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the hazards of urban living
March 29, 2005

It’s not that the Catholics are bad people, per say. And it’s not like I hate them or anything like that. It’s just that when Sunday rolls around (or Wednesday night, or lent, or whenever else they feel like getting together and doing whatever they do), I’m afraid of leaving my house for lack of parking within the 4-block radius of the cathedral. I’m not the only resident in my building, nor is my building the only residential habitat on the block. And perhaps the cathedral was around before my house was (after careful research, it has been found that my current residence (originally a brothel) was built and completed in 1879, whereas the cathedral wasn’t finished until 1921 (construction began in 1916) – take that). I still don’t think that gives all of the Catholics parking rightaways on my street, alley, or lawn, nor the need to look at me strangely and/or sneer at me while I’m out on my front porch in my bathrobe smoking a cigarette, watching them all go by. It’s almost enough to make me turn back into a 15-year old surly youth.

Anyhow, that’s all rather petty and I’ll stop talking about that. Now.

So today I noticed that the rain was weakening a bit, so I went outside to enjoy some patches of blue sky. As I was relishing the sunshine, I turned my head to look directly above me to postulate the reasoning behind the drops still falling on me, and to my surprise, one of these water drops went directly into my eye. Something like this happening is rather strange, and indeed, is probably the weirdest thing that’s happened to me in a while. To go back and think about the event, I remember looking up at a cloud, and seeing something coming towards me, then blinking furiously from the sting of impact. It was all quite surreal, I assure you.

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Lump-free gravy, please
March 28, 2005

After finding out that most of the B’s clients have actually seen this site at one time or another and very well may or may not actually read it on a somewhat regular basis, I am rather spooked. I’m thinking I may need an anono-blog to be able to write about the things I actually want to write about and get away with it.

In other news, yesterday was Easter. Ding dong, don’t care – being the wannabe jew that I am, I watched the Catholics scurry by and attempt to find parking by my house. Yessiree, the Catholics had a full day yesterday, but refrained parking in my spot, mostly because I was still firmly parked there. Instead of hurrying to mass, I did what every other non-Christian person does on a Sunday – played The Sims 2 for about 5 hours before going to the B’s mom’s house for Family-Time Dinner.

The Easterday Family-Time Dinner was held as most Family-Time dinners are held – an hour late, with me helping to finish up whatever cooking duties need to be finished up. I really don’t mind doing some of the cooking duties, as I enjoy cooking immensely, but I find it hard to object when someone asks me to implement what I consider to be a questionable cooking idea in his or her own kitchen. Therefore, I just ride along with it, and usually it turns out fine, and I don't have to worry about being a scapegoat, and nobody really cares about lumps in their gravy when they're too busy eating. No guilt here. Have I mentioned I’m not Catholic?

Also exciting about the Family-Time Dinner: I get to see the B's Grandma! Since I don't get to see my own Grandmother very often at all, the B's Grandma is my surrogate. The only problem is that she has a bit of an issue with dementia. I'm pretty used to this, as I see her quite often, but she has recently lost half of her dentures, and keeps forgetting it. Therefore, a lot of dinner-time last night was spent with me reminding Grandma that she really doesn't want to attempt to eat some corn on the cob. This happened at rather frequent intervals: about once every 10 minutes she would reach for the corn, and I would have to explain again why she doesn't want some corn, and wouldn't she rather have some more mashed potatoes instead?

In other-other news, we celebrated Purim on Thursday night and on Saturday, skipping the main event of Purim itself in the name of work and tiredness. Saturday was spent scurrying around attempting to get some things done during the day, then cooking for a total of 5½ hours, only to have the hamantasch explode and the stuffed cabbage turn out wonderfully (thank you to amychan, who enjoyed dinner with us and took some food home!). Some things that one must remember when attempting to deal with Jewish recipes (which hold true for every recipe I’ve ever made out of one of my many many Jewish cookbooks or recipes online):

  1. Most recipes are for serving 10+ people.
  2. Do not, in any way, attempt to halve these recipes. They won’t turn out if you do so.
  3. If there is need to double a recipe, this will turn out fine. Just make sure you have access to 2 ovens.
  4. It is highly suggested that you have a KitchenAid Professional 600 Stand Mixer (in Nickel Pearl, with all of the optional accessories). This is actually quite imperative.

As a quick aside, I have been working on increasing my greed. The wedding registries have been started at Williams-Sonoma.com and at homedepot.com. Those of you who know my last name can start picking out all of the things you’ll be giving me for reaching such a momentous event in my life. I suggest you (and I do mean you) start saving now.

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Obviously out of my mind
March 18, 2005

Do you ever have one of those issues where you’re at work, sitting in front of your computer, and you have your left leg tucked underneath you, and you’re working, so you’re kind of zoned out not thinking about anything else, when suddenly a reminder pops up on your screen saying that you’ve got to hustle to a meeting that starts now, and you freak a little bit, because you don’t want to be late and look like a lameass, and you swivel to get your notebook and pen (always being prepared, because that’s how you are), and you swivel towards the opening of your cube, stand quickly from your position, and fall directly over into your cube wall, making your computer shake and all of the things atop your monitor fall over, and realize that you can’t feel your entire left leg not because it’s asleep but because it’s hating you for having to deal with your butt for too long?

