January 19, 2005

Re: It's Snowing!!!

Yay! I finally got to try out my new snow boots. Sure, I didn't get to walk very far in them (through a few parking lots, but hey, they felt comfortable and warm that's all I needed to know). Andrew and I had to go out and brave the weather because we needed supplies and dinner for tonight. We went to California Tortilla because we found out through their e-mail list that they were going to be giving out free 4 oz cups of chili with each purchase of an entree tonight. I can personally recommend that you try the fajita burrito and the queso and chips if you've never eaten there before. The good thing about ordering a burrito is that you can get a card stamped each time you buy one and after your seventh you get one free. We're currently up to five :). Well, I'm going to go eat and enjoy.

-- CrystalShiloh @ 09:06 PM

Fireworks Over the Mall

I had no idea that the George W. Bush Self-Congratulatory Committee would be setting off fireworks this evening, but I figured it out after I heard the loud booms, dropped whatever I was doing in the next room, rushed over to the living room picture windows (out of which much of the Mall and monuments can be seen), and I read the words "George W Bush" spelled out in rocket flare. Yay. Four more years of an "unaccountable" Bush. The fireworks were shot off from two distinct points in the district, and for a while, it seemed like they were in synchronization. A couple of them went off rather low and at one point, I saw a plane fly right through. I have to say, I rather enjoyed seeing the sparkly fireworks. I only wished Andrew was here to see them with me. The display lasted what seemed to be a long duration of time and I remember thinking to myself no wonder why Bush needed an outrageous $40 million inauguration budget. And to think, our pompous president will have spent more on his own fanfare than what he felt compelled to contributed to the welfare of the tsunami victims ($35 million). And with all of those men and women fighting his war in Iraq this display seems even more so an egregious action.

-- CrystalShiloh @ 06:54 PM

Extended Weekend

I should mention before anything else that the BeOS machine died last week. Andrew's unfortunate initial conclusion was that the motherboard got fried.

This past weekend was an extended one, for Andrew, at least - I'm still on winter break. Andrew had worked sufficient hours to take Friday off completely. He spent a large portion of his day off stripping the useful parts, which included the hard drive, CD burner/DVD-ROM (he expressed some interest in getting cases for these two components and using them for backup), as well as the memory (which Andrew later unwittingly dropped into the Windows XP box, but I'll get around to discussing that later) from the BeOS machine and with a degree of sadness, tossed the remnants. He decided that he wanted to rearrange the gateway, move the iBook, and a attach a few of the peripherals from the deceased PC to it. When it became clear that wiring would be a nightmare we went and did a little shopping. We started at Target with the intention of getting a strip that would better accomodate all of the bricks and assorted plugs Andrew would have to contend with. I used the opportunity to shop for Andrew's anniversary gifts: a 128MB USB thumb drive, a set of red nesting KitchenAid prep bowls with lids, a white KitchenAid crock for all of his random KitchenAid utensils. Hey, it's what he specifically asked for, lol. As a side note, I've received nothing yet, but the pretty little pink sapphire ring Andrew had picked out for me was ordered on Saturday morning and should be here before the week is out.

After that we went to The Container Store in Clarendon Market Commons for velcro strips and cable turtles. Then, Andrew and I walked across the street to The Cheesecake Factory. Dinner was followed by more fun in the office.

On Saturday, Andrew's friend from work, Roger, came over and we drove out to Maryland. We took a slight detour through the District and many of the roads were closed due to the practice inauguration. There, we visited the Baltimore Aquarium (finally - it was only one of my goals from over the previous summer, lol.) We wandered around there a bit and saw the dolphin show. Then, we went over to a nearby Barnes and Noble. It was located in an old industrial building, complete with smokestacks. After picking up yet another book, titled Introducing Semiotics by Paul Cobley and Litza Jansz and ingesting some caffeinated drinks we returned home. The afternoon had to be abbreviated because both Andrew and I were low on sleep.

On Sunday we just read the paper and continued dicking around in the office.

Monday was a federal holiday (Martin Luther King day) and so Andrew had the day off from work. We did some more running around (in other words, shopping). We started out at the IKEA in Woodbridge. Initially, we just wanted to make some returns and pick up another bamboo blind, this one to go in my room, but I ended up also getting sheer curtains to go with it. Andrew found green curtains (he has a bamboo blind already hanging in his room) that coordinated with his relatively new green bedding, also from IKEA. Then we went to The Home Depot for a network cable, a molly guard, and a 15' roll of grey Corduct. It took going to four different Targets to find what we were looking for there (have I mentioned that I hate the phrase "inventory may vary from store to store?"); fortunately, they were all on the way back to Arlington and anyway, Andrew and I enjoyed the adventure. The hard-to-find item was a black chinese 9-drawer wood cabinet (that ended up in the livingroom), from Target's new Global Bazaar line, but along the way we found that and much more: a tea set (to adorn the top of the cabinet), a lantern, a small chest, and another Buddha. Then on to Pentagon City Mall to stop in Victoria's Secret and Champs for a pair of pink and black New Balance sneakers that I wanted to get before school starts. They were running a special, so Andrew ended up with a grey pair, too.

