Monday, March 31, 2008

in which my life became complete.

so. on saturday night i met ira glass.

no big deal right? WRONG! its a very big deal! it was the best night of my life. i'm not going to go into detail because my good friend jess (who was with me and shares my obsession with This American Life and Mr. Glass) wrote a really great blog about it. the link to her blog is over on the left, i suggest you read that post because it really sums up the night. i will, however, comment on meeting him. he was sooooo nice, even when we were going all fan-girl on him. he was a complete gentleman, and was so nice when jess was trying to get a clear picture of us. the absolute BEST part is when after the first or second try he LOOKED DOWN AT ME AND LAUGHED! AND I LAUGHED TOO! it is a moment i will never forget. he signed my book that i bought, that i was planning on getting this summer, The New Kings of Nonfiction. he does the introduction and its a collection of non-fiction stories. also, its for charity, 826CHI, which is a literacy program in Chicago. i'm copying jess and posting a pic of my signed book:

and here's the final picture of me and ira:

it was a really good night. the actual program was amazing as well, he talked about radio and it was just perfect. i love radio a lot, and especially this show. i suggest you listen to it if you have not already.

pretty much nothing will ever get jess and i down ever again. we just have to think about the best night ever. haha.

anyway, this week looks pretty good, although i do have a chem exam on friday. but rachel is coming up to visit me! i'm so excited! today was pretty crappy though, it basically rained all day.

i also got new glasses. they are purple and i like them a lot. here is what i look like now:

so yeah, that is my wonderful life as of right now. what makes it even more wonderful is that there is only 30 days left of this semester! woooo! that makes me quite happy. that is all i have to share! have a good week everybody!

Friday, March 21, 2008

argh! snow!

uuuuuugh! it's snowing! in late march! i thought we were done with this! i thought we had spring upon us! although, this whole week has been pretty crappy. but ugh!

it's really annoying because i was supposed to drive matt and i home tonight. but i really don't think it's a good idea. its snowing pretty heavily and its wet and heavy and icy. i hate driving at high speeds in the snow. so unfortunately i had to call matt and tell him that we're not going home tonight. maybe he can get another ride home. i feel bad, but i really don't want to get in an accident or die.

i'm hoping to be able to get home tomorrow to get my new glasses and other stuff. jagjdlkaglkjl. <-- that is my frustration. grr. stupid michigan!

also, this is coming at you from work again. usually on fridays i don't really do anything besides read.

OH! this day did start off good though. i didn't think it was going to be when i woke up, and it was good for a while, but now its kind of bad again. but the good thing that happened was earlier this week i got my paper back from the one class i have to write papers for and i got a 3.75 out of 4.0! yes! and then i got my midterm back today and i got 89 out of 90! so that means i got a 4.0 on my midterm! YES! i was really worried that i didn't do very well, but i did! wooo! and i also got some really sweet shirts from Threadless! triple yes!

i started reading Stardust by Neil Gaiman yesterday. it's really good so far. so, i am going to get back to that. but i just wanted to vent my frustrations about the snow on my blog.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

ok, so i'm taking this class, a university requirement for non-majors, thats about global interdependence. my prof is really cool, he's pakistani and he knows a lot about economics and global economy and politics. he's a really nice person, and you can tell he feels passionately about the subject. the material is a little boring to me, but ya know, thats just how it goes.

anyway, we just were talking about poverty and hunger in the last couple lectures. it was really depressing and hard to actually want to pay attention because its so depressing. i know there are a lot (how about that understatement?) of people in the world that suffer from poverty and hunger for many different reasons. it's hard to sit in a classroom, in a university that i pay thousands of dollars for, and try to connect, when i know that i really can't do anything.

well, i am wrong. i can do something, and i did. i heard about this site Kiva a couple months ago, thinking that it was a such a good idea. but then i went on with my life. then, as i was watching Brotherhood 2.0, that i mentioned in my last blog, they talked about it. throughout the project they have been talking about change and what people can do to decrease world suck.

this was just what i needed to try to feel like i've helped someone. so i went to the site, and it's incredibly easy, you click "lend", and then you have your pick of specific entrepreneurs from around the world. basically its a loan system. you lend a minimum of $25, and eventually that person will pay you back, so really, it doesn't cost anything. these people work really hard to bring themselves out of poverty. so that's what i've done. i lent to a woman in Tanzania who has a food market. kiva will send me updates on how my loan has helped. i'm pretty excited.

now, i know that poverty and hunger will probably never be solved or gotten rid of completely. i guess you could add this to Stuff White People Like, but i think that this site is a really great way to decrease world suck. and if world suck is being decreased, its a better place for us all. so if you feel like lending, i highly recommend it.