I didn’t think so.

Please see: stress = stupidity, below.

The sufferings of an addled mind
March 17, 2005

The amount of not-quite-subconscious stress I’ve been experiencing lately has fried my brain and has indeed forced me to become dumb. Case in point:

Plane to Charles de Gaulle, 17th February: Pull out the iPod on the last leg of the trip to get some tune-age in before passing out. iPod is dead.
Lyon: after charging the battery up the previous night, and having it work as an alarm the same morning, the iPod is dead again at night. I start to get annoyed.
Train from Grenoble to Strasbourg, pre camera-mishap: Same thing.
Paris: Again.
Plane(s) from Charles de Gaulle to Boise: Too sick to worry about it.
Miscellaneous days between then and now: iPod dead at random times, most likely when I want to be using it.
After dealing with this for so long, I finally figure out that it is obviously a battery problem, and start the process to get it replaced. At this point, however, I notice a strange occurrence: once in a while, when I get the iPod out, it is playing music – music no one is listening to. Phantom music, even. The iPod has been on hold this whole time. The iPod is possessed. I now realize that most likely the issue is not the battery but the ghost inside my iPod that really really wants to listen to my playlists.

Fast-forward to today, when I’m looking on the apple website to see if I can find anyone else that is having the same kind of issues (with ghosts in their iPods). Indeed, there are a smattering of victims about – I read their stories, so close to my heart. I read the suggestions others have posted – one of which is to check the alarm settings on the iPod to see if possibly an alarm was turned on that was never turned off. I do so.

I melt into a tiny little puddle below my desk, sick and hot with humiliation.

Hello, my name is Devlyn, and I work in IT.

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March 9, 2005

I happened to be out at the Idaho State Tax Commission site, trying to figure out where my money is, when I came across a highly useful (read: lucrative) tool. I then spent the next hour looking up everyone I know and their parents to see if I could get some kind of finders’ fee, because there’s nothing at all under my name.

Other than wasting time, I actually have been rather busy. With friends here from out of town, and attempting to get things done around the house before the B comes home, my days have been full.

Out of sheer desperation, I have joined eDiets. Since I’ve been back from France, I got into the ugly groove of eating well during the day (at work), then totally stuffing my face when I get home, most likely, in front of the computer (or while staring at the kitchen island, listlessly). I missed not having someone (my personal trainer) around to yell at me if I didn’t eat right, or suggest new things in my meal planning that may help satiate certain taste needs I have. So far (read: for the past 12 hours), it’s been working great, though I did spend a lot more at the grocery store than I normally do. The amount of food they want me to eat is insane – I should definitely not have any issues with hunger on this “diet”.

Also in the news, my longtime gym, 24 Hour Fitness, decided to close all of its doors in Boise last month. This was extremely sucky, as I had the cheapest membership around, and they were conveniently open whenever I wanted to go. So, I joined the Y, which, though it may not be open 24/7, is so extremely close to my house that I felt it was dumb to not get a membership there. I am also impressed with the amount of classes available that I will most likely not use at all.

UPDATE: I found some money that’s my mom’s that looks like it’s been sitting in a savings account for 30+ years. Rokken.

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Vive! La! France!
March 2, 2005

I returned home last Sunday, exhausted and sick. I caught some kind of flu while in France, which I will forever lovingly call the “Paris Virus.” France was… well… fun. Only a couple of things went badly, one being that my camera was stolen in the Strasbourg train station.

I am, however, feeling much better now, after 30 hours of sleep and 2 bottles of Dimetapp. I may be ready to greet the world again, on a 1-to-1 basis, instead of shying away to hide blissfully in my bed. So, here are some pictures from the first half of the trip: Lyon to Grenoble, or, 4 Days in France:

sara, in our hotel room, lyon the cathedral in lyon fourviere and tour metalic from centre ville, lyon

sara at fourviere, lyon sara and the SPAM, lyon the view from our window at the hotel towards the top of the courtyard, lyon

sara and maxie with the SPAM at the voxx matt the pirate outside of the contemporary art museum, lyon sara, annoyed, lyon

leeann and ben on the steps down to the park 'tete d'or' column with moss detail - roman ruins, lyon those damned romans and their gutters - uberuseful

zach! in the balles, grenoble grenoble, from above the group, mandatory pic, grenoble

the group, minus ben, in the second-oldest cafe in france, grenoble an italian-style piazza, grenoble a kibbeydance, grenoble

bigheaded zach, grenoble the original zach and devlyn duo, at the bar, grenoble hammy matt, the bar, grenoble

the giraffe and i, the bar, grenoble

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