Wednesday, June 27, 2007

All I Ever Needed

My week of "vacation" has been going really great so far! I haven't had to wake up before 10am on any day and I haven't even been thinking about work.

On the other hand, I started a new class on Monday night, so I've been reading a lot of text books. And working on the papers I still have left over from a few weeks ago hasn't really happened yet, either...

Jube was surprised on Tuesday morning by being offered a week-long job at nights, so I've been free to do whatever I want. And "whatever I want" means watching So You Think You Can Dance, my new favorite show!

I never used to like dance. I thought it was boring, the "stories" were grafted on, and the music was the high point. Then in college one of my closest friends and roommates happened to be a dancer. I was subjected to numerous viewings of Center Stage, which must finally have convinced me that dancing was cool. [I still don't recommend the movie unless you are really into dance. I don't think I'll ever watch it without Catherine...] By my senior year I had watched White Nights without coercion and cried at student recitals. I like dance now. So, without further introduction, enjoy the latest YouTube offering of my favorite dance from the first "competition" episode of SYTYCD (see? I'm already up on the lingo!):


And this is the video I originally wanted to post, but it wasn't up yet on YouTube. I think it is my favorite dance of all...

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Europe in a Day

Yesterday I went to Italy, Germany, France, and the British Isles all in the same day. Ha ha, not really, I just went to Busch Gardens: Europe, which is broken up into little sections that are based on European Countries. Of course, the Europe depicted there more closely corresponds with stereotypes and theme-park kitsch than actual European countries. The roller coasters were pretty cool, but the best part about Busch Gardens is the availability beer! By the end of the night Rosa and I had seen several close calls, with people fighting about cutting in line, not-quite-quiet-enough insults, and father-son disputes. Plus it made my meal in Germany extra good--what goes better with sausage, saurkraut, and potatoes than beer?

We went with a group of mixed nationality, including Korean, Chinese, Turkish, Senegalese, Saudi, and Venezuelan, and made several discoveries by the end of the day:

Dogs do not speak the same language (they say, variously, "mong," "how," "woof," and "wah"), while cats can understand each other the world over (they all say "meow");

Fart jokes make everyone laugh;

Boys are less likely to ride scary roller coasters than girls (if you go according to our group dynamics, that is).

We didn't get back to Norfolk until late at night, so we dropped everyone off in front of their apartment building/ house/ residence hall. Rosa was especially nervous because of reports of a flasher stalking the campus. We escaped that fate and all made it home safely.

Friday, June 22, 2007

End of an Era

My first job came to an end today. Next week I have a mini vacation (I'm writing papers, starting a new class, and attending 2 meetings), and after that my internship kicks in at 30 hours a week. I can still pretend that things will be calmer around here, right? And instead of sleeping in tomorrow, I'm getting up early and going to Busch Gardens with my friend Rosa! Jube will spend a men's day in with Willy, playing guitar and X-Box 360. In fact, he is brushing up on his video game skills right now by watching an instructional video ("See? The Germans are hiding behind the fence, but I can shoot the fence. That shows you that you shouldn't assume that you can hide behind everything!").

I have a funny post coming up, but I lost the cable that connects my camera to the computer somewhere in our apartment and I'm too lazy to find it right now. Just shiver in anticipation...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Another Day, Another Problem to Resolve...

The other day Jube received a copy of Maxim in the mail. At first we thought it was a mixup, but then realized that it really had his name on it. Argh!!

Maxim is the stupidest magazine in the world!!! I mean, if it were real pornography, then it would at least have a reason to exist, but its inane articles and almost-sexy photographs add up to a big boring. (I do have to admit that I read it all, but that was because I was out of fiction in the bathroom...)

Whatever, no big deal, right? Well, then we got a letter from Guitar World, a magazine we really do subscribe to, saying that we had to renew the subscription. Suddenly I realized what had happened (and had some bad flashback feelings as well...):

A few months ago some stupid college kids came to our apartment selling magazine subscriptions. I refused them until they said they could renew our subscription to Guitar World on the cheap. I paid for it. This sparked a fight between me and Jube, because he thought that they had taken advantage of me. Well damn and if he wasn't right!

They either lied about having subscriptions to Guitar World or made an honest mistake, but instead I paid for two years of Maxim (the stupidest magazine in the world, please let me reiterate). If I could exchange it for a subscription to Ms. or Guitar World, I would... but of course that is "impossible at this time," according to the company.

Luckily (very luckily!) I managed to save the receipt and they will refund my money. I think the worst part of the whole deal is having to admit to Jube that he was right--and its corollary: I did something dumb...

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Sleep In.

This morning Jube and I had a breakfast of supermarket croissants. Around one o’clock, he started thinking about making lunch and went to the kitchen to consider our options. He called out to me, “What should we eat for lunch?”

“Dunno,” I called back.

“Dunno!” he said. “You like those two syllables, don’t you? You should write a thank-you letter to whoever invented those two syllables. ‘Dun-no.’ And those two syllables mean so much more than just ‘I don’t know!’ They mean ‘I don’t want to cook.’ They mean ‘I know we have to go shopping, but I don’t want to think about it.’ And they also mean ‘I wash my hands of the subject and you have to do everything.’”

