Numbers and stuff

You know what's funny/unnecessary/weird?

Our country's (and probably others) fascination with creating statistics to explain the world.

Seriously. We need to come clean.

"Hi, we're America. If something isn't quantifiable, we come with a mathematical equation for it."

"Hi America."

Because as we all know, the only truths in life exist in the sciences. It's in the handbook of life (Sec

Take for instance, consumer confidence. That's a phrase we hear quite often, in fact. As in, "consumer confidence has weakened with the downturn of the economy."

And now this has apparently turned into an English sentence. Don't tell me about the mistakes I'm making, though. Ignorance is bliss.

Say I were to ask, "What's your consumer confidence today?" The first that comes to mind is...

If your answer was "53.1," then your thinking straight. If your answer was, "Uh, pretty good I guess," then you aren't American.

Currently the Consumer Confidence Index is at 47.7. 90 means the economy is doing well.

The really good news is how accurate this number is. Why? Because it's sent randomly to 5,000 households.

That's seems like a good number since there are over 300,000,000 Americans.

Now excuse me while I go and poll my dogs to find out how much they need to outside.



Wait for it.

I know, I just got posting about nothing. Hopefully you took my advice from the beginning and just ignored the post.

Sometimes it just helps to get things out there, okay?!

Anyways, back to why I'm writing for the second time today. (Not that I started telling, but whatever.)

I was reading an article about how experts think Amelia Earhart might have crashed on an deserted island and eventually died there with her navigator.

It was on Yahoo!, so you might have seen it.

The author mentioned that a partial skeleton had been found on the island, and they thought it was only partial because coconut crabs had made off with the rest of it.

This sounds like something that would be on Bones.

I'm thinking, "How big can these crabs be?"
Apparently big enough to eat a small child, or dog, or your head.

That's just sick, in a fascinating, can't-take-your-eyes-off-it kind of way.

Maybe those crabs didn't just make off with the bones, maybe they killed them. I bet it could happen.

Just hit 'ignore'

My current employment is not your typical 9-5 job. Normally I work 4ish hours a day, maybe a little more, maybe a little less depending on the classes I've been assigned.

Today was not one of those days.

I left the house at 8am and didn't return until after 2pm, and there was not a break to be had in between.

I know, you're probably saying, "6 hours, how did you survive?!"

I didn't even get a lunch, people. And I had to walk ALL the way across campus in less than ten minutes. In the pouring rain. This isn't some small institution of higher learning either. And I left my favorite travel mug in one of the classrooms.

Feel sorry yet?

No. Good. I don't really deserve any sympathy. I know my current situation is pretty sweet. That doesn't make this change of pace easy though.

Especially since it's Monday, which I'm sure all of you are well aware of.

In truth, the worst part was not getting a lunch. It made my head cranky (as opposed to the rest of me).

So happy monday!

If your lucky, you ignored this post like the 15 random requests I got on Facebook this weekend.


Love him, love him not.

I'm home alone this weekend.

And by home alone, I mean it's me and the dogs, with my brother making brief appearances when he feels like it.

The parents crossed the state to visit my sister for parent's weekend.

I was actually looking forward to this weekend. After last week's trip across the state, the day o' wedding for my cousin, and a full work week, I was look forward to a relaxing, restful, nothing-planned weekend.

Then a certain rascal showed me who was in charge.
And let me tell you, I'm not the one in charge. Got that message loud and clear last night.

Jackson is our 9-year-old White German Shepard/Yellow Lab who has a bum knee. I think sometimes he plays on our emotions.

Like last night, when he sat whining and whining some more, AT 3AM, because he couldn't hoist his 110 lbs. onto the bed.

Next thing I know, I am sleeping on the daybed in the family room and he is contentedly snoring on the couch.

How my having to be wide awake and get out of a warm, comfortable bed in the middle of the night helped him have a better life, I'll never know.

I do know that I am not feeling particularly rested today.

Jackson, on the other hand, is resting up for tonight.


