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Thursday, September 28, 2006

greetings from san francisco

It is now 3 am but in lieu of a new layout how about some belated pictures from an SF trip a few weekends ago? I just spent the last several hours discussing French/American politics/college systems with a couple of my classmates and this is about all my brain can handle right now.

Me and my momma.

The family.

wingless was still breathing at 3:05 AM - 0 comments

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

life or something like it

The redesign is still on its way...I even made a new banner, I swear! It's just that things have been a bit, um, hectic around here lately. And tonight I have reverted back into full college student mode and am having a healthy dinner of chips and guacamole dip. And a pear! In my defense I was attempting to heat up a bowl of chicken noodle soup when I discovered (after opening the can) that our microwave doesn't appear to be working.

All of the sudden I have a bunch of homework, two midterms next week and I'm flying down to LA this weekend and I have about a million bills to pay, an insurance company to yell at and God only knows what else. Being a grad student is slightly less fun than being a college student because inevitably, as you get older, you have more crap to worry about. I wish I could pawn this stuff off on someone else but I guess should be responsible, or something.

wingless was still breathing at 9:04 PM - 0 comments

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

incompetent people should be run over...twice for good measure

Due to the hugeness of the dormitory parking lot, the fact that there are often no spots whatsover left in it despite the hugeness, the relentless brightness of the sun here and the complete lack of large trees...I got myself a disabled placard on Monday. People look at me like "What the hell do YOU need that for." But I swear I need it! Sun + lack of sleep + parking lot with no trees = painful knees.

So anyway, I got my disabled placard yesterday and promptly and gleefully parked in the 20 minute green zone right outside of my dormitory entrance. Because I can. Because it says so on the little paper they gave me, "You may park in/on green zones without restrictions to time limits." And from the DMV website: "Once you have a valid DP Placard, DP plates, or DV plates you may park: Next to a green curb (green curbs indicate limited time parking) for as long as you wish. There is no time limit with a DP placard, DP license plates, or DV license plates."

See. It's all very clear. Written in black and white and everything.

So just imagine how annoyed I was when I went to my car after class today and found a $15 ticket saying that I was parked for too long in a green zone. UM. Hello? Do they not give these guys a little training seminar or something that teaches them the rules and regulations of parking...since they are, you know, parking enforcement officers? I went to the Public Safety Office and asked them if this would be happening again and they said that they "hope not." Hmph.

I'm thinking if this happens again tomorrow I will make a photocopy of the paper the DMV gave me and I will highlight the portion about the green zone and tape it to my windshield. Take THAT officer #22 you incompetent jerk!

wingless was still breathing at 6:16 PM - 0 comments

Sunday, September 17, 2006

so i lied

I'm still planning on redesigning, but I'm waiting on my sister to send me some pictures we took in SF over the weekend. I swear!

I am also still trying to figure out how to get myself more into writing on this thing without making it a mechanical task, something I just try to get out of the way. It's not like I'm not constantly walking around thinking, "I should blog that" (because sad as it sounds, I actually am) it's just that usually once I sit down to write my mind goes blank and I end up typing out something that sounds mildly retarded...and then I delete it. And nothing gets posted.

There are several reasons this blog is somewhat important to me. For one, it has led to good things happening in my life. I never thought it would, but, in fact, it has. Like being where I am now (in grad school). Another reason is because it's like a record of my life. I like being able to browse through my old archives and remember things that I had totally forgotten. And then of course there's the fact that writing on a regular basis should improve my writing skills. Which I feel have tanked as of late. I'm out of practice.

See? I've lost my train of thought. I need to fix this.

wingless was still breathing at 9:34 PM - 0 comments

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

a time to be born

I don't know if I'm just hormonal or what, but I'm feeling very dissatisfied with this whole blog. The last time I redesigned was about two and a half years ago when I was a senior in college and Eric had just dumped me. I think I came home from my spur of the moment trip to NYC with Helen and decided that I would be okay, that I would find my wings, and I'd be fine without him.

Now? The line doesn't seem to make as much sense. I am happy. I've found someone who makes me excited about the future. Before I met Paul I felt like I didn't care if I woke up tomorrow, I wasn't interested in the least in tomorrow. If being able to look forward to the future isn't "finding my wings" I really don't know what is. Sure, I still have my moments of apathy and depression but somehow, he is always able to pull me out of it. I never really understood the expression "better half" until I met him.

So anyway, the point is, this layout needs to go. And I need to re-evaluate exactly what this blog is and what my writing should be. My life is changing and I think this website should reflect those changes. So we'll see what happens. I should be back shortly.

wingless was still breathing at 9:43 AM - 3 comments

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

when having no man around the house sucks

The toilet is clogged =(
wingless was still breathing at 6:56 PM - 1 comments


I'm still congested and it's still dry here. But I have my voice back so there's some kind of noticeable improvement. I realized that due to the attack of the mucus of death I haven't really written about the school yet or how I am adjusting to being here.

The campus is beautiful but the sun? Is way too big and bright. And I think this is the furthest away I've ever lived from both the mountains and the ocean. The man-made lake on campus is nice but just doesn't cut it in terms of a large body of water.

