"So this is the foundation for my
internet diary - searching for the
truth and seeing what else comes
along on the way."
05.19.99 diary entry
Cast of Characters
Where�s My Printer?
Quote of the day:
�There are times when I wish Vulcans hadn�t learned to repress our violent tendencies.�
Ah, the ways to amuse yourself while waiting for a package to arrive. It�s ironic that days when you are stuck at home the only thing you want to do is go out. And yesterday, when I wasn�t tied down, I only wanted to stay home. Of course. Anyway, my printer is scheduled to arrive today, and I have to be here to when it comes, so let the amusement begin.
First of all, I would like to discuss the Emmys. I watched the broadcast intermittently (like when �The Fugitive� was on a commercial break) and didn�t find it that exciting, so I had to check the results online this morning. Only a few of them were of any interest to me.
"Enterprise� won Outstanding Hairstyling for a Series, but lost Outstanding Makeup For A Series (Prosthetic). So the hair looked great, but the eyeliner and pointy ears could use some work.
�Mists of Avalon� won Outstanding Makeup For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special (Non-Prosthetic). Maybe the crew of the Enterprise should tattoo crescent moons on their foreheads.
"Enterprise� also lost Outstanding Sound Editing For A Series, but won Outstanding Special Visual Effects For A Series. Next Wednesday I�ll make sure to press the mute button so I can appreciate the look, but miss the offensive sounds of the show.
I�m pleased that �Enterprise� was recognized at all. Considering it�s on UPN and a science fiction series, �Enterprise� doesn�t exactly have the biggest audience. I wish I had tuned into the Emmys to see the show win its few awards. And, even though I wasn�t crazy about �Mists of Avalon� as an interpretation of the Marion Zimmer Bradley book, I�m glad it won an Emmy. These two shows are very different from your average television program and it�s good to see a little variation in the industry.
So I�m still waiting for my package to be delivered, so I try raiding my personal library. I haven�t read The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper in a long time and I gave my original set to my mom for her classroom. Let�s just say they haven�t retained their outward appearance in the presence of ten-year-olds. (Come to think of it, I don�t know if they even survived that environment. I didn�t actually check to see if all of the books were accounted for.) I ordered a new set from Amazon in order to reread the books I remember fondly. Now that I started Over Sea, Under Stone, the first book in the series, it seems I don�t remember very much about the story at all. It�s like reading it for the first time. At least I seem to be enjoying it as much the second time around.
And the printer still hasn�t come yet. Even though I am watching my expenses I did make one frivolous purchase last weekend. At K-Mart I saw two videos of episodes of �The Muppet Show� and I had to have them. Seeing Luke Skywalker, C-3PO, and R2-D2 interacting with the Muppets was just priceless. That episode must have been done shortly after the original �Star Wars� was released in 1977. Comedy isn�t a genre I ever expected Mark Hamill to be a part of, but it was interesting to watch the attempt. I also realized that I have never seen him in street clothes (or whatever you call 70s attire). Luke Skywalker shouldn�t wear argyle. My next favorite episode was guest starring Julie Andrews. Unfortunately she didn�t play as a big a role as Mark Hamill did in his episode, but viewers still got a taste of �The Sound of Music.� I wish some TV channel would show old episodes of �The Muppet Show� on a regular basis. It was a funny show, something that the 70s didn�t see a lot of.
I am so glad I put on my sunscreen this morning! It came in handy when I was standing next to my window looking to see if the UPS truck was outside. These past few weeks I have been complaining that my life is boring. How can it get any more interesting when I have to wait all day for a package not to arrive?
It�s 9 PM. A little while ago I got a phone call. It was the UPS delivery guy saying he was outside the apartment gate with my package. At 8:30 PM? I gave up hope for a Monday arrival at 5 PM. I must admit I underestimated the shipping service. (How many times do you get to say that?) So my printer is here, safe and sound and set up on my desk. That�s pretty much the only accomplishment I can list for today, however. If you don�t count this diary entry.