I should mention here that the Windows XP machine died not long after having had what turned out to be bad RAM, in turn, dropped into it.

I had a doctor's appointment scheduled for Tuesday and Andrew took off from work early to accompany me to it, being the good boyfriend, err fiance, that he is. My blood pressure was great and everything else seemed to check out okay. I expressed some concern about being a little pudgy, but my doctor assured me that I'm tall and thin and if anything, a little underweight. I don't know if I'm entirely convinced :(. After that, still more fun in the office. Again with the stripping of useful parts (this time only the hard drive and CD burner/DVD-ROM were scavenged) and Andrew laid the Windows XP machine to rest. (Knights, half-heartedly: Yeay!)

It was an incredibly looooong weekend, and I'm now exhausted and my shoulders hurt from having just revisited it.

-- CrystalShiloh @ 02:32 PM

It's Snowing!!!

When I woke up, around about 11:00 a.m., I pulled back the curtains and it was snowing!!! I'm so happy :). According to Andrew we'll see somewhere between 1-2". I've been waiting all season for this. I'm not really sure why, as in previous winters I found the snow more annoying than anything, but it's probably related to the new snow boots that have been sitting idle in my closet for the last few months.

Snow Boots.jpg
The snow boots are at the bottom, just left of center.

And in case you thought that might be a glimpse at *all* of the shoes I own, there's actually more, carefully stowed away on the side of my coffee table facing my Hello Kitty TV:

More Shoes.jpg
(I'm a female, ergo I love shoes...)

Not bad, I just counted and I have 31 pairs in total.

I have yet to have my coffee. I suppose I should go fix myself some. Mmm, caffeinated Millstone Hazelnut Cream with powdered Coffee-Mate fat-free hazelnut creamer and two packets of Splenda. In case you cared to know, that's how I take my coffee.

-- CrystalShiloh @ 11:56 AM

January 13, 2005

Sixth Year Anniversary

The fifteenth of this month will mark my sixth anniversary with Andrew. He won't give me any sort of indication of what gift I might get for him, other than, "you." Well, I know what *I* would like... something that sparkles :). Well, that *and* Andrew, but since I already have him...

I caught Andrew looking at this pink sapphire ring earlier this week. I definitely approve.

The matching earrings are nice, too, but I'm probably pushing my luck already ;).

We'll likely go out to dinner that night, but I have no clue where. Maybe Andrew will surprise me... hint, hint.

-- CrystalShiloh @ 01:41 PM

The Village

This movie was about as thrilling as I remember my Western Civilization class being. The plot was potentially interesting, but the acting did little to support that. According to Andrew, it just felt, well, "uninspired."

-- CrystalShiloh @ 02:03 AM

Freaky Fog

The fog is so thick tonight that the monuments that are usually plainly visible from my living room windows are completely obliterated. Andrew made the comment earlier, when we went out to pick up a couple of cartons of Chinese food and a movie (M. Night Shyamalan's The Village, a film which I have low expectations for as it recieved a whopping 44% on RottenTomatoes.com), that the atmosphere reminded him of the video game Silent Hill. I told him that all that was missing was the sounds of radio static. Andrew said that he was preparing to knock over one of the meters and use it to fend off all of the zombies who were no doubt lurking in the eerie fog. Unfortunately, we didn't encounter any of them. Guess they know better than to screw with the likes of us; after all, we sucessfully played through both Silent Hill 2 and 3.

-- CrystalShiloh @ 12:01 AM

January 12, 2005

New Vocabulary

Once again, The Washington Post published its yearly contest in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for various words. And the winners were as follows:

  1. Coffee (n.), a person who is coughed upon.
  2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.
  3. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.
  4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.
  5. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.
  6. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absent-mindedly answer the door in your nightgown.
  7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.
  8. Gargoyle (n.), an olive-flavored mouthwash.
  9. Flatulence (n.) the emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.
  10. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.
  11. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.
  12. Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified demeanor assumed by a proctologist immediately before he examines you.
  13. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddish expressions.
  14. Pokemon (n), a Jamaican proctologist.
  15. Frisbeetarianism (n), the belief that when you die your Soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck there.
  16. Circumvent (n.), the opening in the front of boxer shorts.