The students here are great, my French classmates (I mostly hang out with the French ones because all the Americans live off campus) are a riot and make me laugh nonstop when I am with them. The people around town are amazing too, such a nice change from the pricks of Los Angeles. City of angels my ass. (Okay, I'm bitter).

It's also very quiet up north in general. No constant sirens wailing. No horns blaring. No trucks backing up and beeping loudly. No mariachi music or rap music or crazy Hare Krishna yodeling floating in through my windows. It's peaceful. It's green. Everything seems to move slower here, even time.

It's a little bit of culture shock, but I think I'm liking it. My roommates turned out to be pretty fabulous too. Quiet, clean and very nice.

My only complaints would be the sun, the heat and the dry. Oh and the biiiig parking lot that always seems to be full.

wingless was still breathing at 10:38 AM - 0 comments

Monday, September 11, 2006

In memory of Dorothy Mauro

Five years ago, America and the world watched in horror as the most devastating attacks against the United States of America took the lives of 2,996 innocent men and women as they went about their daily lives.

Five years ago today. Sometimes it still feels like yesterday.

Somehow words seem inadequate, incapable of capturing the horror and the pain that must still be fresh to those who lost loved ones - and even to those of us who did not. Although I did not personally know anyone who died in the attacks I still feel a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes every time I hear the stories of those who died at the hands of barbarous murderers filled with a senseless hatred for America. I am sure I am not the only one. The emotions evoked by the memory of the attacks are still very raw and fresh in my mind.

And this is how I believe it should always be. Because as I watched the towers crumble, the destruction at the Pentagon and the wreckage of Flight 93, I promised myself, as many Americans did that day, that I would never forget. I intend to keep my promise to remember and honor those who fell.

I have no doubt that on that day, September 11, 2001, we lost some of the best people that America has to offer. And I believe we owe it to them to remember how they died and why we must never allow such a thing to happen again.

Today, on the 5th anniversary of the attacks, I would like to take a moment to remember one of the victims in particular, Dorothy Mauro. I did not know her in life, but she has been on my mind frequently these past few weeks. She was fifty-five years old when her life was tragically ended too soon as she went about her work as a state tax clerk in one of the WTC buildings. She was a beloved sister (survived by her twin Margaret), an aunt and a friend to many. The many existing online tribute sites dedicated to her memory made it very clear to me that she was a woman who understood the importance of living each day to the fullest. The messages left by those who knew and loved her speak to the fact that her death continues to leave a painful void in their lives.

Her sister Margaret was kind enough to respond to an email I wrote to her and told me a bit more about Dorothy's life. I learned that Dorothy was born in Brooklyn and that she loved New York City and never wanted to move away from the city she was born in. Dorothy was a woman who loved to read, to go to the movies and was passionate about theatre. She enjoyed visiting museums and historical sites and she was extremely well traveled, having been all over Europe to places like Italy, Spain, England, Belgium, Ireland and Budapest. She was a woman who was very close to her twin sister and spoke with her at least five times a day. I'm sure there are no better words that I can find to describe her than the ones written by her twin Margaret:

"She was my best friend, my confidant, and my travel companion...She was a loving, compassionate person. She was fun to be with and anyone who was fortunate to count her as a friend were very lucky, Dorothy was loyal and a true friend."

I really want to thank Margaret for sharing her thoughts about Dorothy with me, for allowing me the privilege of a small window into the life of someone who seems to have been so full of, well, life. Everything I've learned about Dorothy confirms my belief that we lost some truly incredible people on that tragic day.

When I first decided to join this tribute project, I wasn't exactly sure what it was that made me feel so strongly about doing it. After all this, I realize how important it is that each and every victim be recognized by each of us as much more than just another victim. These were our fellow Americans. They had lives, they loved, and they were loved, are loved and will always be missed. The events of September 11, 2001 affected me deeply but I think now it has reached a new level. It has become much more personal in a way. And I think this is what we as a country need, we need it to be personal so that we won't be able to forget - the way the family members and friends will never forget for as long as they live. It's hard to be eloquent, it's hard for me to find the right words, but I hope I'm making some kind of sense...

I guess in closing, I just want to send out my deepest sympathy, especially to Margaret Mauro, but also to all of the family members and friends of the victims of 9-11. I hope that you can take some tiny measure of comfort in knowing that your fellow Americans mourn with you and that many of us will keep our promise to never, ever forget.

Here are some pictures sent to me by Margaret Mauro.

Dorothy Mauro

Dorothy and Margaret

Memory quilt (made by Margaret Mauro)

To read more of the 2996 tributes please go here.

wingless was still breathing at 11:59 PM - 0 comments

we will never forget

So the day is almost over. I was running around all day and everything was so...normal. It felt so wrong. I felt like I wanted to scream. I felt like I shouldn't have been in class discussing things like capital budgeting. I felt like I shouldn't have been walking around WalMart and FoodMaxx like it was just another day. There were no discussions. There was no moment of silence. There was no remembrance.

Except for one little gesture that made me feel like maybe the whole world hasn't forgotten. On my way back to school from my parents house this morning I went below an overpass and standing above there were two small figures holding signs. One read: United We Stand. The other: We Will Not Forget.