Candy Corn Pumpkins
Quote of the day:
�Sheesh, my life is just boring and fattening to boot.�
03.29.00 diary entry
Last week I bought my first bag of candy corn pumpkins on my weekly shopping trip. I was really excited to see them in the newly established Halloween section of the grocery store. Now I am firmly entrenched in the holiday candy season that will last until Easter. Between the beginning of the Halloween hype and the weekend after Easter there is at least one kind of candy I will be indulging in at any given time. (I have a feeling I have written on this subject before. I�ll have to check my old diary entries and see.) So right now there is a jumbo bag of candy corn pumpkins in the kitchen cabinet and I am trying to resist the urge to grab a handful. At least they are fat-free. That�s something that cannot be said about all of my favorite candies.
It�s only September and I�m already considering my plans for the holidays. And not just the possible menus, despite the focus of the last paragraph. The difference between my current situation and those of years past is travel arrangements. An all-day plane flight is somewhat more difficult to plan than a two-hour drive. More expensive too. When I only had to worry about driving 150 miles to be home for the holidays the trip wasn�t a big deal. Now I have to consider which airlines fly to Tallahassee, peak travel dates, connection cities, and getting a reasonable fare. A ticket for less than $400 is amazing, but I will probably have to spend more for holiday flights. After a little preliminary Internet searching, $500 is more reasonable around Thanksgiving and Christmas. The fares will probably increase as the holidays approach too. I�m not exactly prepared to make plans three months ahead of time, especially when the fall quarter hasn�t even started yet, but I may have to. By the time I establish a routine here it will be too late to keep from spending a fortune on plane tickets.
15 minutes later
I kind of ran out of things to write about after those first two paragraphs, so I rummaged through my old diary entries to see whether or not I had mentioned my seasonal candy addiction before. It turns out that, in my 01.28.01 entry, I did just that. At that point Valentine�s Day was about two weeks away and I was aimlessly typing my thoughts, just as I am doing right now. Similar situations breed similar results, I guess. Anyway, here�s what I wrote then:
�Valentine�s Day isn�t very far off and my little candy stash is a testament to that fact. I am a sucker for sweets and every holiday has at least one that I can�t lay off of. Right now I have some Butterfinger hearts and Valentine�s Day candy corn within reach and no matter how disgusted I am for eating so much I can�t keep from going for more. As soon as this holiday is over I will be obligated to eat as many Hershey�s jellybeans as I can get my hands on since they only surface in the stores for Easter.�
I am such a junk food addict.
The other day I got an email from a friend in Gainesville who called my site an �interesting page.� Obviously this comment cannot be taken at face value, since I am the first person to acknowledge that laurensweb.net is quite uninteresting. For example, take this particular diary.laurensweb.net submission. Probably the only person who cares about my appetite as a function of time is me. However, the only person I write anything for is me. So, even if the entire content of my site is supremely boring to the general public, everything is fine as long as I like it. And I wouldn�t publish any of this stuff if I didn�t like it.
Quote of the day:
�The terrorists thought that they could strike fear in America�s heartland, but, through you, the heartland strikes back.�
Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense (to airmen)
This time last year every channel on television had 24-hour coverage of the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks. Even MTV was broadcasting their �news affiliate� instead of the usual music videos. Of course these events were of interest to the nation, but watching smoke pour out of the World Trade Center towers became tiresome after awhile. At the time I couldn�t wait for things to get back to normal.
Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks. Even though a year had passed, September 11, 2001 and September 11, 2002 had one thing in common � comprehensive television news coverage. Even though it was confined to the major networks and a few cable stations this time around, I still had the same reaction. I wanted everything back to normal. (At 1 PM yesterday that meant that I wanted my regularly scheduled programming back because �Days of Our Lives� was supposed to be on.)
There were two things that I did like about yesterday, though. 1) �Little House on the Prairie� marathon in the morning and 2) �Star Trek: The Next Generation� marathon at night. OK, so I�ve been watching too much TV recently.
For me, September 11, 2001 started like any other day. I was living in Seal Beach during my seven-month internship. I was in the middle of my morning workday routine and I turned on the TV to watch �Little House on the Prairie.� (I love that show.) It was about 6:15 AM Pacific Time and, as it happened, the news was on before I could change the channel. My first impulse was to immediately switch channels but something kept me from doing so and what I saw on the screen made me catch my breath.
It was the World Trade Center billowing smoke. Both towers. It took me a second to figure out what was happening from the unscripted explanation of the news anchors, but I finally discovered that passenger planes had done the damage I was looking at. The phone rang. This was a strange occurrence considering I was the only one awake at that time of the morning (and no one ever calls me then). It was my roommate Sarah�s mom asking me to wake up her daughter. I went back to watching the news. A few minutes later Sarah stumbled out of her bedroom and sat down in front of the TV with me. As we stared in amazement a new story broke � another plane had crashed into the Pentagon.
