Friday, April 28, 2006

Aloe drink

A few weeks ago I discovered culinary heaven. A combination farmer's market/Mexican/Korean grocery store in the same building as a cell phone store, Caribbean restaurant and sword merchant. (The Newark Farmer's Market - a horribly deceiving name.) The prices there are so cheap, that I have a hard time spending enough money there. They have a $10 minimum on credit card purchases (I'll ignore the fact that that's illegal for now), so I wandered trying to find things to buy. $1.00 for five pounds of potatoes, $.25 bananas . . . it doesn't really add up. I get to the register, and my total is $9.21. "Can't I just use a card for that?," I ask. Nope, the non-English-speaking checker tells me - I figure it would just be easier to buy something else than to argue with her over 80 cents. So I reach for the closest thing. This.

Aloe drink. See the floaties? Should I drink this? Ingredients: Pure water, aloe vera gel, fructose, honey, cirteic acid, calcium lactate, vitamin c, stabilizer, natural flavoring content of aloe vere gel - 10%. (All those ingredients are spelled like they are on the bottle - aloe vere gel? Cirteic acid? There's no such thing. I checked.) If they couldn't even spell the ingredients correctly, should I drink something that has the potential to kill me? I did see someone else buy it. The outcome is still pending.

Lest you think I'm slacking off on my knitting, I'm not. I'm just writing a paper this week. Accompanied by an almost finished pair of socks.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Wild Kingdom

Remember that kid all through grade school that refused to take anything seriously, made fun of the teachers, and was a general nuisance but sometimes funny? Today I realized that I'm TOTALLY that kid. So far in my very serious art history classes I've managed to bring up mullets, Paris Hilton, art historian celebrity death match, and make fun of prominent art historians. Today, a very well-respected art historian gave a lecture, and my professor said, "You all should really go, I hear he's giving public talks less and less." To which I responded, "Well I heard that's because he's really old and he's going to die at any moment." Everyone gave a forced chuckle, slightly embarrassed that I dared to state the obvious. (It was true, by the way, he could have died right there giving the lecture. Which would have made my joke slightly less funny.)

Last weekend I visited the Philadelphia Zoo, which could have been titled "Stroller Fest 2006." Seriously, they should rent massive strollers to non-parents just for self-defensive purposes. One lady had TRIPLETS in a stroller. How was I supposed to see the elephants with that kind of competition? On a "ranger sarah" note, the conditions for these animals was really horrible. I'm perfectly happy living in a glass enclosure with a feces-and-lettuce covered tile floor, but that type of living condition shouldn't be imposed on monkeys. And bats in a cage??? While I did like seeing some giant bats, something with a 3-foot wingspan should not be IN A CAGE. And then there's the fact that the zoo's food service is sponsored by Nathan's Famous hot dogs, meaning that a person with vegetarian tendencies gets to choose between french fries or a soft pretzel. I was halfway tempted to jump the fence and retrieve a piece of crunchy lettuce from the gorilla enclosure. As my brother said, "This zoo not only likes to show animals, it likes to eat them too!" Here's some highlights:

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Toads and Quilts

From the way I complain about my colleagues stoic nature, (I can't believe I said colleagues) you wouldn't know that I'm currently taking the BEST CLASS EVER. This would be Museum Education and Interpretation, in which graduate students are encouraged to act like preschoolers and get muddy. A few weeks ago we took a field trip to the Delaware Art Museum where we created cardboard houses using massive amounts of glitter, and today I hung out with 3rd graders at the Delaware Nature Society. We caught a toad! It looked like this:

I didn't take this picture, of course, but I did get to hold a squirmy toad. (I snatched him up when one kid shouted "Hey guys I found a snake I found a snake!!" (It was a black stick.) Of course after holding him, I dropped him back into the marsh (the toad, not the kid), and wiped my hands off on my pants. In the distance I heard an 8-year-old boy say "EWW I can't believe I touched a toad! I'm totally using my hand sanitizer when I get back to the bus!" Then I took my hand and laughing maniacally, rubbed it all over his face. (All right, I didn't, but the story would have been SO much funnier that way.)