ETA: here's a really great video from one of the brothers, Hank, that pretty much sums up how i feel about microfinancing.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

this post is brought to you by my boredom at the desk.

that's right, i'm at work right now. the lovely phillips desk, that i will be spending the next 8 hours and 45 minutes at. i usually work 2-6, then 9-12 every other saturday, but i picked up a shift for a fellow deskie to work 6-9, hence the 10 hour shift. now, at the time i thought it would be a good idea, sometimes i like sitting behind the desk for long periods of time. it helps me get homework and studying done because i don't have the distractions that i do in my room (actually i do, the internet, but thats besides the point). and i have ecology homework due on wednesday and i thought that i would be able to use this ample time to do it. for the homework we have to download this program called Vortex, which calculates the probability of extinction of a species, really light stuff you see. well, it can't be downloaded on a mac (of course) so i thought "ok, i'll use the computer at work, seeing as it's a PC".

i just tried downloading it, and it doesn't run for some reason. lovely. probably because this is basically a bare-bones computer, used only for emailing residents about loaner keys and packages and as a calculator.

so that means i'll have to go to a computer lab and work on it tomorrow. oh well. i have some reading i need to catch up on anyway.

but anyway, the first week back from spring break was alright, pretty slow though. day light savings really screwed me up, so i was pretty tired for the first half of the week. but i am enjoying that it is 7:30 at night and still light out. i love that. and i'm loving all the sunshine we are having, yesterday i didn't wear my coat to class! it was fantastic! it seemed like everyone was outside playing basketball or soccer or whatever and it was really nice.

but with on the onset of spring comes my annual bit of allergies. i have been feeling really itchy lately, which might not have anything to do with allergies, but its annoying and it kind of hurts. but my nose has been a little sniffly and i've been sneezing a lot. yay for spring!

i've also found this whole big...thing? on youtube where people are keeping in touch with each other and communicating with each other through daily videos. i first somehow found fiveawesomeguys, which are five guys who each have a day of the week and talk about random things and assign challenges to the other guys. its pretty funny, and pretty nerdy. haha. i also found brotherhood 2.0, where two brothers communicate text free for one year. they did this last year, but i am watching them all because they are hilarious and they also do challenges and other interesting things. it makes me want to do something like this, if i had a macbook with the camera built in and more video editing skills. but i don't, unfortunately. maybe someday.

so my goal today at work is to be nicer to people who come to the desk. i think of myself as a nice person, but i don't think that always comes across at the desk. for whatever reason. i think it has something to do with the people who come to the desk, i don't think they are always that nice. or when i'm sitting here reading, and someone comes up to the desk, and i don't see them at first and they just stand there. and stand there, until i look up and they scare me. i don't see why people can't be like "hello" or "excuse me?". but i also think i just assume that everyone that comes up to the desk is going to be mean, or not really mean, but not nice. if that makes sense. i don't know, but my goal is to be nice and try to be as helpful as i can. let's hope i can accomplish that.

i watched the movie Waitress last night. i liked it, it was really cute. it made me want to make my yarn shop a pie shop too. i like pie, and i would love to become really good at making pies. help me think of a name for my pie/yarn shop. something that would use both things, i usually like store names that are like other phrases. like with coffeeshops, "common grounds", etc. i think those are pretty cute. i wouldn't mind a really weird, obscure name either, some reference to something only i would know about and that i can laugh at whenever i see it. i also like the idea of a cupcake/yarn shop. so choose your favorite baked good/yarn shop and think of a name.

in knitting news, i ordered this $50 worth of yarn mystery pack, it was on sale so i really got it for $25. pretty sweet deal. i got some pretty good stuff. it was a good mix. i got a skein of kid mohair yarn, its really pretty and fluffy and white. and i started Wisp from Knitty. i got to the second round of lace when i realized that i was down one stitch. i can't figure out where i didn't increase. and its really hard to rip it out. so i think that i will just increase somewhere to bring the stitch count back up to where it's supposed to be.

ok, well there you have it. another long blog, hmm. i guess when i blog i really blog. i go large. so until next time.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

40 shillings for your melon, oh yeah.

soooo, there is not much to update. spring break is almost at its end, which i am pretty sad about. i've gotten quite used to filling my days with whatever i fancy. it makes me want summer even more. knowing i have to go back to my dorm room, and actually go to class and take exams makes me kind of anxious. i always think that everything is going to be worse than it is. and it usually turns out not so bad. but gah, i hate that anxiety about stuff.