"You are sitting in a chair, in the sky"

I like to share videos and clips that amuse me. Plus, it allows me to be lazy in my blogging.

Everybody wins.

Today's video is of comedian Louis CK on the Conan Show. It might be old. You might have seen it. I don't know.

Either way, it's hilarious.


The Olden Days

I kind of wish we still lived in the pioneer days.

Not for the long hours, high chance of death, and lack of spices for cooking. Call me crazy, but I can do without those.

Although Little House on the Prairie does make the experience sound rather ideal. It's kind of how reading The Boxcar Children always made me want to be an orphan living with my brothers and sisters in the woods.

For some reason, reading books causes me to throw all caution to the wind. Or all sense of reality. Most likely both.

When I think about, The Oregon Trail computer game was probably much more accurate, what with the broken legs, dehydration, and fjording flooded bodies of water.

Not that it wasn't fun to kill off your people in the game, but I don't think that would work in real life. At least not in terms of survival.

I was actually thinking, in terms of the pioneer days, that it would be really nice to have store accounts.

I could run down the street for my slab of beef and pat of butter, and pay for it later.

The store clerks were always so benevolent (in the books, at least). I wouldn't even have to pay right away. I could wait to fatten up my calf for market or get the harvest in from the fields.

We kind of have "accounts" now, but instead they are "credit cards" or "lines of credit" and the overseers of said accounts are anything but benevolent.

Trust me, I've tried the whole "fattening the calf" line. It doesn't work.

Wouldn't it be nice if it did. Even if I don't have a calf, I do have a medium-size black and white dog that could work in a pinch.


I know I pay taxes.

I get the draw for Canadians to come south and visit. And for the most part, I really don't mind.

Who can blame them for wanting to take advantage of our weak dollar and cheaper gas?!

A few years ago my family bought a car in Canada, back when the dollar was more like Superman instead of the mailman, and saved some ridiculous amount of money.

So really, I don't hold it against Canadians as a whole.

Seriously though, you DON'T own our roads.

It's not that I mind the lost and confused drivers. I mean, sure, they are annoying, but I've been that person driving around Vancouver, so I get it.

But you DO NOT own our roads.

Obviously I'm a little annoyed (just in case you hadn't caught that yet).

Here's the story:
I'm driving home from the east side of the state, having already logged almost five hours and a few hundred miles in the car.

I'm not a slow driver on the freeway, preferring to stay just a MPH or two below ten over. Fast enough to make good time, slow enough to (hopefully) not get a ticket. (It's worked so far.)

I make my move to the left lane, pulling in front of a Canadian with plenty of room to spare. Then ahead I see a cop car and immediately decelerate. I may like to go fast, but I know slower is better when driving by a cop car.

In response, the Canadian flashes his lights at me. Jerkface! So I get over to allow him ahead for his ticket and almost hit a car that was in my blind spot.

Needless to say, the Canadian quickly braked when he spotted the cop car. Ha!

Who pays for the roads and the cops. Not the Canadians, that's for sure.

Just sayin'.


Small Children

Last week I babysat twice, after a decade-long hiatus, for some family friends.

And when I say decade-long, that's pretty much how long it's been, except for a few hours in CO watching a friend's daughter.

Luckily for me (and the kids), last week's adventures turned out to be fairly pain-free.

The toddler went to bed before his parents left both times. He would talk to himself and rustle around, but was otherwise great (and by great, I mean asleep).

The second night, I watched two four-year-olds, one a preschool playmate.

To sum up the experience, I was there to make sure they didn't choke to death and made it into bed safely.

The kids, Pippa and Wes, were pretty much self-sufficient. I washed their hair in the bath and tucked them into bed (after Wes asked me if it was time for bed yet), but was otherwise unnecessary.

True story.

They did guess that I was 35 years old though. Funny how skewed your idea of age is when you are young.

Honestly though, I was just a tad freaked out about sitting. If it wasn't for my inability to say "no," I might not have even done it.

Luckily I won the child lotto and ended up with a great few kids.

That doesn't mean that I plan to make this a regular occurrence though.

