Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Not for the faint of stomach

***Edit: I just saw that Krystal from This Time Tomorrow linked to my blog in her post today.  I turned beet red when I realized that anyone who visits my site as a result of that will see the following post first but what're you gonna do? ***



Pop Quiz:
What do the following have in common?
My pillows, blankets and bed
My clothes
My research papers for work
My special dinner plate
My work notebook
My brother's book I was borrowing

Answer: They all were defecated upon by my dad's dog.  And that was just MY stuff.  Dad got it worse. 

I was going for an early bedtime yesterday when it all hit the fan (pun intended) and needless to say, rest did not come easily (nor in nearly enough quantity).   Consequently my day was RIDDLED with stupid mistakes but my favorite of all was this one:
I took my boss's paycheck..... (with her name on the envelope)
from her mailbox... (in my defense, that's where my checks used to get put)
walked down to the bank... (still clueless)
opened the envelope... (missed her name on the check as well)
wrote down the amount on a deposit slip.... (really should have realized at this point)
signed it... (OOoooops)
and handed it to the teller (I'd LOVE to say I noticed my error at this point but... that would be a lie).


I know I have NOTHING to complain about in comparison to Autumn's day or what Chelsea is going through, so let's not call this complaining.  Let's call it entertaining you guys.

Sleep, you and I have a rendezvous tonight.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Monday Eye Candy

Here are a few things that made me smile and I hope will make your Monday just a teensy bit better. :)

(all pictures from weheartit)

Apparently this was the best inside joke ever.

What a great idea for decorating your computer!

This is what soil scientists do for fun (my stepdad knows the dude who filmed this).

If anyone wants to make this for me for my birthday, I'd be so stoked!

Anything fun you guys are looking forward to?  I'm excited to go back up to my mom's property waaaaayyyy up north in No-Latte-Land (eek!).
Hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Giver

I'm a proud member of Charlotte and Katie's book club and our first reading was The Giver by Lois Lowry.

***Spoiler alert if you've never read The Giver***
While this was my third reading of The Giver (but neither of the other times were for school!), I enjoyed it the most this time around.  It was very hard to know where to even BEGIN with a discussion of it...  It seems far too vast and also, I feel like a lot of people have already put their two-cents in so I'm going to focus on just three things.

1) NEW REVELATIONS: One question Charlotte posed was: If you have read this book before, what struck you as something new?  What viewpoints have changed from then to now?
Um, everything? I think the two previous times I read it my thought process was something like, "Phew! Lesson learned.  Choices are good.  The more the better.  I'm glad my society isn't like that and never will be."  THIS time around I made the connection (finally) between Jonas's society and the eternal safety vs. choice decisions we do make everyday.  Two topics that stuck out as especially relevant were:
A) Family units.  Our society is currently locked in a struggle debating whether or not we can impose what a family unit should be comprised of (**cough cough** prop 8).
B) Food/Health.  There's been a lot of talk lately of making some types of unhealthy food illegal to sell in schools.  Should people's eating habits and health in general be their choice or the governments?

There are many, many other controversial and relevant issues (euthanasia, eugenics, assisted-suicide, abortion, promiscuity) but to go into all of them would comprise a body of text larger than The Giver itself.


2) UTOPIAN? I read some articles on the aftermath of this book.  Somewhere the question was raised about how much of this society Lois Lowry created she advocates herself.  At first, that sounded crazy... Isn't the point that she's making that Jonas's world was BAD?  But then I realized for the premise to work, for the message to hit home, she needed to create at first glance, a seemingly utopian place... which, of course, required defining her (or maybe what she perceives as society's) ideal.  

3) LINGERING QUESTIONS: Besides the biggie (DID Jonas and Gabe die?), I was left wondering a few other questions.....  Why were the memories limited by distance like walkie-talkies?  If The Giver was so lonely and was allowed to visit other settlements, why didn't he hang out with other Givers?  How did The Giver know Rosemary was his daughter (which leads to the question of how the birthmothers are impregnated).  Why could loose memories affect the society but ones directly given by Jonas couldn't (remember when he tried to pass on the memory of elephants to his sister and father)?

Can't wait to read other people's thoughts on this! Happy Friday!
(photo by my dad)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Blogging is SO weird

Well, it finally happened.  Today, I met someone from the blog world.  I knew this day was coming, I just always thought it'd be on my terms.



Let me back up for a minute to a dream I had a few weeks ago.  In it, I found some sort of shimmery portal that led me into a house.  I knew it was someone else's house and was unsure if I was supposed to stay or not.  Soon, a few other people stepped through the same portal into the room with me and I recognized them from blog-land.   It turned out we were in the house of a girl we all followed online.  The group of us were very tentative and while she was a little surprised to see us, she quickly composed herself and said we were welcome to hang out, free to explore her house and follow her around, but that she had stuff she needed to get done and so she was gonna get to that.  We all watched her, saw how she lived for a day, chatted amongst ourselves and eventually stepped back through the portal to our respective homes.  Upon waking, I immediately thought, "Oh my GOSH.  Did I just DREAM ABOUT BLOGGING?  Isn't that really bad?"  I thought I'd never tell anyone but I ended up mentioning the dream to my mom who wisely pointed out that it was just a poetic version of what we do when we post.  We invite total strangers into our lives, to observe us, witness our lives.... We keep going about our day-to-day rituals but in the back of our minds, we know that they're there.


So, back to today: I was driving to work (which was weird in itself as I usually take the train) and while stopped at a red light, I saw Krystal from This Time Tomorrow crossing the street in front of me.  I was faced with two choices...
(1) be a total creeper or
(2) always wonder what could have happened.