i drove back up to E.L. on monday night, after worrying all day about where i was going to park my car. it was really messed up because they don't have the buses running. and parking regulations were still in effect, meaning i couldn't park in front of my dorm without a permit. also i couldn't park in the commuter lot where i usually park because its miles away and i would have no way to get back. so it was pretty dumb. i ended up just parking on a near by street for tuesday and leaving early on wednesday. working was a waste of my life, i saw two people during my first shift and NO ONE during my second shift. luckily our sups let those who were working over break watch movies during their shift, so thats what i did. i watched most of the second season of the US version of The Office.

it was kind of nice being in the dorm with no one else. it was nice and quiet and i didn't have to listen to the girl next door scream at her mother! so yeah that was nice.

anyway i came back home on wednesday and have been enjoying my time home even though its going too fast. i hung out with rachel last night for a bit at this coffee shop that neither of us had been to before. its called Dino's and its really nice (ali, its where Ali Baba's used to be if you didn't already know that). i think i like it better than Rocketstar now. Rocketstar has changed a lot and now it just seems to me a place to be seen and judged. Dino's seems like a place where all the people who used to hang out at Rocketstar, before all the high school kids invaded, go now or would go. now, Rocketstart hasn't necessarily changed for the bad, its just not where i would want to hang out anymore. i was talking about this with ali, who used to work there, and she made a good point in saying that its given all those high schoolers a place to go and hang out, which i totally agree with. but seeing as i am not in high school anymore, i feel that i should move on.

speaking of high school i went into my alma mater on thursday afternoon to visit my favorite teacher that i missed quite a lot it was really nice to see her. we chatted for a only a few minutes because it was parent-teacher conferences. but we made plans to have coffee tomorrow and i'm really excited. she did a lot for me during high school and shes an amazing teacher and now friend.

walking into my old school i got a little panicky. i think it was walking into a place where i spent 4 years of my life expecting it to be the same but knowing it was going to be different, there were kids everywhere that i had no clue who they were and that was weird. but walking in there makes me that much happier that i am no longer there. that i can walk out and not ever go back unless i really wanted to.

this is getting to be quite the long blog. i apologize if this is not interesting to you, i guess i lied when i said there wasn't much to update, haha. anyway i picked out some new eye glass frames today. they are purple and i like them a lot. my eyes were dilated and it felt pretty weird.

tonight i am hanging out with KT, we're going to go see The Other Boleyn Girl. i'm also going to show her the Mighty Boosh. i am vair excited to show her because i need more boosh fans in my life.

that is the end of this terribly long blog. goodday.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

chimp eden.

there's a show i've been watching on Animal Planet called Escape To Chimp Eden. it's a really great show about a guy, Eugene Cussons, who works to rescue chimps that are being abused by humans all over Africa. chimps in Africa are used for meat and sold as pets, its really sad to see, but reassuring to know there are people like Eugen and the Jane Goodall Institute Chimpanzee Eden that are working to stop this abuse. after the chimps are rescued they are taken to South Africa where the sanctuary is located. Eugene works with the chimps to rehabilitate them to one day be returned to the wild in the best cases. most of these chimps were born and raised in a small cage, too small for their size. they need to learn how to become chimps again. many of these chimps have severe psychological problems and sometimes are distrustful of humans. its really great to see how the chimps learn and form connections with Eugene and the other keepers.

i mention this because i've become increasingly interested in primatology, the study of primates, lately. i've always been interested in behavior, and seeing how ape behavior so closely resembles our behavior and can show us how we may have evolved to where we are now. when i see this type of show, i feel an instant need to be doing this type of thing. i've felt the need to go to Africa for a while now, hopefully i will be able to do study abroad either in Kenya or Uganda next summer. unfortunately conflicts in Kenya make it unlikely that i will be able to go there even in the next year. i would love to be able to go to the sanctuary in South Africa to do the volunteer program, and i would be equally happy to adopt a chimp for a year. i think for my birthday that is what i will ask for.

i was also thinking about doing the Peace Corps after college. i think my degree in zoology would help me be able to work with people to teach them the importance of conserving their environment in Africa or South America or anywhere really. what i really want to do is just travel and try to make a difference, which i realize sounds to cheesy and cliche, but its just what i feel i need to do. i want to work in zoos to try to make them more of a natural area for animals, and try to keep animal populations that are decreasing throughout the world alive, even if it is in a zoo.

i want to do so many things, but i need to just focus on one thing at a time. i need to try to get involved in something, i need to start somewhere. i've been playing with the idea of volunteering at Binder Park Zoo this summer, but i'm not sure if i will have the time to fully commit to it.

well, this is the end of my i-need-to-make-a-change-in-the-world post. now enjoy a picture of Cozy, a chimp at Chimp Eden, he's probably my fave.