Sunday, November 26, 2006

catching up, part one

you guys know how it is when you have a lot to write about.... no time to write. that's my excuse for being such a slacker lately. oh, but trust me, this christmas break, when i'm home all the time and the most exciting part of my life will be finding secret presents for other people that i will not discuss in detail, i will right all the time. about being at home. and finding secret presents for other people.

anyway... despite my lack of posts, this has been an incredibly eventful few weeks, or perhaps even months. it is now my lofty goal to quit slacking and catch up.

several weeks ago: the tau beta pi initiation
for those who don't know, tau beta pi is an engineering fraternity that is very old and exclusive and secretive. you join by invitation only, and only the top fifth or eighth of each engineering class is invited. you need an extremely good GPA and something they call a "character of integrity," which they decide for themselve and actually vote on. snobby, right?

well, congratulate me, because apparently i have a very high GPA and integrity to spare, because they finally wanted me this semester. i was pretty excited that i qualified, but a little bit hesitant. did i really want to be such a snob? i figured, what the heck, and found myself at a very cerimonial, um.... cerimony to like swear me in or whatever.

it was weird. it really felt like i was selling my soul to my alma mater or joining an academics cult. i thought that tau beta pi was about good grades and service projects, but really there's a lot more to it. they basically want you to promise that you're going to work your absolute hardest for the rest of your life-- which apparently includes looking attractive and being great friends with everyone else in tau beta pi-- not for the advancement of your own career, but to bring honor to your school and the fraternity. call me crazy, but i do a lot of things for the sole purpose of advancing my career.

there was so much emphasis on being selfless, they sort of beat you over the head with that point, when really the only reason i wanted to join was because it would make an extra-impressive line on my resume and i might get a higher-paying job because of it one day. and also, to be perfectly candid, because they give you these wicked awesome ribbons to wear over your gown at graduation that just proclaim to everyone that you're better because you're smarter, and i really, really wanted those ribbons, even if only to make a certain stupid ex-boyfriend feel inferior because of his lack of exclusive honor badges.

see? hardly selfless.

well, anyway, i take promises very seriously. i didn't want to make a promise that i didn't intend to keep. i didn't want to make a promise that i hadn't thought through very carefully. I didn't want to make a promise when there was even a shadow of a doubt in my mind that it was really what I want to do.

i fully intend on working hard and being an honest engineer for the rest of my life, and i already take part in service projects and i'm all for making friends and dressing nice, okay, but i'm not sure it's something i want to bind to myself with a promise, and i really didn't have time to think about it while they were reading off the attributes of a good TBPer. plus the whole thing was so bizarre and other-worldy that i was a little freaked out, and my thinking was not at top clarity, and i was not about to make a promise under those conditions. so, when the time came, and i was supposed to step forward and say, "i do," like i was supposed to, like everybody wanted and expected me to, i said instead, "i'm sorry, i don't," and was like, dishonorably discharged and escorted from the room.

i was completely distraught while i was walking back to my car, hours earlier than i'd planned, with the fat salary and awesome ribbons permanently out of reach, but i kept telling myself, however unconvincingly, "good girl! way to say no to weird peer pressure! you did the right thing!" i knew i was right, but i could still feel the disdain, real or imagined, from the people in the room i had just left. i'm sure someone in there thought the initiation was a failure because of me.

i called my dad and cried for a while, and he told me he was glad I didn't just give in and do something i didn't want to do. i love my dad. i know i made the right decision... i'm just sorry i had to back out at the VERY LAST SECOND and make a spectacle of myself. from what i can tell, i'm the only person that's done that in this chapter.

the worst part is when people don't understand. they say, "but everyone joins because of their resume, " "but they all know you don't really have to be great friends," "but they all just do it for the ribbons." (i made that last one up. i don't actually tell many people about the ribbons part. you have no idea how much i wanted those stupid ribbons!) then when i told my grandad what happened, he said he was dissappionted in me. that sucked.

but my mind is made up-- i'm glad i did what i did.

two weeks ago: seaaaaaaaaaaaattle, baby!
puget sound flew me to seattle for a site visit, put me up in this swanky hotel, gave me "food money" every day (like fifty bucks a day, which is like a week of food for a college student, which they may or may not know), and rented me a fancy car. it totally rocked. i keep hearing about how traffic in washington in general and seattle in specific is supposed to be horrible, worst traffic ever, but driving from the airport around part of the bay and over the tacoma-narrows bridge to bremerton was such a nice drive! i mean sure, it's busier than las cruces, or albuquerque, but it's no worse than virginia beach, and i think it's way better than new orleans and san antonio (worst highway design ever). maybe i got lucky and missed the bad traffic. or maybe i just love driving.

i met up with my friends josh and kat, who just got engaged (HOORAY!) and hung out. on sunday, josh and i took the ferry to seattle to go apartment hunting.

dude, guys, i LOVE seattle. i love it there. the weather was horrible and we were outside almost the whole day and it was miserable, but i was still all smiley because i was in seattle and i love it there and i really want to live there even if everyone who works in bremerton and half my family thinks i'm crazy. and they do. poor josh went with me because, as he says, he was "being supportive" and on the way back to bremerton he told me that he thinks it's a bad idea. i think he really expected me to get off the ferry and look around and say, "oh... so this is seattle. maybe i don't want to live here after all." well, that didn't happen. i was stoked.

and he also thought i was going to get lost without him, which is so not true. i actually know my way around much better than he does, except he has this mutant power that tells him which direction the sound is. this was usful when we got disoriented inside buildings.

"which direction are we facing?"


"okay, how do you know that?"

"because the sound is over there." i look "over there" and see absolutly nothing that tells me the sound is that direction.

"josh... how do you know the sound is over there?"

"it's like the mountains in albuquerque... you always know where you are because of the mountains."

"yeah, but in albuquerque you can see the mountains. how do you know where the sound is?"

"because... that's where it is. just trust me."

see what i mean? weird. anyway, we used josh's homing beacon for large bodies of water to find our way around belltown, where we looked at apartment buildings. i was expecting them to be sort of ghetto, like all the places i've ever lived, but they were so nice! all the rooms we saw looked brand new. of course i couldn't actually choose a place so far in advance (i won't be moving out there until august), but i felt better knowing that i will be able to find an apartment when i need to.

the next day was the site visit. i went on an aircraft carrier. they are huge. i never felt like i was not on solid ground. the weather was even worse than the day before, it was so freezing and so windy and occasionally raining. even the people that lived there thought the weather was unusually crappy.

i was in the "nuc" group with one other girl. she was so negative and selfish about everything! i hope she doesn't take the job, because i don't want to work with her. every question she asked had a theme of, "how much money can i get out of you people?" meh.

aside from her, the base seems like a great place to work. it's true, i probably wouldn't have even considered it unless it was both a) close to seattle and b) already employing two of my close friends, but being a shift test engineer for the navy seems to be an enviable first job. and the people there were very honest. they understand that happy people work better than frustrated people, so they don't only show you the cool stuff to trick you into accepting the job. if you're not going to like it, they don't want you to come. in fact, it's so much trouble to hire someone and get a security clearence that, if you do become unhappy where you're working, they encourage you to move within the base to another job. and (this sounds VERY cool to me) a lot of the shift test engineers get to spend months at a time in san diego, hawaii, and japan, and you get paid even more for that. sweet.

in fact, josh and kat are going to san diego for about three months early next year. and speaking of them... josh asked me to be his best man at the wedding! WOO HOO! i'm so jazzed. of course, he's all weird about calling me the best man and he says that i'm the "best person" and that i still have to wear a dress, but whatever. i'm the best man, and i am extremely honored.

i'm not a good man, i'm the best man. uh.

Saturday, November 25, 2006


okay, i've got two more tracks left on my new cd, the beatles love, and after that i officially have to get up and do something productive. says andy. the kid with the perpetually messy room. but whatever, i need motivation and i'll take it from anyone, so i'll have to be quick. that means it's time for a list! i'll try to come back later and fill in the holes.

in honor of the... ahem, holiday, a list of things for which i am thankful, in no particular order:

1. this cd totally rocks. my dad gave it to me for my birthday, and i love it. andy gave me rubber soul, which is my favorite beatles album ever, and i bought best of bowie and best of aretha at best buy (how appropriate) yesterday for like seven dollars each, so it's a good week, musically speaking.

2. green chile. do i really need to explain this one?

3. my dog jack is the cutest. i totally love him. i love him even more now that i've been spending a lot of time with slightly, my sister's cocker-retriever, who is a snotty little poop machine with a chewing problem.

4. my family totally rocks. i think thanksgiving is pretty lame, for personal reasons, but hanging out with the family is SO fun. we had an iron chef competition for my birthday last night that was the most fun thing i have done in a very, very long time, and for thanksgiving we ate enchiladas and played guitar hero and tried some funny games on the wii and had fffunn!