In a completely different vein of events, this weekend I interviewed quilters for an awesome project, Quilters' S.O.S. (Save Our Stories.) There are currently about 500 interviews online of all types of quilters, all who have amazing stories. I interviewed Eileen Lauterborn and Julia Pfaff, both who put me to shame with their creativity. Then I rubbed a toad on their faces. Ok FINE, but can you tell I really want to do that to somebody? I was inspired enough to finally finish my group quilt, started last summer at Carlsbad. A group of us crafty girls got together and swapped squares, so I can't take credibility for all of them. Here's my quilt out on a lovely afternoon walk:

Monday, April 10, 2006

The Internet

I spent 20 hours a week scanning and photoshopping slides of everything from Italian Renaissance architecture to 1960s Playboy shots. Well, at least I'm supposed to . . . when I can't look at another column, I frequently wander off into the internet. If you, too, find yourself with the need to procrastinate, here are some particularly fun sites I've found.
If you're not on your home computer, you can type in musical artists that you like, and the website will give you suggestions for music you might also like. You can also do the same thing to make a personalized radio station! (You will have to download a small player.) You can also browse other people's radio stations, such as my current favorite "Female Fronted Metal." (Seriously.) If you have iTunes, you can download a plug-in that will track the music you listen to the most, and every week the site will give you recommendations based on what you like. It's great!

The Superficial
Celebrity gossip! This blog is obviously written by a man, but it is hilarious. Check out the video of puppets reenacting the Naomi Campbell assistant-beating scandal. Awesome.

Magazine Price Search
I just bought a subscription to "OK" magazine (can you tell I'm into celebrity gossip right now?) for $4.07. That's right, 51 issues for 4 bucks. I also got a subscription to Vegetarian Times (which has really good recipes, by the way) for $2.99. I like to browse around, drool over magazines I want, and then realize that I don't have time to read the four I already get.

What Should I Read Next?
This is sort of like, but for books. To be honest, it gave me some really weird suggestions - but the best thing to do is make a list of your favorite books. Then, the site will compare your list with other people's, and you can look at those which have the most matches. At the very least, it will remind you of things you really wanted to read but forgot about.

Even if you're not a "craftster," this site has so much on it it can keep you occupied for hours. Basically, people post pictures of things they've made; there are sections on painting, interior design, ceramics, bookmaking, knitting, crocheting, quilting, cross stitching, clothing, gardening. . . and a lot more.

In other news . . . Spring in Delaware is not a happy gradual change with birds chirping and squirrels dancing around. It's a battle. One day, it will be 70 degrees. The next, you'll wake up, put on a t-shirt, and walk outside into snow. Then the next you'll be walking around Philadelphia in 39-degree pouring rain, and a bus will splash you like you're in a movie. This is stupid. I'm moving to New Mexico.

I won't be working in Arizona this summer, because the museum would not hire me for the second time. Although, now I won't have to make $75 a week and live in a chicken coop and go outside to the bathroom. It's for the best.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Spring Break = Party

[Edited to add: Pictures of Baltimore, Williamsburg, and Philadephia are now up on webshots - click the link on the sidebar.]

You know me, I'm always looking for an opportunity to get drink large amounts of alcohol, hookup with hot guys and possibly dance on a table. That's why I spent my Spring Break visiting Colonial Williamsburg and historic sites in Baltimore and Philadelphia. J flew in from the desert, and for our first adventure we spied on colonial look-alikes in the Burg. If I can't be knitting, I might as well watch other people knit. And if I can stand in horse poop while doing it, than all the better!The next adventure involved touring a Coast Guard ship in Baltimore, the Taney, as well as a submarine (the Torsk) and a "light ship," which I discovered is a boat/lighthouse hybrid, and not just a small, lightweight ship as I thought. There was also some Cheesecake eating - brownie sundae cheesecake, which is even better than it sounds. If I ate any type of "extruded" meat, I would have been all over this guy: Finally, we took the train to "Filthadelphia," as someone likes to call it (although seriously, there was a couch in the giant piles of trash alongside the train tracks.) After battling massive amounts of schoolkids who were almost all taller than me, and some tourists who had apparently never been through a metal detector before, we got in to see this:Yes, that's the back of the Liberty Bell. No one ever gives this side justice. If you had a broken lamp in your house, would you display it broken side out, even if it was rung on George Washington's birthday? I guess the crack is endearing, but I'm all for the underdog. We also visited Kosciusko National Memorial, staffed by a man who hates his job, and possibly the worst NPS site I've ever been to. I went through the whole site, which is a tiny house, and I really have no idea who Kosciusko is or what he did. At least I get to check it off on my National Park map.

Now its back to school once more - only about 6 weeks remain, and I'll have half a master's! If only society valued partial degrees.

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