The Washington Post's Style Invitational once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. The following were this year's winners:

  1. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
  2. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.
  3. Giraffiti (n): Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.
  4. Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.
  5. Inoculatte (v): To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
  6. Hipatitis (n): Terminal coolness.
  7. Osteopornosis (n): A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)
  8. Karmageddon (n): It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.
  9. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you. I'm sure that Andrew can relate to this one.
  10. Glibido (v): All talk and no action.
  11. Dopeler effect (n): The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
  12. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.
  13. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.
  14. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a grub in the fruit you're eating.

And the pick of the paper (drumroll please):

Ignoranus (n): A person who's both stupid and an asshole. Now that's one I can use!

As a "budding linguist," as Dr. Chamberlain, the Chair of Modern and Classical Languages as well as my former LING 326: General Linguistics instructor, sometimes refers to me as, I enjoyed seeing this. Language creativity is certainly a beauteous thing.

-- CrystalShiloh @ 07:34 PM

Fall Final Grades and Spring Schedule

Last semester began with me enrolled in four classes for a total of 13 credit hours: SPAN 209: Intensive Intermediate Spanish (worth a total of six credit hours because it is effectively two classes crammed all into one, GEOL 101: Introductory Geology I (3 credits plus the 1 credit hour accompanying lab), and ENGL 492: Science Fiction (3 credits) which I ultimately ended up dropping because I was feeling overwhelmed and something had to go. That left me with three classes and a total of 10 credits.

My final grades for fall semester were as follows:
GEOL 101: Introductory Geology (includes my lab grade which was a 96%) A+
SPAN 209: Intensive Intermediate Spanish A+
My cumulative GPA rests at 3.97.

As for the upcoming semester, I am currently enrolled in four classes for a total of 10 credits: ENGL 302: Advanced Composition (3 credits), ENGL 491: Traditional Arts, Traditional Artists (a special topics folklore course that will fill my need for a non-canonical literature course quite nicely and it's worth 3 credits), and GEOL 102: Introductory Geology II (3 credits plus the 1 credit hour for the accompanying lab.) However, I will be taking five classes and a total of 13 credits, counting the class that I will need to force-add after the semester officially starts, SPAN 301: Grammar and Syntax. I have already spoken with Mark Goldin, the professor of the class and Associate Chair of the Spanish Dept. and he says that this will be no problem for me and I'm confident that it won't be.

I can't believe that there are just 12 days left until the semester starts. I'd better get a move on with everything I'd like to do while I still have time.

-- CrystalShiloh @ 07:04 PM

January 11, 2005

Hello again world!

Hmmm... Where does one pick up where they've left off? Meanwhile I've been stuck pondering that very question seven months have passed by. I don't know that I can recall everything that has happened during the lapse, in sequential order even, actually I rather doubt that I can, but I guess as noteworthy past events become relevant to what is currently going on I'll get around to addressing them. That sounds like a plan to me.

I'm off from school at the moment... winter break. I've been using my downtime to accomplish a lot of reading. I picked up The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck because it has been for a long time a book I wished to read and I also thought it would keep my brain engaged. My first taste of it was an excerpt in a children's book filled with short stories that I seem to recall that my mother had given me one Christmas - it made an impression on me and I never forgot about it. It just took me a while to get around to reading it in it's entirety. Something interesting to note is that the author was the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1938. After having completed The Good Earth, I found myself in the mood for yet another vampire book. Since Charlaine Harris's next Sookie Stackhouse book won't be out until May, I decided I would explore what other options were available to me. I ran across Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison (which, appropriately enough had a recommendation from Charlaine Harris right there on the cover) at Barnes and Noble. This was Harrison's debut novel and in my humble opinion, it was reasonably entertaining.

At the moment, I am rotating through four books (in order of closest to completion): Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, Reflexology - A Basic Guide by Beryl Crane, and The Velveteen Principles - A Guide to Becoming Real by Toni Raiten-D'Antonio. I selected Brave New World for more along the lines of brain stimulation, the reflexology book because it is a passing interest of mine (I *love* receiving foot massages and it would certainly be interesting to have a better idea of what areas of the body correspond to the places on my foot that feel best when stimulated), and The Velveteen Principles is a book that found it's way to me this past Christmas, via my dear aunt Lil (who happens to be very much in-tune with me and my spiritual needs.) I am also more than half-way through "mental_floss", a magazine that caught my attention while I was creating a wishlist for myself on Amazon.com. I'm not quite as impressed as I thought I might be with it.

And it is because of all of this reading I have been occupying myself with that my sleep cycle is all out of whack. Lately, I have been going to bed somewhere between the hours of three and four a.m. and crawling out of bed sometime after noon. I decided to put a end to that once and for all (since my schedule needs to be back to normal before classes start back up on the 24th) by not going to sleep this morning. This all translates to the fact that Andrew is going to have quite the time with editing this entry :0. Good thing he loves me, or else I'm sure he wouldn't do it. [Andrew: Of course I love you.]

-- CrystalShiloh @ 03:30 PM