5. i am thankful for hockey. even though i have this gigantic bruise, hockey is still the bomb.

6. two more weeks till school is over! then it's time for christmas! time to buy presents for everybody! yay! :)

7. i only have one final this semester!


9. i'm drinking cola tea, which doesn't really taste like pepsi (or coke, or sprite, for that matter), but that's good because i think it's yummier (more yummy?) than pepsi, and i like it a lot more than pepsi, and it makes me happy. thanks cc and barb!

10. and, finally, one year and two days ago, i was in phoenix and sir paul mccartney blew me a birthday kiss. what more can a girl ask for? i'm happy.

okay, that last track might have been my favorite, but lady madonna was really good too... anyway, andy says it's time to go. i'll come back.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

jen and the pope

just now, for about the millionth time in my life, i was suddenly overwhelmed with a familiar happy emotion, and i ran into my roommate jen's room and yelled, "JEN! i love paul!"

jen has lived with me for about two months and is used to this by now. "oh really? i hadn't noticed."

"i do. i love him."

"what is it now?"

"this song! how can you not love a man who writes a song like this?" ("every night" is playing in the background. i tell jen how the crowd screamed at the concert when paul sang, "...and be-eee with you-hoo-ooo." i love him.)

"oh," says jen. "i thought maybe it was another picture of him with a cow." she's totally laughing at me.

"no, but last night i found another picture of him with martha." (martha, of "martha, my dear," was paul's sheepdog. how can you not love a man who writes a song about his sheepdog?)

"you know what i thought of the other day?" she says. "there could totally be a pope john paul george."

i'm laughing my head off.

"no, really. there was a st. john and a st. paul and a st. george, and a pope john paul... when he died, I was like, 'come on! pope john paul george!' and then it was pope benedict... what's up with that, benedict?"

it's nice to know that i'm not the only one who thinks about these things.

Friday, October 13, 2006


(holly is such a slacker. why does she even have a blog? it's not like she ever writes in it or anything, unless something ginormous happens, like she gets an email from her dream job in seattle saying congratulations, we'd like to fly you out to the navel base and give you a sweet job offer, and honestly, who wouldn't blog in that kind of situation? how predictable.)

hi everybody! guess what?


so i'm flying out to seattle next month for four days and three nights to check out the navel base to "see if it's a good fit for me," like i'm going to turn it down or something, ha. i'll get to hang out in seattle and bremerton for the weekend with kat and josh and check out the base on monday and i'm SO STOKED! hurray!

more updates later... it's friday the 13th and i'm GOING to watch creepy movies tonight with andy, so i need to plan!


Sunday, October 01, 2006

the story of the stick

well, the good news is that my hockey stick fits in my trunk now.

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the game yesterday was really fun for the most part. we played well. i actually scored the first goal off of my own rebound. in the ten years i've been playing, i've hardly ever picked up my own rebound. anyway, things were going okay until i broke my stick. it was the worst possible time to ever break a stick. and i did it!

we'd been leading almost the whole game, and the other team was slowly catching up to us. very close to the end, it was tied and hugo got some kind of weird penalty. rick and i played defense. the ball went into the boards, and i chased it down. brian, from the other team, chased me down. i was so in the zone. i knew i couldn't let him get possession, and i didn't back off, even when it looked like he was going to run right over me!

well, he didn't run right over me. my stick got pressed between me and the boards, and brian skated right through it, snapping it almost in the exact middle. i saw all these slow-motion splinters flying around, and the bottom half of my stick spinning in the air. that was a really BAD feeling. the worst part was that i was about as far away from the gate as possible.

i dropped what used to be my stick and skated as fast as i think i ever have toward the gate, yelling, "SUB!!! SUB!!!" and leaving rick to play defense, 3 0n 1. about one second after david's skate touched the rink, the other team scored. at that point there were about ten seconds left in the game.

can you believe that?!? the time i have to break my stick was in the last twenty seconds, when we're tied, killing a penalty, and when i'm all the way across the rink from the gate. the only way it could have been worse is if it had been a championship or something. it's weird being mad when there's really no one to blame... it wasn't my fault or brian's fault or rick's fault or hugo's fault... it was just bad bloody stinkin luck. when they scored right after i made it to the bench, i actually lost my temper and threw my gloves as hard as i could into the back of the boards. i don't do that very often, either. about as often as i pick up my own rebound.

we didn't recover in those last ten seconds and lost by one.


Monday, September 25, 2006

everybody's doing it

seriously, these "first ten songs" posts are getting out of hand. i first saw that adam had done this, and i thought, wow, list the next ten songs that your ipod plays, what a neat and original idea, but now everyone has one. what's that? you don't have one? oh my god, you're a total loser and you should either a) go to your blog and write down your ten songs immediately before anyone notices how out-of-the-loop your are, or b) stop reading my blog, because i don't think we can be friends if you haven't jumped on this bandwagon. for real.

so anyway, you guys know by now that i'm a bit sarcastic. and maybe a little hypocritical. so while i usually dislike the "everybody's doing it" mentality.... okay, this ipod thing was a really good idea, and it's fun, and it's easy, and i think you can tell a lot about a person by her music, so here i go. this may be cheating a little bit, because i only have an ishuffle, so my selection is much more narrow and i'm therefore much more likely to get the awesome songs that will make everyone jealous, but i promise you, somewhere on this little baby is a very sappy michael jackson song that was quite popular ten years ago among middle-school girls, and even then it wasn't cool. if if comes up, it comes up. here goes:

1. The Beatles - "Hey Bulldog" (yeeeesssssssss, my first song rocks!)

2. Pete Yorn - "Ever Fallen in Love"

3. Paul Young - "Everytime you go Away" (stop laughing, this song is fun.)

4. Frou Frou - "Holding Out for a Hero"

5. Yes - "I Would have Waited Forever" (suh-weet!)

6. Billy Idol - "Hot in the City"

7. Michael Jackson - "Billie Jean" (that was close)

8. Thompson Twins - "Hold Me Now"

9. Queen - "Somebody to Love"

10. The Beatles - "Why Don't We Do It in the Road"

dude, i'm so cool, my songs rock! especially that last one. i really think that if the lyrics were different (as in, something other than "why don't we do it in the road, why don't we do it in the road, why don't we do it in the road, why don't we do it in the road, no one will be watching us, why don't we do it in the road?"), it could be the greatest rock song EVER. the beat at the beggining... just... brilliant. oh, and by the way, did you know that the only two beatles who actually worked on that song were ringo and paul? but doesn't it seem like a john song?!? well it's not!!! see, you learn things every day. bandwagons rule!

looking over the rest of my songs... hmm, i'm holding out for a hero, looking for somebody to love, waiting forever... man, this is sort of depressing. but then again, there is billy idol. and hey bulldog.

oh my gosh! my #11 song is the strongbad techno. too bad i can't write that on my list. that would be cheating.

(get it? CHEATing?!? ha! i'm funny.)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

i'm totally jazzed

i went to my interview for puget sound yesterday. i wasn't too nervous, because i was wearing a beatles shirt.

rus the recruiter first had me fill out a paper with my address and email and stuff, even though i'd given him my resume and transcript the day before and i'm pretty sure i put all that information right at the top, all nice and neat. but anyway... then he said to me, "i want to bring you out to bremerton for a site visit and i want to get you a job offer, because a person with your background and your grades and enthusiasm is exactly what we're looking for."

and all my insides did this elaborate happy dance and kicked up their heels (my stomach has heels, doesn't yours?) and sang for joy, and my outsides smiled and said, "oh, hooray!"

then rus told me about the things that engineers do on the base, like some work with cranes and some are in planning and development, and then he told me that he thought i'd probably work on the nuclear reactor, because the powers that be want students like me (!) working on the nuc side. i told him that i didn't really know anything about nuclear reactors, but he said that they'd still want me, and that the nuc side usually "picks from the top" at the hiring meetings, and that i was at the top.

i cannot tell you how pumped i am about this. i've been walking on air ever since. i'm so excited! rus said that he'd get back to me within three weeks to set up a time for me to go up there. yay! i called kat and josh last night, and they were excited too! kat said that rus said the same thing to her last year. both of them were trying to figure out if i'm going to be working on the nuc side (with kat) or the non-nuc side (with josh). apparently there's a bit of a rivalry between the two sides, and both of them were trying to convince me that their side is better.

i can't believe this! i'm so excited! i just imed scott about four hundred happy faces. could it be that i'm actually going to move to seattle, like i've dreamed about for the last two years?

in case you wondered...

1. i love paul.
2. i really really really really really love george.
3. i really really really really really love paul.
4. paul wouldn't really love me, cause i'm not a vegetarian.
5. i love george's kid, too. i think i should marry him.
6. pattie boyd was totally cute. oh, and did you know that
7. george, paul, and ringo all played at pattie boyd and eric clapton's wedding, even though pattie was george's ex-wife and eric clapton was one of his best friends?
8. i love george even more because of that.
9. i found this picture of paul with these two baby cows... he's adorable.
10. i totally love paul.