If you know me, you understand that it was a no-brainer decision.....

I totally yelled at her from my car.

She totally yelled back.  

It took me a minute to be polite and offer her a ride.  To my surprise, she took me up on it but it was only a block or so to her bus stop.  Just enough time to mumble something about knowing she lived in the city, but not realizing it was the same as MY city.  What incoherent me was trying to say was that I had read on her blog that she lived in San Francisco but I didn't realize it was the San Francisco in THIS universe.   Before that moment, it felt like she lived in the San Francisco of some parallel world.  Before that moment, it felt like she was a fictional character living in a fictional San Francisco.

Anyways (from my brief encounter) she seemed exactly like I expected she'd be from reading her blog... friendly, down-to-earth and of course, fashionable.

It was the most bizarre feeling all day when I thought back to the experience.  Imagine how weird it was for her too!

I don't want this to be a super long post, so I'm going to just list some of the other thoughts I've had:
1) I have more girl friends in blog-land than I've ever had in my real life.... Is 'real' the right word? Maybe 'tangible' is better.  Most of my tangible friends are guys but, in fact, I don't even have a single guy-blog-friend.
2) Raise your hand if you thought blogs were for narcissists crazies and NEVER thought you'd have one (my hand is raised).  That's not to say I don't realize that I AM a narcissist but I wouldn't say to a crazy extent.  That seems like a loaded thought for another post sometime.
3) Having a blog has inspired me to have more adventures.  Pathetic? Maybe.  But I had more adventures so I count it as a win.
4) I wanted tell Krystal that my fashion sense was inspired by her blog (which it is) but couldn't because of course today (of all days), I was dressed in jeans, a spaghetti strap and a hoodie.  I was afraid she'd look me up and down and wonder where all the inspiration went (though now I know she wouldn't- she's really nice!)
5) I'm WAAAAYYY too excited for Emery's new baby... though TECHNICALLY I knew Emery in person before I started following her blog.  In fact, she was my gateway into blogging.  But still... more excited than I probably should be.

Has anyone else met anyone from blog-world?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

My Job

I love my job.
I love it because my coworkers think it's totally normal to send me pictures from my recent brain scan (see this post for the actual brain).

Hmm... I look a lot more like the male members of my family than I thought (especially the bald ones)...

I love it because a normal, passing conversation in the hall goes like this:
Coworker: Hey Rachael, what's your head size?
Me: Medium, 57 cm.
Coworker: Cool, thanks. See you later.

I love it because my coworkers compliment me on my well-defined fovea (see below... those are my retinas... aren't they lovely?!)

I love it because I get to play dress up to test our experimental results...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sea of Fog

Sorry for the absence of posting... I recently lost a friend and writing about anything else happening in my life before... 'paying tribute' for lack of a better phrase, seemed trivial.  And putting this out there is really hard to do.  Part of me wants to shove my emotions down and never tell anyone (because then they'll know, and they'll ask and I'll have to face it)... while the other part of me wants to write down every insignificant memory of Ryan, pour it all out here so there's some permanent, tangible (as if the internet is tangible) trace of him left.
   
Ryan notoriously hated pictures of himself so I was sure I didn't have any but then I remembered one particular incident.  When we used to walk to class in the mornings, Ryan would always make me stop and turn around at the top of the hill.  He loved the Santa Cruz skyline- especially in the morning, especially with the fog.  I would grudgingly humor him, all the while hopping from one foot to the other, anxious to get to class.  He repeatedly asked me to bring my camera and take a picture of it (as if he KNEW I would only fully appreciate the sight when I had a photo of it).  I agreed on the condition he'd let me take a photo of him.  I don't remember if he actually did let me take a picture of his face that day, but I now understand that this photograph IS a picture of him.

I miss you Ryan.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Traveling Weekend

Here is my weekend, in photos....
Before heading to the city, biggest little loaded up on sugar and both girlies found evidence of a knitting bandit.


Then mom and I put on our tourist hats to show the littles a quintessential San Francisco day....

Charlotte (of The Daily Snapshot) suggested the Fog City Diner and it was so yummy!  It's definitely a San Francisco landmark (and, I found out later, was even in the movie So I Married An Axe Murderer!  

I love this photo because of each face.  Mom has a classic parent-digging-out-money look.  The vendor is obviously stoked to receive said money.  Littlest-little has a 'thanks moooooom' expression.
 
Then we went to Pier 39... of course!

More sugar!

The littles were getting real exhausted at this point (I kid you not, the photo below was taken as bigger little was saying, "Raise your hand if you want to go home and take a nap!"  So we drove down Lombard Street, across the Golden Gate Bridge and then home again.



The very next day, Bruthar and I got up early for our day trip to San Luis Obispo!  The purpose of the whole trip was to give pops a ride home from Paso Robles but we decided to drive the extra hour roundtrip to see our old stomping ground.

The weather was perfect driving weather during the trip, then changed to perfect walk-around weather when we rolled into town.

The entire time en route, I was drooling over the thought of a Firestone's veggie sammich but the line was SO LONG (hmm... Sunday... around noon?  DUH!), it would've eaten up (har har) all our exploring time so we settled for The Natural Cafe.

Then we hit up some various landmarks... Boo Boo Records, the gum alleyway, Bali's yogurt and I finally found the giant sandal (it's moved to three locations since I first spotted -and fell in love with- it).



Then as we were picking up my dad in Paso Robles, I saw this guy who clearly needed to be documented.  They were having some sort of fair and he was exploiting the parking.

Did you guys do anything fun over the weekend?