I left for work at 7 AM, a little later than usual. My favorite radio station was following the crisis as well so I heard dumbfounded updates instead of the witty banter that I was used to. As I turned the corner onto Westminster I heard, �Oh my God, one of the towers just collapsed.� A shudder went down my spine. Several people were crowded around a computer at work trying to load news websites like CNN and MSNBC but getting nothing due to heavy web traffic. This meant that we relied on the people just coming into the office for the latest details. One tower of the World Trade Center had already collapsed. The other followed a short time later. A fourth plane crashed in rural Pennsylvania while, evidently, on route to another target. Terrorism was blamed.
I remember thinking, in the weeks following the attacks, how fiercely patriotic Americans are as a whole. You couldn�t go anywhere without seeing the Stars and Stripes at least a dozen places, from bumper stickers to billboards to baseball caps. Now, one year later, our attention to the tragedy has waned. Things have gotten pretty much back to normal, if you don�t count how difficult air travel has become. And isn�t �getting back to normal� exactly what I wanted in the first place?
Quote of the day:
�I have much to teach you about women!�
Lt. Worf, �Star Trek: The Next Generation�
I was really nervous as I walked around the first floor of Ikea. After the verbal lynching I received from an employee who �helped� me during my last visit, I was rather anxious about crossing paths with her again. The tall aisles of cardboard boxes containing unassembled furniture seemed to protect me since I was fortunate enough not to see this particular woman. Apparently if you are a female and you want to go furniture shopping you are required to bring a male companion with you. If you do not meet this requirement, and you need help lifting something onto your cart, you are subject to ridicule by Ikea employees. I was amused to see a sign in their first-floor warehouse today that read �This item is heavy, please ask an associate for assistance.� The last time I visited Ikea I did just that, but my request was treated less than kindly. I don�t intend to go into the details of this very unpleasant incident, so let�s just say that furnishing my apartment ended up being an unnecessarily emotional experience.
Today I was able to select two chairs and a mirror with little emotion. In fact, the only thought in my head was, �Which aisle am I looking for again?� These purchases almost complete my apartment�s furniture collection. Since I moved to California in May with only a carload of my belongings, I was lacking quite a few things that are necessary to maintain a residence. One of my first acquisitions was a television. The day my bed was scheduled to be delivered I brought the new TV to entertain myself during the four-hour delivery window. Since I didn�t have cable yet I also brought my VCR and collection of movies to watch. Unfortunately I forgot to bring the coaxial cable to connect the TV and VCR. So I sat in my empty apartment that day, with only a book to read, until the bed was delivered. The reason I mentioned any of this was to include something wrote on August 30. (By then I was completely moved into my apartment and the coaxial cable was plugged into the necessary electronic devices.)
Cable was installed in my apartment this afternoon. But yesterday I only had a VCR and my collection of videos to entertain me while I was at home. So while I was at Wal-Mart I bought three new movies. The first one I watched was an old high-school favorite, �Clueless.� The difference between watching it in 1995 and watching it last night was being able to recognize the landmarks of Los Angeles. When Cher heads to the mall I identified it as the place where I bought my bed a few weeks ago. I got a kick out of that. During the �valley party� scene, where Cher and her friends are arranging rides home, none of their fictional residences are very far from my apartment. And the shops of Rodeo Drive are pretty obvious near the end of the movie.
I wanted to publish that little paragraph I wrote lest it never leave my desktop. Also I thought it was amusing that I can relate to �Clueless,� if only on a geographic level. (Actually, I can relate to it on other levels, but I hate to admit it and I certain won�t elaborate on them.)
Although my self-imposed bedtime is only forty minutes away I am still sitting here typing and watching the unexpected �Star Trek: The Next Generation� marathon on TNN. Establishing a routine in this new environment hasn�t been easy. I have determined that I am a lazy person by nature and it takes considerable provocation to get me off my butt. A daily routine seems to be the easiest way to motivate myself. So I had better get back to that routine since I still have several things to do before I go to bed. Tomorrow is my first day working in my UCLA department and I am nervous. If I don�t get a good night�s sleep it will just make me more nervous. That�s the last thing I need.