Friday, September 22, 2006

here does nothin...

i went to the career fair today. i got a t-shirt, some magnets, a tube of phelps-dodge chapstick (it's pina-colada flavored,okay?), and two of those pens with the post-it notes inside. those are so fabulous. they're my favorite career-fair loot, ever.

also... i got an interview with puget sound naval shipyard. that's where kat and josh went to work. that's where i want to work. that's in seattle. well, it's in bremmerton, but yeah. seattle.

i really want to move. it's not that i don't like the desert, i do (even now, when it's sort of turning into a swamp), but i want to get away for a few years at least....... or do i?

i get depressed when i spend too long away from my family. "too long" for me is about two weeks. i don't know what i'd do if i couldn't see my brothers for months at a time. and who would i play hockey with? and who would i dance with? and who would i eat green chile with? and where the heck would i buy green chile?

on the other hand, what am i going to do if i stay here? move to las cruces? work at NMSU? white sands? the nursery?!? i don't really want to do that. i mean, come on, you guys know i love las cruces and NMSU and... well, i (sometimes) really like the nursery, but...

exactly what good is it to take a million horribly difficult, soul-sucking, mind-numbing classes unless you can use them to move across the country, right? i haven't pulled that many all-nighters for nothing. i haven't been slowly killing myself to keep a high GPA just to not use it and move back home, right?

so, okay. wish me luck. i'm going to get dressed all nice and go to this interview tomorrow (err... today) and try and get this job and move away to the pacific northwest. i guess i should just not worry about it, right? if it happens, great. if not, something else. right?

okay. right.


insert some awesome, psyching-me-up montage here. why is it that i can only think of "eye of the tiger" and "material girl"?!?!? someone please get me a good montage song, please.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

i love hockey

hockey. is so fun.

yes, hockey has started again. ahhhh... you know how i know? because several parts of my body are actually in quite a but of pain right now. i have four very big bruises right now, three of which are... ahem... unphotographable, but...

image freakout

actually the picture doesn't do it justice. it looks all pastel. but the one thing i do like is that you can see the reflection in the mirror, and you can tell that it's got a severe 3D thing going on...

i'm very excited. i don't bruise easily, so when i finally get something this gnarly-looking, i feel like i have to show it off. this was from dan, in the first game i played today. it started turning purple right away. after the game my whole arm was shaking.

but anyway, hugo jr, david, ryan and i are all on a team... yay... along with jared, who is a good skater but seems kind of unsure about being in the adult league. oh, and rick. you guys remember rick, right? the one that said i didn't know how to position because i've been playing less than a year? yeah.

well, we are currently 1-2. so far we've won by one, lost by one, and been brutally humiliated once. i'll keep you posted as to how we do this year... hugo and i already decided that it's been far too long since we won a championship.


Monday, September 11, 2006

classical mystery tour

okay.... i must, i must, i must use what little spare time i have right now and catch you up on the beatles tribute concert that alicia and i went to last weekend. I KNOW, right? how can i do that when i haven't even told you about the honest-to-god RINGO STAR, who i went to see TWO MONTHS AGO?!?

i think the answer to that is that i'm either a bad fan or a bad blogger, and i hope to heaven that it's the latter, because i really really really love the beatles and i want to be a good fan... i want to be the best fan. i'd like to be a good blogger, too, but... sigh... they're so dreamy.

alicia picked me up last sunday wearing a green shirt with yellow silhouettes of the beatles, and she had a matching one for me! yay! that makes nine beatles shirts if you count the paul and ringo ones, which i do. we went to the university for the concert, which was a collaboration on the las cruces symphony orchestra and the classical mystery tour.

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it was bloody brilliant. unlike the last tribute band, all the members actually looked like their respective beatles. the music was awesome, they probably played about thirty songs. they also played some wings songs, and a john song, but they sort of stiffed george by leaving out "my sweet lord." oh well.

again, paul wasn't left-handed. and his accent wasn't quite as good as the last guy. but really, it was a much better show. george freakin rocked. "while my guitar gently weeps" was so incredible. hearing it live is rather profound. john rocked, too. as you guys know, i'm not much of a fan of the real john lennon, but i have to admit, his music was genius. paul was totally awesome. during "hey jude," i grabbed alicia and said, "this is when paul blew me a kiss!" it was great. ringo was sort of quiet, but he did very well. it was so much fun.

now it's time for some bad pictures... here's george...

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and john and ringo.

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you can see the mistro in that picture, too. half of the fun was watching him conducting the symphony. he stood high above the orchestra and the stage, so he was visible anyway, but then they put a huge spotlight on him and threw his gigantic shadow up on the wall. he was a riot. he sang along with most of the songs, and he had so much energy and he was super excited. Especially when the crowd made noise, he'd turn around and look at the guys on the stage and you could just tell he was thinking, "ohmygod, i'm a BEATLE! this is SOOOOOOOO COOL!" he was great.

their last number was "twist and shout," and the mistro grabbed one of the female violin players and pulled her out onto the stage and was dancing with her and singing into the microphone with george... he was funny. what a sweet guy.

did i tell you how much i love the beatles? a large portion of the stress in my life is due to the fact that i'm not sure who i love more, paul or george. no kidding. they are both so wonderful. i mean, paul is, and george was... you'd think that that would have something to do with the whole decision process, but it doesn't. is it creepy that i have two enormous crushes, one on an old guy and one on a dead guy? don't answer that.

okay, i'm tired and starting to admit things that people should never put on the internet. that's all for now, kiddos. i swear on everything that is holy that I WILL write about the ringo concert, one of these days. until then... oh my goodness, george was so handsome. and paul is so romantic.

i need to go.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

twenty minutes of free time!

life is incredibly busy. i'm exhausted.

yesterday i called kevin at about 5:30. i told him, completely truthfully, that it was the first time all day that i hadn't been doing something, and by all day i meant since 6:30 in the morning. i got up, packed, drove, went to work, went to class, went to work, played hockey with the professors, showered, ate a burrito in about five minutes, class, meeting, work... and it went on like that after the phone call, too. homework, bellydancing, iv, library, home, more homework. it was nuts. and unlike typical work days, yesterday was packed. i was scrambling all day trying to get quotes and send faxes and make phone calls. by the end of the day i was misspelling my last name and transposing fax numbers and every date was set in 2005.

just imagine... your mind is tired, your body is tired, your bed is SO comfortable... ahh. and it starts raining. nice, you think. time to fall asleep listening to the rain.

except the rain keeps getting louder, and louder, and there's thunder and lightning and soon the walls are shaking and there's no WAY you're going to sleep.

last night socorro got the most extreme thunderstorm i have ever experienced. i was ticked off. i was so tired and i couldn't sleep! it sucked. carmen was sleeping on the couch last night, and she actually came into my room at about 3 am and said, "can i sleep in your room?" i thought she was being funny, so i said no and tried to go back to bed. this morning it turns out that she was actually scared. hmm.

jen said something along the lines of, "tired? that's okay. nobody in socorro actually slept last night, so everyone else will be tired, too!" carmen said that at one point she thought maybe we were being attacked. that's some loud thunder, people.

good lord, i hope that was a once-in-a-lifetime thunderstorm, because if we get another one tonight i swear i'm over-dosing on sleeping pills. this is ridiculous.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

fall 2006 semester outlook

why oh why oh WHY didn't i start out in technical communications in the first place?

this semester is going to be SO easy. i'm taking statistics (which is a freakin walk in the park compared to finite element analysis and vibration dynamics), technical editing (been there), article writing (hooray!), and web design (which will maybe be a little challenging, but it's dr. mott, so i'm not worried). that's twelve hours. that's like nothing. i'm used to eighteen. this rocks.

oh course i'm also taking a two-hour digital photography course which will be enormously easy, and... jen talked me into taking bellydancing. don't laugh!

no kidding, bellydancing is the hardest class i'm taking this semester. it's twice a week. the bellydance lady stands at the front of the room and makes us move our hips like one inch, and it's torture. i was exhausted. i was totally the worst one there. i'd watch the instructor and try to move along, and then i'd look at myself in the mirror and i wasn't even close. all the other girls were looking at me like, "i'm so much better than you, little moron girl. you suck at this. and at life."

i wanted to yell in the middle of the first class, "i can skate faster than all of you losers!" but i didn't. it's really hard, and makes me hurt, but it's a lot of fun so i'm not going to quit. i even go to the first part of the advanced class with jen to practice more.

it's weird to actually have homework to do again, after such a boring summer. every time i think i'm done, i still have things to do. another thing that's weird? it was really nice not having to see mike this summer. between statistics, math lab, and photography, it turns out i have class with him about five or six hours a week. it's lame. he still ignores me.

