Sunday, September 28, 2008

Keeping tabs on Mr. Sun

The World Sunlight Map is now the first website I check upon opening my web browser. It shows the cloud cover and sunlight over the entire planet at the moment you look at it; by viewing it right now I can tell you that the sun is setting on the eastern coast of South America and that tomorrow's sun has already risen in half of Australia. I know that if Michal were to look up this second there would be no clouds in her Israeli night sky. How amazing is that?

It weirds me out a little bit, though, because seeing the progression of sunlight makes the passing of days so very tangible . . . part of me always wants to push the darkness back to the east and extend time. What would I need to bribe the sun with for a little more weekend?

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Proof that Finding Nemo never gets old: I am snorting with laughter on the quiet floor just looking at this.

Will work for . . . fun?

For those of you who don't already know, I was laid off at the library last week along with the other temp service employees due to budget cuts. My consolation has been the fact that they lost one of their better employees; I know how to use the fax machine no-problem, I am a Library of Congress shelving guru, and--big shocker--I'm nice to people.

So anyways, I am presently sitting upstairs in the library trying to catch up on work I missed while deathly ill last week and concurrently feeling a little nostalgic and really bad for Milne Library. There are stray books all over the place and when I went to sign out a power cord for my laptop, I had to tell the kid working where to find it and then remind him to give back my ID card.

I have the sincerest urge to just grab a cart and start organizing and reshelving, but I have a hazelnut coffee and an unwritten paper in front of me.

Again, their loss.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A nice little cocktail

The over-the-counter drugs I'm supposed to be taking are as follows:
  • Claritin
  • Robitussin
  • Robitussin PM
  • prescription-strength Advil
  • nose spray
  • Sudafed
  • Tylenol
Something tells me that this is not the healthiest of combinations. A quick trip to Wal-Mart and I could have my own little meth lab in the dorm rooms. Anyone have a hotplate?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

To Billy: I have tissues if you need them.

On Friday, Billy Collins' new book of poetry finally arrived in the mail and since then I've been reading one or two poems a day to make it last. I have also been increasingly sick over the past few days; today has been the worst of it yet so I decided to just read them all as consolation.

Bad idea.

is not the Billy Collins of yore; some of the poems in this book seem shallower than any of his past work, and the profound poems in the book deal with musings of separation and death. He just seems so sad, and while this may sound completely ridiculous, after reading virtually all of his work I can't help but feel as if I know him in some capacity.

So instead of feeling slightly better after sharing a cup of tea with my favorite poet, I have that secondhand sadness you feel when someone you love is unhappy. I just want to give him a big ol' germ-ridden hug.

I would usually insert an italicized sigh here, but in my present state it would lose the drama by turning into a hacking cough.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A neaky ituation

A few days ago I was walking to class when I realized that the 'S' of 'Steuben' outside my residence hall was missing. I noted it but assumed the letter had fallen down or something so didn't think much of it.

Since then, though, I've been noticing other cases of a missing 'S' around Steuben--or more appropriately Teuben--Hall. The S on a big white board in the front lobby has been erased, a big wall decoration on the second floor now reads "WELCOME TO TEUBEN," and I am completely convinced that this is an intentional prank.

I find it quite hilario.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Just my luck

I just opened my used copy of Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War and found a four-leaf clover pressed between its pages:Things like this remind me why I am in love with people as a collective.

Two other updates:
  • I won the position for hall council!
  • Did you know that a banjo is basically like a big tambourine (sans jingling) with strings and a long neck? Professor Kimball was playing one today, along with an autoharp and his guitar. I'm starting to love old country music.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Snippets of home life

Today was the first real test for me as far as being away from home again is concerned and I believe I passed with flying colors:

Last night I went to bed before eleven because today needed to be a productive day. I woke up before ten and was able to go to the 10:15 mass as opposed to the 5:30 I usually attend. Church is probably what reminds me most of home here because it is very clearly a family activity. Anyways, I was there by myself and this family of four was sitting in front of me being adorable and such and I observed them without feeling sad.

After dinner, I was shooting around at the courts when this man and his young son and daughter show up. All of the baskets were taken except for one with a crooked rim, so I invited them to play at mine. We talked and played and the kids asked me a bunch of questions about school and invited me to live at their house and it was completely cute. The important thing, though, was that I felt content and happy with the fact that I was in a situation that reminded me so very much of playing basketball with Erin and my dad instead of wishing I were home doing so.

Anyways, I feel like both situations are indicative of how well the semester is going so far. Hall council elections were tonight . . . we'll see what happens.

Friday, September 5, 2008

I can has chuckle?

I have come to the conclusion that I will never be too mature to enjoy goofy cat pictures with grammatically incorrect captions.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Live from the Blake basement

So today was our (my and Ellen's) first radio broadcast of the semester . . . I won't say it was disastrous because it wasn't at all, but I left thoroughly shamed. Before telling you this story, though, let me first disclaim that I recognize my complete lack of knowledge when it comes to music in general; one of the reasons I enjoy radio so much is because I'm always hearing something I've never been exposed to before.

Anyways, today during the show a slip of paper printed out of a machine near the sound board directing us to run a weekly broadcast test (when you hear a few long, shrill beeps randomly and a muffled voice telling you that "this is a test of the emergency broadcast system"). I never had to run one last semester and had no idea which button to press, so I sent an instant message to the radio director. He was really cool about it and told me what to do, turning on his own radio to check and make sure it worked. After telling me it had gone through, he sent me a random person's name followed by a question mark, as if checking to see who he was speaking with.

So I respond, "Nope, this is Meghan and Ellen," then realize a split second after sending the message that the name he'd sent was the name of the artist playing on the radio at that moment.


So, uh, moral of the story: save your pride and always stay up on the current jams.

Side note: I didn't share the name of the artist because I HAVE ALREADY FORGOTTEN IT.

I'm hopeless.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


I made a conscious decision to do no work tonight. So glad I can stick to my goals.

Today was crazier than usual; instead of the weekend train slowing normally and letting me off at Monday, I had to jump off full-speed at Tuesday. Not a pleasant transition. Yesterday I forced 200 pages of Moll Flanders down my throat for British Literature . . . Katy and I were reading in the common room and every ten minutes or so I would look up at her and announce the status of the titular character; examples of such expulsions are as follows:

"Her lover just paid her to marry his brother."
"She just had three kids with her biological brother without knowing it was him."
"A cuckolded banker just divorced his wife to marry her."

With all this ridiculous eighteenth-century scandal going on, you'd think it would be an interesting read. Not so. It must take a whole lot of skill to make something that raunchy so positively bland.

Dr. Asher, however, is a doll. Am I allowed to call my male professor a doll? Because he is. He sounds exactly like Bill Murray except for the joking, and he's completely laid-back and genuinely interested in anything and everything that his students offer during class. We meet once a week, on Tuesdays.

The time is now 12:36, and the library will be closing in 24 minutes. Time to go wake people up.