But as I told my mom afterward, my current motto in life is "will work for money."


Do I know you?

I one of those people who looks around, stares at people, and is basically a little creepy while strolling around.

Not a lot creepy, but definitely a little.

This issue is compounded when I see someone that I may or may not know.

Unfortunately, it's a reality in my life that I might see someone from my near or distant past.

I know live about 20 minutes from where I spent my middle school/high school years (a.k.a. era of awkwardness).

And I work at the local university.

There are people I might know, or who have friends in common with me, everywhere.

In fact, it happened today.

At first I was just looking around while walking back to the office, but then I thought I might know him. So I stared longer.

Then I realized I knew him. He even nodded at me.

Now I'm thinking, "Do I smile, nod back, wave, stop to talk...I don't know what is most appropriate. AH!"

By the time I had built up this internal frenzy, the moment was over and both the guy and I had continued on our merry ways.

And the awkwardness lives on.



It was one of those mornings. And it was Monday.

I didn't have time to make (or buy) a caffeinated beverage.

I felt groggy and sleep deprived.

There was ice to scrape off my car. It was freaking cold.

I had to detour around a street I usually use. Then I couldn't find parking and ended up in a spot that just barely allowed me to open my door.

I couldn't concentrate at work, staring-off-into-the-abyss type focus.

But then there was an eggnog latte. A little ray of light in an other gloomy morning.


Passport Please?

Crossing the border is an experience that always makes me feel like I've done something wrong. Even if I haven't.

Sunday was no exception.

The way up into Canada involved an hour-long wait, not unexpected as all the Canadians returned home after plundering our stores and gas stations.

On the way back into the States, however, my border guard must have been slightly bored with the lack of traffic at 10 p.m. Here's how the inquisition went:

BG: Where are you from?

Me: Bellingham

BG: Is this your car?

Me: Yes.

BG: What were you doing in Canada?

Me: Meeting a friend for dinner.

BG: How do you know this friend?

Me: From my previous job.

BG: What do you do now?

Me: Work at the University.

BG: Doing what?

Me: I'm a transcriber.

BG: So you take notes.

Me: Something like that.

BG: Where did you eat dinner?

Me: Red Truck Brewing or something or other (Later I realized it was called Dix).

BG: Hmm. (Walks around car) Is your trunk open?

Me: Let me open it.

BG: (Investigates trunk, walks back around) I drink the same kind of milk (reference to the glass milk jug in my trunk).

Me: Really.

BG: Have a nice night.

Me: You too.

[End encounter]

Apparently, I appear to be a drug transporting, car stealing, unemployed woman who happens to drink milk. (Why I couldn't have just said that instead of writing out the long and boring conversation, we'll never know.)

I had an easier time getting back into the states a few years ago when the only identification I had with me was a driver's license.



My Monday turned into a doozy before I knew it.

I ran up to Vancouver yesterday afternoon to visit a friend (more on border crossing later) and not surprisingly, didn't get enough sleep to feel peppy Monday morning.

Who really feels peppy on Mondays anyways?!

Then before I knew it work was piling on top of work.

But don't worry, I'm not going to go off about my job. This time.

Suffice it to say, I worked about 11 hours today when it was all said and done.

I didn't get an application done for some seasonal employment. But I swear I will tomorrow!

Most importantly, though, I squeezed in a martini. How else was I going to survive?



Today I was walking to work behind a woman in work out clothes. She was smoking a cigarette as well.

Somewhat contradictory if you ask me. Not that you did.

Another one that always gets me is people who smoke while on their bicycles.

Except that takes a lot more skill than just plain old walking. I mean, just think of all the things we are (mostly) able to do while walking: chew gum, text, talk, eat, drink.

All with varying degrees of success of course, depending on the person. Me, only semi-successful.

To smoke while riding a bike you have to smoke, you have to pedal, and you only have one hand for steering.

If that's not skill, I don't know what is.

And since I don't smoke and haven't ridden a bike in about 8 years (even if you never forget), I don't think it's something I want to try anytime soon.