worse than that, i think, is that he and kc have started going to swing again. i'm really bummed about that, because swing used to be so fun and relaxing and FUN, and now them being there makes everything so uncomfortable, for me as well as other people, and it's hard not to think of it as a competition. i wish they would just move away and have their dream life somewhere else.... or that i could.

despite all that, i think this semester is going to be okay.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

my so-called desert

by an sudden and odd turn of events, i actually flew in a small aircraft from socorro to hobbs and back again on wednesday with ryan, elliot (my co-workers), dr. ghosh (my boss), and dr. romero (my boss's boss) to check out the site where we're actually going to use this machine that we're building. we played cards in the plane. i won. i beat my boss's boss at cards. bwah hah hah.

but much more interesting than that was how green, really green, the desert was below us. i mentioned before how much it's been raining. i don't think i said that it was all over the state. albuquerque, socorro, escondita, magdalena, elephant butte, deming, hatch, alamogordo, las cruces and el paso have all had problems with flooding this month. albuquerque and el paso are roughly 300 miles apart... that's a lot of flooding.

and from the looks of it, the places that haven't been flooding are getting plenty of rain, too. the ENTIRE desert is green. i saw quite a bit of it during the plane ride. well, i think white sands is still white, but this doesn't happen very often. it's usually brown, i promise. i can't remember when new mexico has ever had this much rain... and it's all over. hobbs was all green with little square patches of brown where the oil wells are. the contrast made it really obvious.

i didn't get pictures from the plane, but here's a couple i took driving from socorro to las cruces later that day:

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i mean look at that! it's green! really green! okay, this might not seem like much for people in other parts of the country, but it's really unusual for us.

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this is the lake (and before you make fun of me, non desert-dwellers, it's really long and thin, okay?). it actually looks sort of full. and the hills are all green. it's so strange.

i drove back to socorro this morning, and it was raining almost the entire way. i think most new mexicans can tell you that rain on the highway usually lasts about ten minutes or so before you're through it, but this was almost two hours... and there was fog and low clouds and actual standing water in the desert. no kidding. i really wanted to stop and take some more pictures, but i was afraid i'd be late to my first class... yay first impressions.

here's one of socorro's own "m" mountain, for your viewing pleasure.

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Monday, August 21, 2006

concert in the park

i have so many exciting things to write about! but first... is this beatlemaniac blasphemy? that i am writing about a free beatles tribute band concert before i write about the ringo starr concert? that i enjoyed the fake beatles... can i say it?... more than i enjoyed the real beatle?

okay, i take it back, i didn't like them more than the real, honest-to-god ringo starr himself, but i gotta tell you, it was close. very close.

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my grandma and i went to see imagine tonight at young park. they are a beatles tribute band (don't ask me why they named themselves after a john lennon solo career song). of course any band that plays two hours of nothing but beatles songs is going to be a hit in my book, but these guys were so much fun. it was very exciting. you could tell (well, i could tell, and i constantly kept pointing out to my grandma) that they're diehard fans who had really, really done their homework. i was extremely impressed when "john" actually delivered a line that the real john actually said at a concert once. he asked the people in the cheap seats to clap their hands, "and the rest of you just rattle your jewelry." of course fake john, at a park concert where all the seats were free, paraphrased a little, but afterwards they played "twist and shout," which is what the real beatles played in the real concert when real john really said that line.

confused? sorry. i'm so hyper. they were so awesome. i'll try to be cool.

"paul" was the most impressive. he looked and sounded just like paul. his accent was perfect, and please trust me when i say i know my paul accent. his hoffner looked just like paul's. he had quite a bit of trouble hitting all his notes, but wow, he was uncanny. the only thing missing was that paul is left-handed, and "paul" is right-handed. but i suppose that can't be helped. sigh.

"ringo" did a great job sounding just like ringo, but he didn't look much like the real thing. "george" looked nothing like george, and didn't sound too much like him either, but he played guitar like george, and that's no small task. i thought he was the best musician in the group, except for maybe "john," who sounded somewhat like his counterpart but actually looked very much like george and played the piano like paul.

by the way, in case you were wondering which one is which, check out the sgt. pepper's suits. ringo wore red, paul wore blue, george wore orange and john wore green. of course that's only necessary if you can't recognize them by their guitars... which i totally can. ;)

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so since i've seen paul, and i've seen ringo, and i've seen john lennon's rolls, and i don't really like john that much anyway, and because "paul" was totally getting most of the crowd's attention, i spent a lot of time cheering for "george." really, he was very good. after "here comes the sun," i yelled, "i love you george!" and he looked right at me and yelled back, "i love you too, love!"

i guess that's as close as i'm getting to the real thing, huh? hooray! george loves me!

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okay. here's the really exciting part. after the show i went and talked to the band and took pictures. i mostly talked to "paul." i congratulated him on sounding just like paul. i told him that i saw paul in november. i saw in his eyes instant recognition of what i was talking about. the US tour.

he said, "in las vegas?"

i said, "no, the show right before las vegas. in phoenix."

grandma said, very excited, "he blew her a kiss!"

paul's eyes widened a bit and i told him about my banner that said "IT'S MY BIRTHDAY! BLOW A KISS!"

and get this.... paul says, "OH, i HEARD about that! that's great! wow!"

turns out he heard about that because we were both reading the same website with the tour reviews, the one that listed all the banners that were at each show. when i saw that they mentioned my banner, i sent in the story behind it and they posted that as well. and this paul mccartney man READ about the REAL sir paul mccartney blowing ME a kiss for my birthday.

okay, how cool is that? i'm known among mccartney fans. that's just about the best thing ever. i really can't put into words how badly i'm geeking out about this.

after the pictures i shook his hand and said, "nice to meet you!" and he said, "NO, nice to meet YOU!"

i could die. right now.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

socorro for dummies

in the two and a half weeks between the summer session and the fall semester, socorro becomes a desolate ghost town. everyone leaves. the swing dances are cancelled. nothing. happens.

and for some reason i'm here by myself while all this is going on.... or NOT going on, to put a finer point on it. carmen and steve are in utah. scott went to alamo. even my job has slowed down, which i didn't really think was possible. with my co-workers either gone or down with strange illnesses (i swear jason is the most unlucky person in the entire world), i'm down to pretty much sitting on my hands until we get the funding to start ordering parts. it's very lame.

so watching movies by yourself isn't much fun. computer games will only get you so far. my usual internet stuff has been really slow, and i've already cleaned the entire house from top to bottom and read the hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy. and to top it all off, for some reason my stereo and my computer are not communicating, so most of my music is inaccessible. seriously, i think i'm ready to learn kung fu and create a training montage or maybe write the history of my life in french or something.

the cure, for now, seems to be solidworks for dummies, which i borrowed from dr. ghosh the other day. yeah, go ahead and say it, i'm desperate. that's okay. laugh.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

planet zombie

i guess when you're really bored, every idea that comes along seems inspired. but how can you know whether it's brilliant or just plain okay unless you get an outsider's opinion?

when we were little, my grandparents used to take my brother and sister and me to this place called planet fun. it was this extremely elaborate indoor playground that was probably overpriced and definitely had a hokey name, but we loved it. there was this gigantic three-story jungle gym, a lazer tag room, and a couple other things that weren't as appealing as the jungle gym and the lazer tag room. for some reason i was thinking about the jungle gym this afternoon. it really was enormous. there were several slides inside it, at different levels, and nets you had to climb up and soft things that you fell onto and even a few ziplines. it rocked. i was also thinking about how little kids have all the luck and get these awesome things that aren't allowed for people that are over five feet tall... those light-up shoes are another issue i have with folks getting special treatment just because they're under seven. no fair.

it's not that i don't understand the concept... you obviously can't have big people and little people playing in the same pit of balls because the little people would get squished and legal ramifications would ensue. the only way for adults to have a jungle gym is if little kids aren't allowed.

hmm... but "adult jungle gym?" sounds like a video you'd see at an adult bookstore. what self-respecting adult would pay (and you'd have to pay, you know, to defray expenses) to climb around in some nets for a couple hours just for the heck of it? i mean, i would, but is there even a market for this sort of thing?

undaunted, i began to think of the possibilities. and then it hit me.... halloween. of course the old jungle gym would have made a killer (oh, i crack myself up) haunted house. just make it less bright and all oozey and have some people hide inside to scare people. that sounds like fun, but once you've seen the haunted house, why go back? it would be a one-time thing.

unless it's a game. okay, picture this: there are zombies in the haunted house. zombies that you have to avoid. of course the zombies could have some kind of marker (a paintball-type thing seems too permanent, but what about like a hand stamp?) that you have to stay away from, and if they get it on your hands or face you're "infected" and your team loses points. people could go inside in groups with the goal of everyone "surviving" the jungle gym. it could be a game, something that you play again and again in order to get better at it. and the zombies wouldn't be able to climb or move very fast, but if you, say, fell off the zipline into a pit of balls (that look like little skulls) and there was a zombie in there, you'd have to move quickly in order to survive.