God bless those two people.

The cable has been out all day so other than the blogs I haven't been able to feel any sort of connection or remembrance to 9-11. No one seems to want to talk about it. I guess it's human nature to want to forget something so awful and horrifying that our minds can barely comprehend it.

Last night my mom told me something that made me really angry. She said that during a sermon awhile ago she actually got so upset she felt the need to raise her hand and interrupt it. She said that the pastor kept saying over and over again that we need to forgive and forget about 9-11 and until finally she stood up and said that there's a big difference between forgiving and forgetting. I'm proud of my mom for many reasons but add that to the list. I think people like that pastor are the reason that 9-11 is fading away in so many people's minds...and I think it's wrong.

We promised we'd never forget. And we never should.

wingless was still breathing at 8:40 PM - 1 comments

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

forever young

So despite Death By Mucus, I managed to get out and about tonight and spent a very pleasant evening with some of the French students in my program. And a bunch of other international students. Dinner was cooked by their friend (a guy) from Japan and also present to partake in the international fun was a girl from Germany, a girl from Japan and a girl from Taiwan. I can't say I understood everything that was said tonight but they were definitely a lot of fun and it actually makes me really glad that I decided to dorm here. I felt like an undergrad again meeting all these random, new, cool people. If only I were able to speak instead of croak.

Ah well, maybe tomorrow. I decided to go back to Nyquil (liquid) since it gave me the one blissful uninterrupted seven hour chunk of sleep I've had in a week.

wingless was still breathing at 11:24 PM - 0 comments

nyquil > codeine

So last night I took my cough medicine laced with codeine thinking it would knock me out and I would get maybe 10 or so blissful hours of uninterrupted sleep. HA.

Starting at 2:30 in the morning I woke up every hour, either due to a violent coughing fit or for no reason whatsoever. And so far if the antibiotics are doing anything, I can't tell. I am still hacking up green crap on a regular basis (although interestingly enough what comes out of my nose is generally clear or yellowish) and am still disgustingly congested and still feel like death.

And now I must go and sit through three hours of class. Although somehow I don't think infecting my entire class and possibly the professors on the first day of class is the best way of making a good first impression. Oh well. Maybe they'll quarantine me in my own little corner.

wingless was still breathing at 12:14 PM - 0 comments

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

why i have the best timing ever

I'm alive. Barely. Last Wednesday I started feeling an itch in my throat at night before bed. I paid it no mind and went about life as usual. By Friday night though I was starting to get some sinus involvement and a slight cough. I was still not worried, figured I'd have the weekend to rest up and be all better for the first day of school. Then over the weekend the phlegm started. Green phlegm. Not a good sign. And the congestion? Got worse. Everything just kind of started spiraling out of control from there and now here I am, living far, far away from Paul, my mommy and my army of doctors...with a sinus and throat infection.

Oh did I mention the first day of class is tomorrow? Yup. Best timing ever. I woke up this morning STILL feeling like death so I called Paul at work and asked him to look up a doctor in the area for me and I am now the proud owner of some antibiotics and cough medicine laced with codeine (for bedtime tonight). Oh and some musinex, which I'm pretty sure isn't doing diddly squat.

It was kind of funny how parents were trying to shield their children from me in the pharmacy and at Safeway. I probably would have done the same if I were them.

The best part though? I still had to walk my pathetic self over to the registration building to turn in my reg form. I thought about standing in line at the Financial Aid/Cashier's office but decided that can wait until tomorrow. Or the day after. Or you know, whenever I can actually talk to people without scaring the crap out of them.

It was interesting though, the emotions I went through in the span of a few minutes after waking up this morning. I called Paul and told him I want my mommy. Then I asked him if he thinks this is a sign that I can't make it on my own after all. Of course he said, No. So I started thinking you know what, maybe this is actually the opposite of that. Maybe this is the first obstacle I will overcome to prove to myself that, yes, indeed I can take care of myself. I don't need my mommy or Paul (though it would be nice) and I'm not going to die on my own. Positive thinking.

So rambly. I blame the medication.

wingless was still breathing at 2:01 PM - 0 comments

Friday, September 01, 2006

they must have been drunk when they thought this one up

Apparently the Miller Brewing Company has decided that it's a good idea to take a side on one of the most divisive issues of the day: illegal immigration. And they're for it.

As usual Michelle Malkin puts it best when she says: Live responsibly: Don't drink Miller this Labor Day weekend. Or any weekend.

She also has a list of the rest of Miller's brands, none of which Paul and I ever drink. We prefer Guinness, so I guess we can't do much to hurt Miller's bottom line. Oh well. At least I know none of that $30,000 is ours.

It makes me wonder though, how is it that no one (a marketing expert? something?) at Miller raised their hand during this meeting where they decided this would be a good idea to say, "You know guys, maybe this? Not the brightest idea we've ever had. Somehow I don't think alienating 60% (or more) of the country is going to make selling beers to Americans any easier." Or did they just laugh at and ignore said person? In the words of Carlos Mencia, the folks at Miller are "dee dee dee!"

wingless was still breathing at 2:55 PM - 0 comments

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