Thursday, August 31, 2006

A letter to the kids in my condo complex

Dear Kids,
What's up with all the screaming? I know that a few shrieks are natural during play, but you guys are screaming all the time. You're not babies or toddlers, so you're totally old enough to be using your words. Plus, this morning you guys started before 7 am. Wtf? Do your parents kick you out of the house at 6:30? Isn't this a school day? Please, some of us aren't into shrieking, so try to tone it the fuck down.


P.S. To the blonde kid whose condo faces my bedroom window: Are you autistic? I kind of got the suspicion you were when I saw you carrying a toilet bowl around while following your mother, all the while letting out the blood-curdling screams. If you are, then you're totally excused from this mess. If you've not, though, you need to get some serious help. You're definitely the worst of the lot.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A rant about faux-science

A bottle of Pantene Pro V I recently used proudly advertised: "Now with Amino Proteins!" Now, I know that sounds all cool and scientific, Mr. Advertising executive, but it's just wrong. Proteins are made of amino acids. All amino acids have an amino group (hence their name, amino acids). Therefore, all proteins are amino proteins. It's redundant. Don't just go putting words together just because they sound cool! We're not Japanese (not to slag the Japanese, but you all know what I mean). Make some sense, for goodness sake!

A fabulous restaurant

Oh, Iron Horse Brewpub, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

If you're ever in Missoula, MT, make sure to stop by the Iron Horse and have a sandwich. I've heard that the rest of the menu is good, too, and I know that they have inexpensive pitchers of the delicious local beers... But the sandwiches! Oh, the sandwiches!

On my last visit to Missoula, the one thing I wanted to do while in town (aside from, of course, attend R's brother's wedding) was to hit the Iron Horse. We tried to swing by late the first night, but it was quite packed. When we tried to go again the next night, we found out that all the hubbub the night before was because they had had a fire, and the restaurant was closed. Luckily, it reopened in time for us to grab a bite on the way to the airport. I would have been quite disappointed if I hadn't been able to eat there, after such a journey.

My aim in life is to sample every sandwich on their menu, which is not a simple task. Not only is there quite a large distance between me and the restaurant, but they also keep changing their menu. This last visit I found that a sandwich I had previously eaten, containing a seared Ahi fillet, some sort of seaweed salad, and slathered with some type of aioli, had disappeared from their menu. Quite sad, as it was rather tasty, but I suppose a sandwich with seaweed really couldn't survive in Montana, even in a college town.

In conclusion: Try the sandwiches!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

A Judd revealed

When I first started college, I made a few new friends, as most people tend to do. Eventually, the friends I made coalesced into a fairly static group that gets together for parties and poker nights. We always playfully teased one of them, a guy, as friends are wont to do. This friend, one of the nicest guys around, is very hip, bordering on effeminate. Not gay, just a woman. Even his girlfriend agrees that he's not the one who wears the pants. A bit of an oddity, until now. I was reading the archives of Sweet Juniper, and I came across a post that describes him perfectly. He's a Judd, which is apparently quite common in the Bay Area, which is (surprise, surprise) where the friend is from. Mystery solved.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A thick skin

In my preparation to begin teacher training, I'm working upon becoming less gullible. I've got this unfortunate naive streak, resulting in my believing whatever people tell me. For the longest time, I thought that the giant dent that appeared on my sister's car was from some inconsiderate jerk in a parking lot who just didn't leave a note. Really, it was from her drunkenly hitting a tree. The story was for the benefit of my father, who didn't believe it, but she just forgot to tell me the actual tale. For the next year and a half I then proceeded to go around spouting her fake story whenever my sister's driving record came into question. "Yeah, her car has a few dents, but none of them are her fault." Right.

I'm sure many people are like me, but the problem is that students like to mess with teachers/authority figures. I guess it's fun or something. When I was tutoring in the school on campus, one of the students decided to mess with me a bit.

"Hey, I know your boyfriend"
"Really?" (Within the realm of possibility, as he did work for the university).
"Yeah. My sister knows him"
"Riiiight..." (Less likely, as he's quite antisocial and most of the kids at the school will be the first in their families to go to college, where he might have actually met said sister).
"No, I'm just kidding. I didn't even know if you had a boyfriend." Followed by uproarious laughter.

On the other hand, I'm obviously not the only teacher like this, as B had to explain the whole "not turning in your exam and then claiming the teacher lost it because you totally weren't prepared" routine to my step-mom, a 30 year teaching veteran.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A green thumb

I have a fondness for plants that is somewhat hereditary, and so I cultivate a small potted patio garden. The only issue with this is, while plants can be an inexpensive hobby, their containers are not, so I find myself disturbingly happy when an unliked plant dies, so that I can plant something I've been wanting to grow without the cost of a new pot.

Monday, August 14, 2006

A local introduction

I live in San Diego, but I'm not from here. This isn't uncommon. Even for a California native, though, the city took a bit of time to adjust to.

Coming from a small town where everyone bikes and generally obeys traffic laws, the first thing I noticed was the general lack of driving skills. People drive fast and all talk on their cell phones. Yellow means go, red means go faster so that you can sneak through the light. Left turns from the right turn lane are common. The southbound off-ramp in order to get into PB is always stopped, but somehow that always takes people by surprise. Rain is something so foreign to San Diegans that even the slightest mist causes major traffic accidents. You can't get anywhere without a car, though, so the best defense is to get a big one. My sister, B, unfortunately learned to drive in San Diego, so she has some of the local driving defects, despite being taught properly. B has gotten hit a couple of times, but luckily her pickup truck always wins.

People in San Diego are extremely fashionable, with the exception of all the programmers and academics. Apparently they learn it at a young age, as everywhere you turn, there are all these little girls dressed up just like their very fashionable mommies. The high school down the road was full of skanky sixteen year olds who snort coke off the hood of their Mercedes or Escalade. Honest. At least at the university the academic to skank ratio is more in my favor, so I tend to hide out there.

San Diegans also love their sunglasses, and they wear them all the time. Sun, clouds, (the ever so infrequent) rain, or even inside. This is one habit that has rubbed off on me. I think it's the outdoor malls that spawned this habit. It's usually bright outside, and who wants to constantly be taking their sunglasses off only to have to put them on five minutes later?