that would be awesome!

of course constructing a haunted house would cost a lot more than a jungle gym of the same size. and there'd have to be some way of keeping the "zombies" safe from over-zealous players. but there could be tournaments, or different levels of difficulty, or maybe the people who have been through several times, who have gotten really good, could be in charge of escorting a whole bunch of newbies through the course. or maybe (and this is a huge stretch) paintball guns? occasionally? i don't know about that, i don't know very much about paintball. probably really expensive, too.

wouldn't that be fun? i don't know, i really like this sort of thing, but i realize that my interests are strange compared to those of other people. would it be popular enough to actually do well? could it be open year-round, or just at halloween? if i could find enough people that like zombies to fill up the zombie roles, would there be any undead-enthusiasts left to actually go through the course? where could it possibly be built? planet fun was in a gigantic building that was like a warehouse. oh, and we'd have to come up with a good name. "planet fun" is lame, but "planet zombie?" horrible.

this would be so awesome. i really really really want to do it. maybe someday, when i'm somewhat rich and i can afford to potentially blow several thousand dollars on building something like this, i'll try it out. until then... planning!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

flood video

here's a link to a video of the flash flood out by highway sixty, if you're intrested. apparently the road was closed for quite some time this weekend, so people got out of their cars and took pictures of what was going on.

keep in mind that what is usually out there is dry ground. it's not actually a river.

EDIT: actually, i made a mistake. this video is not from this series of storms, it's from a lesser storm that hit about a month ago. SO... if this is what a lesser storm did, just imagine.

it's still a cool video.

weather goddess reigns supreme

this is truly bizarre. adam says that if new mexico has a weather goddess, she is either pregnant and prone to extreme hormonal mood swings, or she has multiple personalities and can't decide who she wants to be. either theory sounds fair to me, though i like to think of her as a pining lover who pretends to be happy one minute and then is floundering in grief the next. well, something bad must have happened, because she hasn't been this consistently upset since fall of 2002.

it has been raining here in socorro, pretty much non-stop, since friday afternoon. this may not seem like much to those of you who aren't in new mexico, but for us it's a pretty big deal. jordan told me yesterday that we've had five inches of rain, our yearly average, in the last four days. and it rained all of last night, too. i stayed awake and listened to it... for hours! i can't even remember the last time, before friday, that it rained for longer than about fifteen minutes. this is so weird.

of course our street floods and turns into a river, but apparently someone has been out in the rain working on that because it seems to be draining better every day. others were not so lucky. i've heard about a lot of roads being closed because the water was too deep, and people haven't been able to get home.

and our friends in escondita were actually flooded out of their house. it's rained so much that the levies broke, and their house was filled with water about waist-deep. the kids were home alone and actually had to be rescued. later, when it momentarily stopped raining, a group of people went back to rescue the animals. of course it started pouring again, and the van they drove in was overwhelmed and started to fill with water, and they had to climb out the windows and get clear of it. it's crazy.

this is supposed to be the desert! we're not supposed to have five straight days of rain! it freaks people out! jordan told me yesterday that it's supposed to rain for the rest of the week. that's so weird. and of course it's freezing, too, in a very humid way, and i had to get out my winter blanket and i've worn a jacket for several days now. i don't think the temperature has been over 80 degrees since thursday. i'm not really complaining about this, but still, it's not normal. this is new mexico in july. most people here don't even own an umbrella! my dad actually called me last night to ask if our house was okay and to see if anything was underwater.

it seems to have cleared up for now, but that's what i thought yesterday too. about noon i looked outside and it was all puddles and mud and sunshine, so, like an idiot, i thought our weather monstrosity was over and walked to work. it poured again. i was stuck there until about seven, when it let up long enough for me to get home. so strange.

on the other hand, our lawn is doing really well.

Friday, July 28, 2006


work... this week we're trying to make a list of everything we need to make our (seriously theoretical, because we all know it's not going to work) super-duper magical groundwater desalination trailer. it's frustrating, because there's really no way it's going to work because the amount of dissolved solids in the water is just too high. basically we're going to build something, plug it in, say, "look, it doesn't work" and then redesign it. it would be a lot nicer if the powers that be would just believe us and give us the funding to do it right the first time.

ryan keeps saying, "and this is where we all go to diagon alley and buy our magic wands and say our magic words!" it burns to admit it, but he's right. this is pretty dumb.

it's also just hard to find the prices for everything. i've found that the more expensive or important the part, the less likely you are to find the price online. you usually have to call, send an email to, and receive a fax from whatever company you're interested in. that's if you can find the product in the first place! i'm more or less in charge of plumbing, and i'm really having trouble finding a suitable pump.

now i can appreciate the guy that must look up all the prices for those mastercard commercials.

no, it's not that bad. i'm very thankful for my job, i know it's a good one. it's just a bit tiresome. and i'm thankful that i can have money, too. so i can buy things. like my new rainbow brite pj pants! woo! i'm so old school, you wouldn't even believe it. and i know exactly how much they cost.

rainbow brite pj pants: $5.47
funny socks: $3.00
chevy-gmc truck t-shirt that you stole from your sister, who stole it from your mom: um, free. sneaky skills needed.

having awesome pjs: well.... $8.47. sneaky skills not included.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

the extremely un-joyful life of the average movie critic

work is a little slow today. hooray, internet to the rescue! i looked up other movie reviews on lady in the water. i mentioned that i read one already, but i remembered a site that my friends always bug me about that i've never really cared to visit, lady in the water was right there on the homepage! i clicked the "reviews" button and looked through about 40 articles.

wow. people really hated this movie! the first review i read was kind in comparison.

almost every quote from the articles listed said things about how slow and tedious and self-worshipping and ridiculous the movie was. they attacked everything from holes in the plot (i mean come on, the story is about like an ocean girl and a dog thing and evil tree monkeys and an eagle... of course it's not probable) to the lines themselves. one person said shyamalan needs a new writer. i don't know if this critic knew that shyamalan IS his own writer, but either way, i thought the lines were very good, and duh you have to sort of press your "i believe" button about the plot, but don't you have to do that for all m. night shyamalan films?

the more i think about this, the more i think that if shyamalan was shamelessly attacking movie critics, he's completely justified in doing so.

the whole point of the film is that sometimes stuff is bizarre and silly and "has huge plot holes," but that you can believe anyway. you want to believe. isn't that the point of all his movies? believe in things you can't see? believe that the kid really can see dead people or that you could be a superhero or the kids might be right about the alien invasion?

is it cool to not like movies or something? do critics think they can only be credible if they pick out all the bad parts? just what the heck are they waiting for, anyway? are they looking for a movie that is totally flawless on every level that appeals to all audiences? no wonder they are cranky.

if you're thinking i'm being a hypocrite, well, maybe i am. my friends tell me that i'm more critical of movies than most people out there. usually it's because i just don't care about the characters. i didn't care about riddik very much, and i REALLY didn't care about whoever tom cruise was playing in that self-pitying samurai movie.

i'm thinking i shouldn't do that anymore. movies are meant for entertainment, not for someone to pick apart the logical gaps in the story or to think nasty thoughts about the director. i don't want to get to the point that i can't enjoy any movie, no matter how great it actually is, because i'm so focused on the parts that i didn't like. i really think everyone could benefit from just going to a movie for the sake of having fun. do critics attack children's movies? does anyone say, "oh yeah right, a talking fish! this is stupid!" i tend to think they don't. because kids aren't so picky. maybe we should go into every movie with the same expectations we have when going to see a movie for little kids.

i am so glad i didn't know anything about lady in the water before i saw it in the theater. i think i may be the only person in the world who actually enjoyed it because of that.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

lady in the water (no spoilers)

what can i say about m. night shyamalan? those of you who know me well know that i absolutely love his films. i think he's brilliant. inspired. genius. unbreakable has got to be the best movie ever, i'm sure of it... unless it's the village or signs.

every time another of his movies comes out, i become very nervous, because i want so badly for it to be as good as all the others, and i know he's probably the most pressured director in hollywood because everyone expects his films to be nothing short of fantastic, and over and over i want him to prove his fans right and his critics wrong. i'm sure it's not even close to the stress he feels before a film is released, but his movies are very important to me and i want him to do well.

lady in the water certainly did not let me down.

hooray! he rocks.

you know what? i don't care what people say about m. night shyamalan! he's awesome! i hear people saying that he's losing his touch and that he's running out of ideas, or more recently in a review i just read on lady in the water, that he's a petty egocentric narcissist whose on-screen characters are thinly-veiled blows at harsh critics (more about that later), but let me tell you something about the movie i just watched:

the last several moments of the film are very quiet. as the credits started rolling, the entire audience let out a collective breath that nobody realized they were holding! this wasn't the typical rise in noise at the end of a movie. you could have heard a pin drop in there. you could have heard an ant farting. but of course he wouldn't have, because he was so wrapped up in the REALLY GOOD FILM that had everyone's RAPTUROUS ATTENTION!!!

i'm not a filmmaker myself, but if i was, i daresay that the moment when no person in the theater dares to breathe because the awesomeness of my work is so overwhelming would be one of those things that i would live for, you know? i mean, how many films do that? come on.

and now i will talk about what the critic said. there's still no spoilers, but if you want to know absolutely nothing about this film, like i did, you should stop reading here.

let's face it, movie critics as a group have not been kind to mr. shyamalan. this film happens to have a movie critic as one of it's many characters. connection? maybe. maybe not. i personally think that by making this character something of an overly-critical arrogant jerk, shyamalan was telling all of us to lighten up. going to a movie can sometimes just be going to a movie. maybe you don't always have to try and figure out the plot. maybe some characters will surprise you. maybe you should just leave your expectations at the door and see where the film takes you.

