuff to move around when I get evicted for non-payment of my rent.

No, seriously, it's the same old problem. If I do get the job for which I interviewed yesterday, it will still be, oh, three weeks or so before I see a paycheck. And, since I haven't gotten the last 4000 jobs for which I interviewed, including two waitress jobs last week, I'm not optimistic. (Why do the restaurant owners love me on the phone, but not in person?) There's a city (or is it county?) agency that will pay your rent for you for just one month, but- and here's the paradox of the thing- they will only do it if you have a job. So, if I get the job, then I call these people, and they agree to pay my July rent for me, but did I mention that it takes four weeks for that payment to take place? So, by then, I'd have a paycheck. And if I don't get the job? Then the unthinkable must happen. I must go beg my parents for $660, in addition to the nearly $10,000 (yes, really) that I've borrowed from them in the past year.

How- HOW- did I get to this point?!?

(What they're saying | Go ahead and say it)

03:08 pm - That ain't the end, sure ain't where I began...
Inspired by ainsley: This day in LJ history!

2007: No post, but on the 4th I rambled re: the new (current) apartment.
2006: New little kitten, and suburban isolation.
2005: No post this day, but on the 2nd I discussed my ornery cat's angry overnight visit to the vet.
2004: Three posts in one day! One about how I'm liek-woe-so-sad and life sucks, one about going to SummerDance the previous night, and one with song lyrics, beause, apparently, I am 15 and liek-woe-so-emo.
2003: No LJ yet, so no record of my life for two more months!

(Go ahead and say it)

July 2nd, 2008

10:32 pm - Woof
Did my first PAWS presentation last week, at a park district day camp. We had a group age 6-9, followed by a group age 10-12. The older kids answered direct questions, and generally weren't very disruptive. The younger kids... well... sometimes it went like this, "Who knows what spay and neuter mean?" *hands go up* "Yes, you?" "I have a dog!" Okay. :)

I have to say, I really enjoyed it. This was my first presentation, and I blanked a few times, losing track of what I was supposed to say, especially with the wiggly, impatient younger kids. I co-presented with another woman, and we switched back and forth after each section of the presentation. I, silly, girl that I am, offered to do the last section, which covers dog fighting. My presentation style is very engaged, and borderline theatrical, but I think I handled the switch to serious subject matter pretty well.

There was one sort of heart-breaking moment, when I was explaining about how organized dog fighting is illegal, and even watching it is illegal, and you should tell a grown-up, like your parents, if you find out about a dog fight, but if you can't tell you parents, you could tell your teacher or maybe one of your day camp counselors. And a little girl, maybe 10 years old, raised her hand and asked in a small voice what you should do if the person who would get in trouble is someone you care about, like someone in your family... Oh. We told her that she could tell another adult, and no one would ever have to know that she was the one who told, but... how do you tell a kid, "Okay, yes, it's totally okay to rat out your parents, and they won't know that you were the one who told, but that won't help you much when you're in a foster home because your folks are in jail." I hope she told someone.

After the presentations, the kids lined up and took turns petting therapy dogs, using the routine they'd been taught. (Ask the owner's permission, let the dog sniff your hand, then pet its side.) I walked up and down the line with a dog puppet and reminded the littler kids what they were supposed to do, and, of course, they wanted to play with the puppet. The girls, almost invariably, wanted to cuddle it, and the boys, almost invariably, wanted to growl and make it bite people. :)

(What they're saying | Go ahead and say it)

July 1st, 2008

10:58 am - Wherein our heroine becomes a bag lady
Fed up with the number of plastic bags in my kitchen (you can't just throw them away, can you?) and in need of a beginner crochet project, I made... a cute little shopping bag! And then I made another one! (not pictured) The second one is bigger, and holds about twice as much stuff as the first. I'm also working on a third, smallish one, provided I have enough of this leftover dk yarn for it. (Berrocco Comfort DK- for scarves and shopping bags!) The fine people at Trader Joe's did heap much praise on my hand-made bags, oh yes they did!

