April 2008

Almost a week ago we discovered that a young bird couple, clearly insane, had decided to build a nest in one of our front yard trees. On Wednesday the nest (which by the way is awesome and made of twigs, leaves, gum wrappers, an old potato chips bag and random pieces of paper) had four blue-white tiny little eggs inside. Aw. On Saturday I went out to get a picature of said eggs and found this:


Like, OMG, nature!! The baby birdies are pretty hideous. They look like something ate some baby birds and then threw them up half-digested. Aw.

While I was snapping pictures, perched rather precariously on a crappy plastic stool we have, MamaBird came swooping out of nowhere and tried to kill me. Luckily I did not die, which would have been beyond awkward (“so what happened” “she, uh…she fell off a small crappy stool while trying to take pictures of her tree” “ah, one of those”). MamaBird then hung around one of the nearby branches, looking at me like “Bitch, I will CUT you.”

My entire family – but particularly myself, my mom and my dad – have been following our little bird family’s progress a little obsessively. We’ve discovered that this is not, in fact, a broken family – both mom and pop are around. We’ve filled the old fountain up with water. We put a bit of garbage bag over the dead branches over the nest, so as to protect the little birdies from the scorching sun and the rain.

I’m still trying to figure out what would drive any living thing to try and make it out here – I realize I’m not, say, in the inner city or anything, but still – I can’t help but worry about what they’re eating, where they’re finding water, ect.. I feel invested in them now. Bleh. I still need names – if there were three babies and not four I would name them Vera, Chuck and Dave (hat tip the Beatles). Actually, I might do that anyway. The father, of course, is Captain Jack Sparrow (although actually, I have no idea what type of bird this is). Hey, how about one more hideous baby picture for the road*?

tunnels? tulips? trumpets? no, baby birdies!


*when I showed this to my little sister she said, “What the hell? What? What are these tulips?” I don’t know whether I was more amused by the fact that the babies do look more like tulips than birds, or by her genuine distress at being shown a picture of some tulips.


Today, I baked a cake. Well, sorta; it came in one of those boxes. I got to add eggs, oil and water though.

I’ve wanted to get into baking and cooking for a while now. I can trace this to last summer, when my sister and I had ourselves a Buffy marathon and contemplated how well magic worked as a hobby. The collecting of herbs and candles and rocks and magicstuffs – the occasional researching – the mixing and burning and freezing – the mix of intuition, experimentation and set guidelines/rules – what more could you ask of a pastime? Obviously, since I’m not about to start practicing magic unless I thought it would work (and I don’t), I transferred my desire to do all those things into cooking and baking. And, OK, as of yet I haven’t learned to do either – baby steps, people.

It’s the start of summer, now. I’m looking for a job, yes, but I’ve also got a lot more free time on my hands, and hopefully some of that will translate into more baking/cooking. I’ll even take drink-mixing. But I started with a German chocolate cake…out of a box. Hey, this is impressive in my family, anyway.

It was mostly fun, except for that:

– The instructions now just assume that every person out there uses electric egg beaters. Well, THEY DON’T (although, they definitely should; I spent half-a-friggin hour beating and mixing and churning, and it still wasn’t as smooth as I’d like!).

– I accidentally put the cake in while the oven was still preheating. Whoops! As a result, it wasn’t ready at the time indicated and I had to guess at when to take it out. My poor cake has several toothpick stab wounds as a result.

I slathered chocolate cream on’t and as an afterthought dedicated it to my mother (though I’ve blurred out her name), because, well, you can never suck up enough to your mom (especially when you’re staying/still living with her).

Ta-da! Dessert!



Heh. I’m straight, I swear.

Now, a confession: I couldn’t watch all of Gossip Girl last night, though I tried. I did enjoy Trachtenberg’s scenes (and I was right about them loading up on the eye-makeup!), but the b and c plots (which, GG? You really only subplot per episode, thanks) were so eye-rollingly ridiculous I actually preferred A&E’s shameless exploitation of the drug and alcohol addicted (Intervention! Catch it Monday primetimes!).

 So, because I was switching back and forth, I’ll admit I couldn’t quite understand what was going on, so won’t try to recap for fear I’ll look a total idiot. I’ll let these people do it for me (if anyone’s interested):

Wicked Wench has a really well done recap (with link to a fuller recap) here (there’s videos and everything! Way more effort than I could put in, but pretty convenient for anyone interested).

There’s also the TelevisionWithoutPity recaplet (I flove those) here.

Someone on youtube was awesome enough to put up the scenes with Trachtenberg. So…for those of you who want to see her in action but don’t want the pain of actually watching an entire Gossip Girl episode:

And a short little video of Michelle talking about her character and the show. I like her jacket (although, I guess it isn’t really hers).


And damn, do I ever hate spelling that girl’s last name. Still, as a card-carrying member of the still-ridiculously-in-love-with-all-things-BTVS club, this means I’ll have to watch tonight. I try to make it a point to watch things with former cast members. Well, except Torchwood. Or Smallville. Uh, sorry JM…still like you though, in a you-make-me-uncomfortable way. *pets*

The summary says she’ll be playing the part of a girl from the main character’s “bad girl past”. I assume this means we’ll be getting sexed up, trendy, heavy make-up Michelle. If you’ve ever seen that episode of Law and Order, or Mysterious Skin, you’ll know what I mean. Frankly, it’s a really good look on her – although she’s pretty striking anyway you dress her up.