... which is exactly why i didn't want to watch any previews or read anything about this movie before i watched it. i'm glad i did that.

and the fact that he gave the critic character the line, "there is no originality left in this world. that's a fact that makes me very sad," is profound. not that it's coming from the mouth of a movie critic, but that the line was written by m. night shyamalan. no originality indeed.

and you know what? so what if shyamalan was portraying critics in a bad light on purpose? who cares if an artist addresses his critics and the issues of his life through his work? the beatles did it, why not m. night shyamalan? good for him. smug, overconfident movie critics, thinking they should be untouchable. ha.

shyamalan of course always has his inevitable cameo, but in this film his role is much more important than in his others, in which you might, say, catch his reflection in the medicine cabinet door or something. of course now the critics say that he can't help but put himself right into the middle of all the important action and that he's not much of an actor. whatever. true, the fact that he showed up on the screen distracted me a little from the plot, but he did a good job in his role, and he freakin' wrote the character, so who's to say he didn't understand it well enough to play the part?

i really loved this film. one thing i loved was the range of bizarre characters that shyamalan wrote to fill the apartment complex where the story is based. the asian mother who didn't speak english. the hispanic daughters who only spoke spanish. the man who solved crossword puzzles while his kid ate cereal and chatted to him about captain crunch. i love characters that seem real, that aren't outrageously glamorous, people that you can imagine actually had a life before the movie started and that have relatives off-screen and apartments of their own and things they do while the other characters are doing something important to the plot. none of this rosencrantz and guildenstern sitting offstage, wandering around with nothing to do because no one wrote lines for them to say. shyamalan always seems to create characters that might actually be alive somewhere. a character that has asthma. or that stutters. or is uneducated. or shy. or that does laundry, for crying out loud.

i think that might be what's so great about his movies. they involve realistic, everyday people. this story could happen to you.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

where's my brother?

well, andy is gone after five straight days of hanging out with me, and i have all my food and drinks and time to myself, and i only have to clean up after myself, and i only have to entertain myself, and i can do whatever i want.

this sucks. i want to go home.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

the theory of many mouths

a good theory with a boring beginning. bear with me.

unlike many unfortunates who suffer from the inevitable "freshman fifteen," i actually lost weight when i came to college. i couldn't really figure that out, but i did notice that i always ate more when i went home to my family for the weekend. i figured it was some psychological change of location thing, and that i ate more at home because that's what i was used to. now i have a new theory: the theory of many mouths.

so my little twelve-year-old brother andy somehow got it into his head that socorro must be more exciting than las cruces (even though socorro is minus the dogs, the x-box, and all his friends) and came up to visit me for about a week. even though my dad sent him with a load of snacks, the kid's eating habits are something like a plague of rabid locusts. we've had to go for several food runs already. at the store i suffered from yet another impulse buy... you know those circus cookies? the pink and white yogurt-covered animal crackers with the crazy sprinkles? the control they have over me is alarming. a big bag like that would normally last me a week, but i made the mistake of opening it with andy and scott while we watched a movie.

they aren't nearly as conservative as i when it comes to sprinkley snacks. they just eat... and eat... and eat! and i had to keep up with them, because if i didn't, i wouldn't have any pink hippos or white elephants for myself. i was forced to eat faster just so i could actually eat. the same was true for the gatorade, the cheez-its, the ice cream, the toaster strudels, everything! if i didn't start eating the food as soon as i bought it, i'd suddenly find that it was gone without a trace.

hence my theory: when a person is around several other people, he or she will tend to eat greater quantities at a quicker pace than if the person is alone, due to the fact that said person will otherwise miss out on eating all together.

aha! so that's why i always eat more when i'm around my family. maybe it's some sort of animal survival instinct.

so yes, my snack supply (and my everything supply for that matter... paper towels, toothpaste, dishsoap, you name it) is quickly shrinking, but i'm really glad andy is here. he still looks a bit bewildered when i tell him "no, i'm not kidding, there's really nothing to do," but... for example, last night he and another younger boy i know had a dance-off. (i know, right?) just when the other kid hit him with "the worm" and it looked like the competition was over, andy busted out with "the inch-worm." well, you can imagine what that looked like. we fell all over ourselves laughing, and everyone, including the other kid, declared andy the winner. he cracks me up.

turns out he's pretty good at jumping through the hoop, too.

Monday, July 10, 2006

radius of the loop

so i wasn't exactly planning on being in las cruces this weekend. on saturday i got an email from my old church friend, maggie, telling me that she was in charge of cassie's bachelorette party and that i HAD to come. this really floored me, because while cassie was one of my best friends four years ago, i haven't heard from her in a while and i had no idea that she was even engaged, let alone getting married in a week. sure enough, when my dad came up to watch the ringo concert with me, he brought me an invitation to cassie and cory's wedding. who's cory? i hadn't even met this guy!

of course i made the trip, and thursday night i found myself at cassie's house for a racy girlie party, along with several of our old friends from church and a lot of cassie's aunts. okay, the aunts were freaky enough, since most of them are ladies i've known from church since i was a little kid and they were all getting tipsy and talking about "sex! hee hee hee hee hee hee!" and insisting that i call them by their first names. talk about weird flashbacks to childhood.

it didn't help that maggie had made us all t-shirts and had written "i'm the smart one" across the front of mine. so all the tipsy ladies kept saying, "COME ON, you're the SMART one! say something smart! you go to a tech school! IS THAT WHY YOU HAVE GLASSES?" no pressure or anything. i think i'd much rather have a shirt that says, "i'm the dumb one," so i can impress people instead of letting them down every time i ask a question.

then there were the friends. maggie, thankfully, is the same. it helps that i've kept up with her a bit. mo is engaged to another guy i don't know and is getting hitched in september. cassie had two days to go until her big day. sharon, cassie's little sister, is quite pregnant and apparently engaged also, which i wasn't prepared for at all since she and my sister are the same age. speaking of which, liz, maggie's little sister, is tall and gorgeous and dating ben, another little church kid that's even younger than her! all i could think about him was that he used to throw ice cubes at me at aggie games, little brat. but katrina took the out-of-touch gold medal. she is not only married with a kid, but actually had the kid in tow and was answering all the ladies' questions about how long he sleeps and if he smiles yet. yikes.

weird, weird, weird! i had no idea that 150 miles would put me so far out of the loop. and of course no one has really heard from me either, so everyone's favorite question was, "so holly, is there anyone special in your life?" (insert alcohol-induced eyelash flutter). i dodged that question like a question-dodgeball pro. lying ex-boyfriend/sneaky roommate romances are bitter and uncomfortable and are not meant for bridal parties.

on to the wedding. i went with my sister (thank god). we loved cassie's choice of dj and totally awesome dress (think beauty and the beast, only white), decided that we heartily approve of cory, and joked about flirting with the caterers. tracy was quite taken with the long-haired salad-server. the salad wasn't bad either, so there was absolutely no reason not to go back for seconds. we sat with liz and ben, and, well... were more or less ignored by everyone else. people i grew up with. it stung. trace and i were determined to have fun, however, so we danced with each other and each forced a dance on liz's little brother and made fun of the country songs... and we had fun.

but it wasn't a great feeling, being snubbed by my old buds. i get that enough from my old high school crowd, but i thought i was a lot tighter with the old church crowd. as the evening wore on trace and i were sending more and more longing looks over to the "crowd table," where liz and ben had eventually ended up, chatting with isaac, jordon, fuzz, joshie, grace, you know... everyone. now, cassie the bride and maggie the maid of honor are both off the hook here considering the circumstances, but i watched mo and lonnie and jos circle the crowd and mingle and walk right past. a lot. at one point, tracy and i wondered out loud exactly which of our shared qualities makes us so un-fun.

i thought ahead to mo's upcoming wedding. would i even be invited? would the church crowd get together and decide to take a picture of "the old youth group at mo's wedding" and forget about me? would i watch from the side or rush over to take a picture of my old friends with my own camera? it was seriously depressing. i thought again about how different they all were and how out-of-touch we had become.