(Go ahead and say it)

June 27th, 2008

10:12 am - Fire! Fire!
I'm driving south on Western last night, headed for Addison Ave., and notice a great plume of black smoke hovering over the street in front of Lane Tech. As I turn right on Addison, I see a flame, which from my vantage point appears to be in front of the school. Are the kids having a nice summer bonfire? Aw, how all-American of them! Except... why is that fire engine zipping down Addison, lights and sirens screaming, toward the fire?

I couldn't help it, really- I had to turn around and drive into the Jewel parking lot so I could see what was happening. (Yes, I'm that person now.) Seems a motorcycle was on fire.

Yes, you read that right. A motorcycle was on fire. Not crashed. Just on fire. This was no mere spark- the whole thing was engulfed in flames. Some of the other on-lookers and passers-by said that "the guy came out and his motorcycle was on fire!" Came out of where? The school? The grocery store? And why- why- was the motorcycle on fire? Revenge? Faulty wiring? Spontaneous combustion? Who knows? Maybe it really was a summer bonfire, set by rambunctious high school students who couldn't find any decent kindling.

(1 spoke | Go ahead and say it)

June 26th, 2008

06:39 pm
It shouldn't have been funny, but it really, really was.

As I was walking out of Truman College this afternoon, I heard an alarm from the firehouse across the street and, with a certain wide-eyed, childish excitement, I stopped to watch the fire engine pull out onto the street.

The big center garage door opened, the truck started forward, and... oh, dear. Someone left what appears to be an office chair right in front of the door. The big, red truck pushed the chair forward a few feet, then ran right over it. Crunch! Except that crunchy former office chair got caught up in the right front wheel well. One of the firefighters hopped out to see what was going on, and the driver, apparently hoping to allow his friend to clear the remains of the chair out of the way, backed up the engine. This would have been a great idea except... wait for it... that's right, you've got it: the garage door had already begun to close! Crunch! Crack! Smash! Yow. The chair was tossed aside, and the truck continued on its way.

I couldn't help it. I had to take a picture of the damage. As I was crossing the street, the garage door opened again. Well, it opened halfway. A confused FD employee came out and asked what had just happened.

"The truck backed into the door!" I told him, having more than a little trouble hiding my amusement. He'd been inside, and had heard the guys go out on the call, but hadn't heard or seen what happened. I had to convince him that, yes, really, it was the guys in the big, red truck that had done the damage.

"This is a nightmare," he said. Oh. Yes, I suppose it is a problem. If the garage door can't open, then how can they get the truck back inside, or out again on the next call?

I drove past a few minutes later, on my way home, and the truck, or one like it, was parked in front of the fire house again. Someone's legs were sticking out from under the front end of it. Maybe he was fixing the damage to the underside of the truck. Or maybe when you leave an office chair in front of the firehouse doors, they punish you by parking a big, red truck on your chest. Pics under cutCollapse )

(What they're saying | Go ahead and say it)

12:03 pm - Don't point that at me!
So, DC is now allowing handguns, but they must be registered.

D.C.'s Gun Ban Is History

This seems like a fairly moderate ruling- the gun nuts win a point, because they can legally have handguns in the district, but many of them will see it as a loss that the firearm must be registered.

(What they're saying | Go ahead and say it)

June 24th, 2008

10:28 pm
Just saw the best new show on t.v.! (No, really, I mean it.) It's called The Middle Man, and you must, must watch. Seriously. Do it.

(Go ahead and say it)

June 21st, 2008

01:20 pm - Be gorgeous now
Courtesy of sparkymonster, I am now aware of Joy Nash and Fat Rant. One word: awesome.

(Go ahead and say it)

June 19th, 2008

05:15 pm - I've gotten used to hearing the word "no".
"We have a lot of people to interview," is actually code for "... and we're going to hire one of them, instead of you," isn't it? :( That's twice this week.

Wish I knew what I keep doing wrong. Someone asked me once how I deal with all the rejection. Honestly, what's the alternative?

(What they're saying | Go ahead and say it)

12:03 pm - For that reason... for that reason... for that reason...
I was sitting in the lounge area outside the Truman College library, on the lower level of the building, pounding away on my computer, when a ragged- and confused-looking man sat down in one of the armchairs and started muttering to himself. And to the ceiling. Something about fathers, and daughters, loaded with unintelligible words, and lots of finger-pointing. This is an "interesting" neighborhood; it's no surprise that some of the locals might wander in from time to time.