UPDATE: Pictures, video, and links to recaps now up on my “morning after” post.

And with that, I’m finally done with Spring Semester! *lounges around watching Bravo reality TV for several months*

I’m finishing school on a Saturday because I was a horrible, lazy person who waited until the very last minute to finish the paper her professor so generously gave her an blank-check extension on. This paper was due last Thursday, people. Still, for any future professors/teachers out there – never, never say “just turn it in some time next week”. Ever.

Now I’m all kinds of guilt because when I emailed it to him, he replied very curtly. *is intimidated*. Why yes, I do need to be unhealthily coddled to feel comfortable around authority figures. How did you ever guess?

Anyway, it’s near midnight and I’m ded tired (although, it is from waking up extra-early to work on late paper, so I feel good about this). I’m going to go…hit the hay. Also, the hell? Everything is sounding sexual to me lately.

On that note, good night. (very good night. Oh, damn it!)

I had a strange and dreamlike morning, wherein I mindlessly scrambled my way through the rest of the lab assignments, studied for the Stats final, took said final, and ran into my Honors prof and didn’t quite explain why my paper had not been emailed yet. I also think there was breakfast, somewhere. This was all before 10:30, people; I’m 85% confident that I was asleep the whole time (by which I mean, ,if you tested this repeatedly, you would have found me REMing 85% of the time. Or something. This isn’t an interval so it doesn’t even work (goddamn silly statistics!)).

And then I stumble (literally) outside and glance down at the time to see it’s 10:23. The next bus leaves at 10:24 (as a sidenote, when you have the metro schedule in your area memorized? It may be time to reevaluate your life). So I ran and ran and flailed and made it! Yay? Anyway, as I toss my stuff on the nearest chair and start rooting around for my wallet the driver is all, “D’you have a pass?”

To which I airily replied, “No, I’m getting cash.”


Then when I go to pay he tells me, “You really should’ve just said you had a pass.”

See, I didn’t realize that was an option. Damn my intrinsically honest nature! I glance around at the other passengers and can see that, yes, I am the only person who paid to be here. Ah well. God knows the the public transport around here could use the money. Although, with my luck it all actually ends up going into bombs and bullets for Iraq, all the better to blow a hole in someone. And kill them.

…Damn, that turned gloomy fast.


Well, I just got my took the final and got my paper back for Psychology of Condescending Hippiness and Organic Fruits. The test went surprisingly well, and the paper got an A and the weirdest commentary as she handed it back. Something along the lines of, “Hmm. It was…good. Have you taken Research Methods yet? [I haven’t]. Well. It was…good. You…you followed directions.” I still have no idea whether I should take this positively or not.

During the requisite pre-test cram session, the final itself and afterwards while discussing the course with someone, I found myself thinking about the class, and why I despised it so. I thought perhaps it was the PowerPoint notes – maybe I’m old-school and think the only way to properly learn is pure oral lecture and Q&A. It would certainly make sense for me to think so – the classes where I’ve learned the most and hardest (Development, High School AP Bio, ect.) have all employed that style. Is there something about having to listen that helps push the learning process along, makes you go the extra mile? But…my favorite class this semester (bar Honors, of course) has been Personality, where we have…PowerPoint notes. PowerPoint notes that are hosted online, as if to say “Pay attention to the lecture? You don’t even have to come to class!” Which throws my forced-to-work theory out the window.

But I know I learned more in Personality than in Condescending Hippiness. Maybe it’s subject matter? Ok, makes sense; if I find it interesting and fun, I’m obviously going to pay more attention, even enjoy reading texts and listening in class. Learning is inevitable.

But wait: the dread Statistics. In no world are you going to be able to conclude that I in any way enjoy stats; but fuck, do I ever learn. I learn so hard I can actually feel my brain shifting and groaning and rearranging itself to accommodate this new information that I’ll (hopefully, as I don’t want to ever re-learn this stuff ever again) remember forever, like the alphabet song. And then there was Intro to Creative Writing. I like writing creatively. I like reading creatively-written things; but I can assure you, I learned absolutely nothing in that class. I mean, things were taught, but somehow it was all I could manage to hold on to the things I already knew about creative writing, and I just left it at that.

Of course, Stats Professor is teh wonderful. The Russian accent, the incredulous you-don’t-know-this-already? teaching style, the snark – it’s no wonder I learn in his class – his personality and humour pull me towards the material like a moth to the…well, you get it. I have to learn! How can I not listen to anything this man says? It’s the professor, not the class. And my Personality prof; she has style and reminds me of myself, so obviously I liked her immediately. But now we’re back to Development, as taught by Professor Subtly Misogynistic, where I learned a hell of a lot more than in Bio Lab – and we all know how in love I am with that particular TA (and, despite it being just a lab, there was surprisingly much to learn, though I never did bother.

My point is, I guess: picking a good class is a total crapshoot. You may love the professor, but the class itself is utterly worthless, or you’re OK with the material but can barely restrain your “Good God woman, shut UP!” when the prof opens her ridiculous mouth.

Or, you know, they both suck – which is really the norm hereabouts, anyway. The joys of attending a mediocre school.

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