and then i had a little revelation that really should have crossed my mind earlier. i was the one out of touch, not them. apparently the proverbial "loop" that people talk about doesn't reach all the way to socorro. when i went away for school i knew i would be lonely for a while and that i'd have to work hard to make new friends, but it never occurred to me that i'd lose the old ones. i didn't mind losing some school "friends", i'd counted on it in fact, but not my church friends. i never dreamed we'd be so distant.

about that time lonnie came and asked me to dance, which made me feel a lot better. i didn't even dodge his inevitable Question and gave him the reader's digest version of the sob story, and he yelled, "what an @$$hole!!!" i love when people do that. but soon after that we were cheering for a departing bride and groom and the night was over and tracy and i went home, finally giving our unpopularity the bemoaning it deserved.

i'm out of the loop. it just doesn't reach 150 miles. i've made good friends and bad friends here in socorro, and i'm glad i came, but apparently i've lost some friends, too. good ones. and really, it's my fault. i was the one who moved away to a tech school for college instead of going to NMSU like everybody else.

it's funny, the other girls at the bachelorette party had several things written on their shirts, most of them dealing with their position in the wedding or interesting relationship status. i had "i'm the smart one." and that's it. because that's what i am now. the smart girl who left.

short things

i figure i need to get a few things out of the way before i really dive into what went on this weekend.... and, um, last weekend. wow, it's been a while. sorry. how boring of me.

i got a little letter in the mail congratulation me on passing! hooray! my dad said, "ALRIGHT!" and high fived me. my grandfather said something vague about the government mail system, which was surely a clue of some kind that i was supposed to figure out, which may have been his own version of the test. um, hello grandpa, i passed! everyone else said something along the lines of, "oh good! what's the FE?" and i would roll my eyes and say, "the Fundamentals of Engineering exam? the one i was studying for for, oh, two and a half months? remember when i was all stressed out?" and whoever it was would say vaguely, "riiiiight," and change the subject. eventually i stopped mentioning it. oh well. i guess it's one of those nerd-world things that i should trust to my socorro buddies.

2. pirates of the caribbean (no spoilers.. well, not any big ones anyway)
since my brother and sister are all about the midnight premieres, i went with them to watch the new pirates sequel thursday night. i sat in the middle, so i got to whisper with my brother about the music and bad preliminary jokes and interesting special effects, and on the other side i still had my sis to discuss how hot ex-commodore norrington turned out to be and make several very immature (but fun) comments about keira knightly's boobs. yay! but anyway- it's good, once you get past the first forty-five minutes or so of the repeats of all the good jokes from the first movie. there was, "why is the rum gone?" and "captain jack sparrow" and "this is the day you will always blah blah blah," and you know, the dog with the keys and stuff, but after that it was all pretty fun.

3. fourth of july
i may be the only person in the world who associates independence day with burritos instead of barbecue, but that's me! i made burritos, scott bought gatorade and ice cream, and we and half the population of socorro and the neighboring towns went to the tech golf course to watch EMRTC's fireworks display, which is supposed to be super awesome, since they're "explosion experts" or something. but you know, the fouth of july always reminds me of the absolutely unbeatable disney fireworks, and what with my recent visit to disneyworld, i wasn't easily impressed. the tech fireworks just made me want to watch the sandlot. so i went to wal mart and bought it. hee.

4. I. SAW. RINGO!!!!!!!!!!11111oneoneonetwothree
i thought about just copy-pasting "i love ringo" a hundred times, but that would just be annoying. and immature. and who would read it all hundred times? no one. so, even though the little girl in me is pouting, i'm not going to do that. i am going to give last sunday's concert it's full-length blog post, however. this is just to let you know that I SAW RINGO and that a full report is coming, when i can finally give it justice.

oh no! the little girl in me is throwing a tantrum! she's SO SPOILED! and unfortunately the grown woman in me is weak-willed and doesn't have time for this right now so she giving in. yay!

i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo! i love ringo!

Friday, June 30, 2006

new things!

it's amazing how many new things you can notice just by walking across campus for the first time in a few weeks. since i really only spend time in the mechanical department, i generally only make it to the very tip of tech campus, so i pass the library every day, but that's about it. today is pay day, however, which called for a walk to The New Sub (it has some fancy title of course, i think named after a new mexico senator, but it will be a few college generations before the students call it anything but The New Sub). so i walked out the south door of weir, and check it out:

new thing #1: the construction on cramer is done.

this is a big deal, because it means the construction crew is done using the larger part of the parking lot. there are about forty "new" spaces now. yay! of course, this would have been a lot more useful to me if i still lived far enough from campus to drive, or if i still had class in those buildings, but it means that another fence is gone. yes, i walked between weir and cramer for the first time in years, and it was surreal.

new thing #2: construction on something else has started.

reinforcing carmen's theory that if they take down one fence they put up at least two more. i didn't look around for the second one, since i can't figure out what the first one is for. it seems that a long strip of land around The New Sub needs a nice orange fence to surround it. so i escaped the cramer fence only to have to walk around another one. oh well.

new thing #3: leering weirdos galore!

okay, so it's not exactly NEW, but it was a whole group of new ones.

on the way up the steps to TNS, i heard a group of guys talking loudly. you know the kind... people who try to be overheard because they think what they're saying is so cool that it will draw people to them. i was surprised that i didn't recognize any of them. not that i'm miss popularity or anything, but this is a small school and i usually recognize at least one person in a large group like that.

then i noticed that they were looking at me weird... aggressively, sort of high-and-mightily. well, most of them were. the rest were trying to see who i was without looking like they cared enough to actually turn their heads. both actions seemed familiar, like... like... freshmen. it was creepy. i was just thinking about how the summer students were a weird pack of mutants when i walked into TNS and everything made sense.

lots of kids walking around with their parents. ah. summer orientation day.

this explains the several suit-and-tie professors i saw today, and why i can't find dr. ghosh anywhere. he's probably in the gym, helping the poor little kids pick out their weeder courses.

don't get me wrong, i have nothing against freshmen. i haven't forgotten that i once was a freshman. but orientation is funny. all the kids wear the coolest t-shirt they own and project this attitude of who they really want to be in college, and it's hilarious. the leery aggressive ones try to make as many friends as fast as possible, trying to get a head-start on their freshman popularity. they force themselves to be more outgoing than they actually are. it's a painful thing to watch. the snobby up-downers are either more selective or more shy, and are therefore a little less frightening but equally entertaining. they force themselves to be cooler than they actually are. every year there's a few cool ones that actually calm down and act like themselves, but for the most part it's the freaked out little weirdos.

it's too bad i didn't know today was orientation day earlier. last year pablo and i got a lot of free doughnuts and plenty of laughs pretending we were froshies. it was great.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

the vicious circle

you know how it is when you have a blog...

whenever there are lots of things happening in your life, you have lots of blog fodder to write about. however, there is also the flip side of that coin: when all the stuff is happening, you don't have time to write. likewise, when you DO have time to write, it's usually because nothing's really going on, and you realize you have nothing interesting to say. it's like the vicious blogging cirlce.

well, either i'm getting really lazy or i love paul maccartney a lot more than ringo starr. i'm going to see mr. starr and his all-starr band in albuquerque on sunday with my dad. i'm sure you've noticed that i haven't been posting pictures of ringo and gushing about how like, totally awesome he is for the last week and a half, and i certainly haven't been making banners or thinking about him non-stop... well, i haven't been making banners, anyway.

but i did go and buy two of his cds yesterday. i bought the latest one he made, choose love, and another one that turned out to be a live performance of the 2001 installment of the all-starr band in chicago. the live cd is cool. they sang "i wanna be your man," which i just learned was the very first U.S. hit for the rolling stones, even though lennon and maccartney wrote the song. choose love is really good too. i keep listening to it and thinking with a shock, "this sounds like the beatles!" and then DUH hits me and i think, "riiiiiiiiiiiight..."

you know what? maybe i will make a banner.

note: interestingly enough, blogger's spell check does not include the word " blog." the internet is sort of dumb.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

concert 1; chicago, huey lewis & the news

on sunday carmen, steve and i went down to the journal pavilion to watch chicago and huey lewis and the news. it was FUN! :) here's what i thought.

i'm not really familiar with most of huey lewis' songs, but he and his band were really good entertainers. they had about an hour and a half set, and they played "new drug" and "back in time" and a really nice acapella version of "it's alright", and of course "the power of love" brought down the house. i noticed on some songs (like "if this is it", for example) that huey wasn't hitting the high notes very well, but he was very energetic running around (and jumping around) the stage, and he tore it up on the harmonica. steve was stoked. you should have seen him.