Except... he leapt to his feet, jabbed his finger at the wall, and starting repeating, "For that reason... for that reason... for that reason... YOU MUST DIE!"

Oh, dear.

I trotted into the library and alerted the woman behind the desk, who called the security guard upstairs. We stood just inside the library door, just where we could see the man arguing with invisible foes, and hear him chanting, "For that reason... for that reason... for that reason..." and unintelligible words, punctuated now and then with, "You must die!"

The security guard finally showed up and tried to coax the man into following him down the hallway. The man argued that he had to go into a room here, at 11:30 (if that was true, he was a half hour late.) He showed the guard a piece of paper, and the guard took him away. Either Truman is offering some manner of social services, or this guy is a student here.

Throughout this exchange, a young woman sat about 8 feet away from Mr. "You Must Die", pounding away on her laptop, earbuds securely in place, completely unaware of what was going on just behind her.

I'm fully aware that there are schizophrenic people in the world who are totally harmless, even off their meds, but explaining to the recycling bin, or the wall, or the people beyond the wall (the librarians) that they must die? That needed some intervention. The librarian told me that the guards used to check students' ID's by the front doors, but there were a lot of complaints about it, so they stopped.

I love this place.

When I was at EIU, there was a well-known campus character, a long-time student who was autistic (and probably a few other things), and was known for his odd behavior. Apparently, he would sometimes tell women that he wanted to go to prison. It was explained to me that he was afraid of women, and that someone had told him that there were no women in prison. Crazy to me, perfectly logical to him. I wonder what was going on inside the head of Mr. "You Must Die"?

(What they're saying | Go ahead and say it)

June 17th, 2008

02:13 pm - Socks!
You could say that these aren't the most awesome socks you've ever seen in your life, but you'd be lying.

Made 'em with Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock yarn and size 2 needles, based on the Universal Toe-Up Sock Formula. They took so long to make that I'm now afraid to actually put them on with shoes and wear them out of the house!

stripey socks stripey socks
stripey socks Let's face it-
the astounding sexiness of these socks
is only enhanced by the sandals
and cropped trousers.

(What they're saying | Go ahead and say it)

01:23 pm - Edumacashun!
Things I've learned in the past two weeks:

1)Almonds are good for decreasing stomach acid. I don't know how it works, but someone recomended them to me as a sort of home remedy for excess stomach acid, and since I started snacking on them I've had far fewer gassy tummy aches.

2)It used to be illegal to sell margarine in Wisconsin. A conversation last week made me think it still was illegal, but apparently it is now legal. (Thank you, intertubes, for setting me straight!) Even after it became legal to sell non-dairy butter-related substance, it was illegal to sell yellow margarine until the 1960's. Margarine is naturally white, and dairy industry leaders feared that making the stuff look more like butter and less like lard would cause people to buy the fake stuff rather than actual butter. Margarine manufacturers got around this ban by including a little packet of food coloring with the white margarine, so people could turn their fake butter a nice yellowy color before serving it.

3)I've got some kind of spooky natural talent for Guitar Hero. That game must be incredibly frustrating for people who actually play the actual guitar. It seems like drummers would do well with it, though.

4)Truman College has free wi-fi, available in several parts of the building, and there's no need to sign in or prove you're student or pay for it or deal with any other annoying roadblocks to websurfing.

(What they're saying | Go ahead and say it)

June 14th, 2008

08:59 pm
Ganked from mellacita, cleversticks, and probably appearing a few other places, too:

You know how sometimes people on your friend's list post about stuff going on in their life, and all of a sudden you think "Wait a minute? Since when are they working THERE? Since when are they dating HIM/HER? since when???" And then you wonder how you could have missed all that seemingly pretty standard information, but somehow you feel too ashamed to ask for clarification because it seems like info you *should* already know? It happens to all of us sometimes.

Please copy mine below, erase my answers putting yours in their place then post it in your journal! Please elaborate on the questions that would benefit from elaboration! One-word answers seldom help anyone out.

