Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I have a lot of really good friends right now. I think of this because I just realized how many people, in the past month and even just this week, have made a point of telling me where there are good insects for me to collect. Some have even caught insects for me. For example:

  • One friend kept two hemiptera in her freezer for me
  • One of my housemates trapped a hemipteran in a Burger King cup, and put that in the freezer for me.
  • My other housemate caught a gypsy moth caterpillar for me, and once, despite the fact that he was running late, open the door to yell up to me that there was an interesting fly near the front door
  • The other day, when I let a friend into my house, she said, "Sarah, Sarah, there's a really cool bug on this pumpkin on your porch!" and waited, while I was not being a good hostess, for me to catch and put in the freezer the aforementioned bug.
Additionally, my housemates are ridiculously tolerant of all of the containers of insects that are in our freezer.

That's love, there. (A friend and I have been having an ongoing conversation about the great amount of love in our lives, from friends and family, which puts in perspective how not important having a bf or gf is. Additionally, my friends are so awesome that the bar has been raised considerably for anyone who wants to date me. Now I have to think things like, "Would he ever participate in an insect collection? Would he spend an hour sticking a coat hanger into my car when I lock myself out of it?")

I blog about nothing in particular, just a short update as I procrastinate spread out the arduous task of finishing an entomology lab write-up.

So, a weird thing that happened today. I got randomly sick. I left the house this morning ridiculously - and I mean ridiculously - happy. I think I bounced a little bit on Jones Ave. I felt great! Awake - pre coffee! - and ready to start my day. It just seemed like it would be a good day. Despite some of the stressful things hanging over my head, I felt okay. Maybe because I was spending eight hours at work, and I really love my job right now. I can also immerse myself in this job, no matter what's going on outside. No matter how much work I have to do or haven't done that was already due, no matter how much chaos or drama there may be in the rest of my life, when I am at work, I put as much focus as I want into examining the writing, conversation, problems, and successes of the students I tutor, and in coming up with tasks or words for them.

That's enough being sappy about my job.

Oh, I also really like my co-workers at the Writing Center.

Anyway, around Hour Six or so I started to feel a little tired, but I thought this was just from a stressful week and from tutoring for six hours. Within a half hour, I went from feeling a tiny bit achey and tired to hot, red-faced, dizzy, and very tired and achey. So weird!

And I have all these plans for the rest of the week, so I hope this cold or bug or whatever goes away as quickly as it came on. I'm going to load up on echinacea, hibiscus tea, and garlic, and yes, I will take real medicine, too.

There was a positive surprise today. I got a paycheck! I didn't realize it was payday!

Monday, October 29, 2007


That is an interrobang. Isn't that cool? I want to find a way to incorporate this, regularly, into my writing.

Monday, October 22, 2007


Between moments like that which produced yesterday morning's happy post, I've been experiencing this growing anxiety and sense of lack of control over aspects of my life over which I ought to have control. Things like responsibilities.
These sorts of things tend to spiral into utter Crazy; some sort of minor academic setback, like a bad grade on a quiz (or imagined bad grade on a quiz not even taken--because that is what we overachieving crazies do) will eventually become a giant internal struggle over What I Am Doing With My Life, Anyway; Why am I studying science? or Why did I study literature before? and...the worst...What The Hell Am I Going To Do When I Graduate In 2009? I have to remind myself - that's TWO THOUSAND NINE. A LONG WAY OFF. But then I reassure my inner crazy that there are indeed reasons to worry! Because in order to prepare for that faraway graduation date - well, first I have to go through the whole self-shaming process of feeling bad for being in school for so long in the first place - I have to, of course, do something meaningful professionally with my summer break - and if that's too faraway to worry about now, what about winter break? Surely it's not too soon to worry about January! And clearly I am too old to spend my winter break merely tooling around the house or catching up with friends!
So I skipped my afternoon class. Instead of sitting in the back feeling awful for not having the assignment to turn in, and then making To Do Lists while not paying attention to the lecture, I decided to take a mental health two hours. It seems that the Universe smiled on my decision; I came home to a letter from CC in the mailbox. While I was sitting on the front step to read it, I noticed a HUGE interesting insect on the sidewalk and just happened to have a container to catch it in! Surely this makes up for skipping entomology class - working on my collection!
I also, to feel more like I have some control over my own stuff, to feel reined in, finally sat down and made an Excel Budget Spreadsheet, which includes the amount currently in my bank accounts and things like projected earnings for 10/22-11/22 and projected expenses. And then I made a list of rules, because even though Projected Earnings - Projected Expenses yields a positive value, I don't want to waste that money. I want to save it! So I made a list, at the bottom of my Excel sheet which now looks way too scattered for such an orderly program as Excel, consisting of things like "No buying clothes until 11/15" and "No buying wine until there's nothing left on the rack." Meaning my wine, not waiting for my roommates to drink theirs which is sharing the rack with mine. I realize the potential danger of rule #2...that I will just drink all the wine really quickly and buy more. OH WELL. It's my budget, my rules - there's no one to tell me my rules are stupid, etc.
I started this budget in September, then forgot to update it for a week, then decided to put it off because one-time-only expenses like textbooks and 3M hooks would throw off the budget and just depress me and make me not want to continue. Also, I didn't get paid until last week - about a month after I expected to get paid. Oh hell, maybe I'll wait till November 1st. Then I realized - November would bring Thanksgiving. December brings Christmas. There's always an excuse. And that is why my budget, rather than being a normal monthly budget, is cockamamie and runs from the 22nd of the month to the 22nd of the following month.
In summary, I knew I had to do something, because I was starting to get the crazy feeling I had in 2006 - when I made a set of New Year's Resolutions called Get Out Of My Own Way (GOMOW) 2006. (It included things like going out and buying one pair of jeans to wear until I lost weight, instead of being annoyed that my clothes were one size too small.) Anyway, I vacillated between remembering how happy I am in my cute little house with my cute circle of friends (though it is smaller than it was during my first undergrad degree years) and my interesting classes and my awesome job - my simple happy life where it's OK to not be rich and where baking soda is a perfectly acceptable hygienic product - and feeling crazy, like I needed to spend every minute socializing and buying things and OMG I HAVE WORK TO DO AAAHHHH!!!
It was only a matter of time before I started thinking about cutting all my hair off. (See November 2005 and the short hair days.)
But now I have a Quick Launch icon for my budget, right next to Firefox, and feel much better.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Little Jesus in Velvet Pants

There are many things to be happy about right now.

I have an outdoors, nature-related activity planned for today which involves fall colors and a camera!!!!! Maybe even hiking!!!!! And the weather is perfect for it!!!!!

Yesterday I went apple and raspberry picking with three friends (my roommate, my former roommate, and her new roommate, interestingly enough) and went to a diner and then went to Target - all the things I love to do! Including bumming around the house drinking tea!


Then [my roommate, AZPlants] and I made and canned several jars of jam. I discovered that my canner works really well on the stove in this apartment - the water boils quickly, nothing tips, nothing falls over spilling boiling water and boiling jam all over the kitchen and its inhabitants...always a good thing.

We successfully made and canned jam without anyone getting severely burnt or injured, without setting the house on fire, and without even spilling something. The jam even turned out nicely! We managed to take on a rather involved domestic endeavour without any sort of Anne-Shirley-like disasters.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find my digital camera, so there are no pictures of this miraculous occurrence.

I invented a jam recipe, which I'll probably make again, and then photograph, and then post. It was Lemon-Jalapeno jam. Really quick and easy Really involved, but worth all that hard work - especially for the lovely people to whom I will be bringing this jam as a host(ess) gift.