HL&TN played songs that were more upbeat and, well, concert-ish, but there was no question that most people were there to see chicago. the audience was very appreciative of huey and was really responsive to the music, but... during one of his songs his brass section slowed waaaaaaay down and started playing the riff to "does anybody really know what time it is," and the crowd went wild.

the two bands really complemented each other, and they worked together well. HL&TN brought out bill from chicago to sing and play guitar during one of their last songs, and he was awesome. unlike huey, he had no problem hitting some really high notes, and it was sweet. he reminded me of when i went and saw yes, and steve howe was ancient but still the best guitar player i'd ever seen. and again, at the beginning of chicago's set, a voice offstage started singing, and huey and the rest of his band walked on and sang along with chicago for a song or two. the two bands looked like they really liked singing with each other.

chicago's set was mostly filled with their more up-beat songs, and they left out most of their slow mushy stuff. they started with "make me smile." carmen swears she heard "you're the inspiration," but i must have missed that. even without most of the slow songs, they're not what you really call mosh pit music, so the concert was mostly just chill. it was a lot more like a jam session than a show, but it was still really enjoyable. the songs from their new album, XXX (as in thirty, okay?) sound a lot like their older material, which i think is a good thing. they have the same style that they had back in the day, and even if you've never heard the songs before, they still sound familiar.

albuquerque's journal pavilion isn't my favorite venue. i like the sandia casino ampetheater a lot, but it was still nice. it has regular seating and then a big hill that's covered in grass. people pay about twenty bucks for "lawn seats" and sit out on the grass with their blankets and picnic baskets and stuff. a couple times the bands dedicated a song to "all the people out there on the grass!" i think that one was "saturday in the park." appropriate.

it was a really nice show.

Monday, June 19, 2006

the pretty issue

i wonder how many of us have been in the same situation...

have you ever seen a girl or woman that you thought was gorgeous, and then heard her say, "ug, i'm so fat!" or ask another girl, "how come you're so thin and i'm so ugly?" and wondered what the heck her problem was? or how 'bout this. i played sports in middle and high school, and the girls would stand around the mirror in the locker room after practice and argue about which one of them was the ugliest... and they were all rooting for themselves. one would say, "but my pimples," and another would say, "but my thighs," and another would say, "i'm way too tall," and another would say, "my arm fat is gross," and i just stood there watching these beautiful, athletic girls tear themselves apart, wondering what was going on.

this morning a friend of mine asked me why i disapprove of her new diet/exercise plan that she's trying out. i told her that i don't like the idea that she's rewarding herself according to her dress size. it just seems wrong, especially when i think she's absolutely beautiful. statistically overweight, but beautiful nonetheless.

she went on to tell me about how unhappy she is, about how all she thinks about is exercising and losing weight, about how she hates getting ready in the morning because she doesn't like the way she looks, about how she can walk into a meeting and know that everyone in there is her friend, but still feel too big and think "everyone's looking at me because i'm too big."

now, she's not stupid. she's not going to get anorexic or anything on me. but what about the girls/women who aren't as smart about their bodies and don't have good friends or good guys to support them?

needless to say, i'm pretty ticked off at society right now for holding women to such an unfair standard. i was reading a magazine last week and i was stunned at the range of products out there... there is a way to fix everything, or at least products that claim to fix everything, which implies that everything needs fixing. that until everything is fixed, a person is incomplete. what is wrong with people? i used to think that girls were just fishing for compliments when they said stuff like that, but some girls really do think that everyone judges them according to their imperfections. i could probably offer up a dozen of my friends as case studies... each one of them gorgeous, but they just can't see it.

honestly when i hear stuff like that i just get uncomfortable and don't know what to do. saying things like, "no, you're pretty just the way you are!" or, "but look at your shiney hair!" seem so cliche and unsincere. with my closer friends i tell them that i don't like when they talk like that, or i just say, "stop it!" but is that the right thing to do?

i wish i had a pretty stick. i would beat my friends with it relentlessly.

happy birthday, anyway

yesterday was father's day, but also happened to be june 18th, sir paul maccartney's birthday. and not just any old birthday... his 64th birthday.

now it's a pretty safe bet that you all know how i dearly love sir paul. between that and his birthday, i'd say it's about time i said something about this whole... thing.

i'm really sad that he's getting a divorce. i think my image of him being the most romantic guy ever is a bit rocked by this, but then again, maybe it's not. maybe he was the most romantic guy and linda was the most romantic woman, and that sometimes things don't work out even for the best. this is not to say that i'm buying the press image of heather mills being an evil gold-digging attention whore... yet... but i think it's only natural for everyone to blame her for breaking off a marriage to a man who spent all but nine nights away from his previous wife the entire time they were married. people look at how devoted paul was to linda, and they think that it can't possibly be his fault.

i just feel really bad that he's been singing about being 64 and having and old lady to dig in the garden with for forty years, and when it's finally his 64th birthday/father's day he's going through a divorce and looking at loosing custody of his two-year-old daughter. i'm pretty sure that's not what he had in mind. poor paul. :(

Thursday, June 15, 2006

what i've been doing at work

okay, i'm pretty unhappy with the way this turned out... grr... but trust me, it's much bigger and prettier and higher resolution in person.

anyway, this is an area of southeast new mexico (carlsbad is just on the other side of the bottom left corner), and, using data taken from well samples from this portion of the state, this is the average predicted concentration of chlorine in the ground water. neat, huh? i MADE this.

the colors are different concentrations of chlorine, the grid squares are the township/range that the mining companies use, and the thick red line is the border of the potash mining area. the little black lines are roads (that are actually labeled, ooooooo!), and you can sort of see the village loving down there in the corner. oh, and if you were actually looking at this picture before i internet-ized it, you could see the new mexico hillshade on there, too. that is really cool. it actually shows the hills and mountains and stuff with little shadows on the map. this area is pretty flat, so it's not as noticeable as it would be for other parts of the state, like say, los alamos, but still, it's cool.

don't ask me what this has to do with mechanical engineering.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


oh, and i guess it's 6-6-6, so... happy hell day, or whatever.

5-5-5 was a really horrible day. but on 4-4-4, i remember sitting in class, thinking about 12-12-12, and wondering if on that date i would remember the 4-4-4 me, a sophomore in college spacing out and not paying attention to whatever the heck the teacher was saying. but don't think about the past and future too much... it'll weird you right out.


have you ever WATCHED a baby bird fall out of it's nest? just sat there and watched? it's awful.

last night the ants came back, so carmen and i brushed them off again. scott and i were watching from the kitchen window, all worried (at least i was), especially about the bird that was teetering on the edge of the nest, trying to get away from the ants. first he fell onto the ledge, and then fell about eleven feet to the cement.

before i go any further... i think he's fine. i read online that the whole "won't touch a baby that smells like human" thing just isn't true for mama birds, so i picked him up and put him back in the nest. i've seen him and the three others (i was wrong about the number at first) several times since then, and i think he'll be alright.

but watching him fall was horrible! and then the parents just didn't DO anything and they let him just lay there and twitch and they didn't even look at him... wow. it was bad. i yelled at them, but of course it didn't make a difference.

so like i said, i got some garden gloves and stuck him back in his nest, which was hard, because he got his claws all tangled in the gloves and wouldn't relax so i could put him back in. a little while later, another bird was doing the same thing, so carmen and i put an old mattress pad under the nest. another baby fell out, but seemed okay because it landed on all the soft stuff.

these poor little birds... it really stresses me out that they're not doing well. i hope this year they fly away instead of dying. :(

Thursday, June 01, 2006

poor babies

the swallows came back a few months ago and built their nest on the porch. one of the parents (they look exactly alike, so i'm assuming it's the mom, but you saw march of the penguins, right?) has been diligently sitting on the eggs for weeks now. two days ago i noticed that the eggs had hatched. today i counted three birds. they only really stick their heads out when the parents come with food, and they only do that when no one's around, so you have to watch from the kitchen window.

this evening i was in the kitchen and i saw that the parents were freaking out. the nest and the entire ledge and wall and ceiling around it were crawling with red ants.

i called like five "24 hour" animal rescue hotlines and got answering machines for all of them. i don't know what to do! even when the parents aren't there, the little birds are sticking their heads out of the nest and opening their beaks and it looked like they're trying to climb out. when the parents are there, they pick at the babies and then spit stuff out, like they are picking off the ants.

i got a little broom and swept the ants off the wall and the ledge as best i could without getting too close to the nest, going really slowly so i won't scare the birds. i've done that about five times now. the first time the parents went into what i suppose is their "wounded bird" routine. they flew low around the front yard making lots of noise. the next few times they flew to the roof and watched me. the next time, one of them stayed in the nest and kept picking for a while before flying away. this last time, one of them stayed in the nest the whole time, and just hopped to the ledge and watched me towards the end.

it seems to be working... there aren't as many ants, and the babies are calming down (or dying, but i hope they're calming down) and the parents are definitely calming down.

i hope they're okay. :( two summers ago all four of the babies died one by one and then the parents tore down the nest and left. it sucked.