1. First Name: Amy

2. Age: 32

3. Location: Chicago, north side, currently typing from The Fixx

4. Occupation: Student. Office worker. Market research participant. Blocked writer. Bum. I'm taking suggestions.

5. Partner? I swear, I used to have a love life. Don't know what happened to it.

6. Kids: Nope.

7. Brothers/Sisters: Older brother, younger sister.

8. Pets: The Feline Fight Club, featuring Sir Whiz-a-lot (aka "Willy") and Sophie the Scaredy-cat.

9. List the 3-5 biggest things going on in your life:

* School, the kind with tests and grades, for the first time in 10 years.
* Must. Find. Paying. Job.
* Um... I was thinking I might clean my apartment next week.
* Seriously. That's my big news.

10) Where and for what did you go to school for?
Eastern Illinois University, majored in journalism and minored in anthropology. Syracuse University for a grad photography program, which I quit. Currently at Truman College.

11) Parents?
The standard issue heterosexual set, and still, for some reason, married to one another.

12) Who are some of your closest friends?
Do my cats count? No? Some geeks, then, I suppose.

(Go ahead and say it)

June 13th, 2008

04:50 pm - Post hoc ergo I want ice cream
I kind of got hit with a financial sucker punch yesterday, causing a large and immediate problem that I have no way of fixing right now. It was one of those things that make you wonder why you even bother trying, because someone, somewhere, is just going to make sure you get good and screwed, no matter what you do to keep things buzzing along as they should. The practical part of it- the money part of it- is just one of those things I'm going to have to deal with, and after some cookie dough ice cream and a few hours of sleep, I'm feeling a lot more positive about it, or at least I've realized that there's only so much I can do to repair the situation at this point, so there's no point in ripping my hair out about it.

It's just... these things seem to be happening with a greater and greater frequency, such that even the tiny things seem huge. It's just coincidence, it's just life, sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug, right? The fact that something happens to me doesn't mean it neccessarily happens because of me, right? Or, the fact that it affects me doesn't mean that it's about me, yes? None of this post hoc fallacy stuff, right? Or should I just crawl under my bed and stay there?

No! There be dust bunnies there! And hidden cat toys, and dirty socks! Hiding on top of the bed is so much more comfortable. And it's a good place to catch up on my reading.

(Go ahead and say it)

June 12th, 2008

07:57 pm - You can check out, but you can never leave...
Something sort of funny happened this morning, and I thought, "That is so going on LJ!" And I was going to post pictures of my latest FO to knitting. 'Cuz, see, today started out okay. Then it took an entirely different direction.

I'll spare you the details, since it's the same set of problems, again, and again, and again. I just don't know what I'm going to do this time. I'm sad and I'm worried, and it's not just the practical concerns- it occurred to me that this place I go to- this sad, scared, separate place I go- is the most comfortable place I know, and one day I'll go there and not come back. Plus, I'm pretty sure I've got a stomach ulcer now.

(Go ahead and say it)

June 7th, 2008

12:37 pm - Amy's Adventures in Academia, or You Call This Education?
Ugh. By which I mean, UGH.

Wherein the universe makes a first attempt at getting in my way (last week and the week before): Like my hair, this entry is cut for lengthCollapse )

(What they're saying | Go ahead and say it)

June 3rd, 2008

04:26 pm - Meow, and such
I was going to post pictures of my first crochet project since, um, like, 1990 or so, but the pics were horrible, even for the camera phone I've been using, so, instead, some gratuitous cute:

To me? Dirty laundry. To them? Also dirty laundry, but with significant naptime potential. Despite the fact that Sophie landed on top of Willy's head upon entering the basket, and then continued to sit on him, he refused to give ground. He's very territorial when it comes to dirty laundry.

This is also proof that I need to a) find my digital snapshot camera, or b) get a new one, or c) find my really old film camera, or 4) I've lost my train of thought.

A serious post, full of interesting content, or at least new content, another time.

(1 spoke | Go ahead and say it)

Discretion Is Just Dishonesty Mixed With Good Breeding

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