I smiled at him from my place at the computer.

He rolled his eyes and said, “You’re a pest!”

“Fine,” I said, “What do you want to eat?”

“Dunno,” he said.

Except it was in French, and went more like this:

Jube calls out to me from the kitchen, « Qu’est-ce qu’on va manger à midi? »

« Chais pas. »

« Eh ben ! Tu aimes ces deux mots ! Tu devrais écrire une lettre de remerciement à celui qui a inventé ces deux mots. « Chais pas. » Et en plus tu peux dire plein de choses avec ces deux mots. Ça veut dire « je ne sais pas. » Ça veut dire aussi « j’ai pas envie de faire de la cuisine. » Et aussi « je sais qu’il faut faire les courses, mais je ne veux pas y penser. » Et finalement ça veut dire « je m'en lave les mains et c’est toi qui vas tout faire. »

I smile.

He shakes his head, looking at me at the computer. « Tu es une peste. »

I ask, « Alors qu’est-ce que tu veux manger ? »

He looks at me and clearly enunciates, « Chais pas. »

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Heavy, Man!

Today Jube was lifting my leg like it was a barbell. "Wow, it's pretty heavy!" he said. "I could really work out this way!" I rolled my eyes at him.

"So you're saying I'm heavy?" I asked.

"No, no, I'm saying that legs are heavy. It reminds me of something my dad used to say. You know he worked in a hospital, right? Well, whenever they had to amputate someone's leg, they would make a new worker carry it to where it had to be. And every time, the new guy would be really surprised at how heavy the leg was!"

"That's gross!"

"Yeah, well... I'm just saying, legs are heavy."

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Work Weak

As you may remember, last week we searched for a cheap wedding ring for Jube's job interview. We finally found one at Wal-Mart, and it must have worked, because he got the job! Yay! He doesn't start until August, but has a lot of things to do before then. He has job training to attend and also lots of guitar riffs and fun stuff to take care of.

This week I am in class. Nothing interesting to report. Two weeks till vacation time!

Monday, June 11, 2007


I guess one of the previous inhabitants of our apartment was a gun owner, because I just got a little postcard from a gun dealer addressed to him. It basically said,

"Hello fellow gun-nut. I just wanted to tell you that the Democratic primary is coming up for your district. Now, I'm no Democrat, but the winner of the primary will be running unopposed, so this is basically the final election. Luckily for us, primaries in Virginia are open to everybody who wants to vote in them. Johnny Joannou, one of the best defenders of the Second Amendment is running against Henry Light. Joannou is a longtime resident of this district and will make sure you have no problems keeping that gun you bought from us. Henry Light is some newcomer who wants 'common-sense gun laws' in Virginia. So please, go vote this Tuesday for Joannou and then head to the firing range."

Now, I'd been vaguely aware of the upcoming primary, but I hadn't been planning on voting. Now I think I just might go because of this postcard. Anything to break down that pesky Second Amendment, right?


Saturday, June 09, 2007

Harbor Fest

Last night Jube and I met Kilmer and her friend at Norfolk's Harbor Fest. There are tall ships from all around the world docked in downtown Norfolk, with plenty of vendors and food to sample. Last night we also got to see Los Lonely Boys perform.

Unfortunately yesterday was the hottest day of the year to date, with temperatures reaching 97 and more humidity than I could handle. Thank goodness we headed down near nightfall--the sun would have been impossible! We're going down again this evening to enjoy the fireworks. Norfolk is turning out more interesting than I first thought...

Friday, June 08, 2007

Work Story

It's been a long time since I posted a story from work. I just can't mention anything specific about it for a couple of reasons... Although I doubt my boss would fire me, he would be very disappointed to find that I said anything about my job. In addition, since I work for the university, I am bound by certain agreements to confidentiality, so I would be breaking the law to talk about some of it.

That said, I can definitely talk about what colleagues said during the day that has nothing to do with work!

I work with two amazing women who are also hilarious. One is my supervisor, who is a really caring woman. She even took Jube and I out to dinner for my birthday and has provided lots of support for me during my time here (for example, letting me take a week off in the middle of November to get married and attend a conference in Washington, DC).

The other works in our office but is not a direct supervisor. She comes in and tells us outrageous stories about her past, some of which are really amazing. For example, she came from a very strict family and was shy around strangers. When she told us this, we were shocked! Today she has no problem bursting in on our boss, interrupting his work, and making hilarious complaints about everyone else in our department.

"What made you become so open?" asked my supervisor.

"Well, you see, I worked at a rehabilitation center counsling addicts, and the staff were required to take group therapy sessions," our colleague explained. "They would go around in a circle and talk about their feelings, and I would just shrug and say, 'I dunno.' Then one of them turned to me and said," she lowered her voice, "'You bi-i-i...!' And I looked at her and said, 'Eff you!' And you know what? I liked it! I went home that night and cursed out my husband! And you know what? It turned him on!"

My supervisor and I were laughing hysterically, trying to keep our voices down so our boss wouldn't hear us.

"Yeah. And when we divorced, I went out and bought a mink coat and a red suit to wear just to sign the papers. I know that I should get rid of that coat because of animal cruelty, but I just can't. I feel so free when I wear it! And you know, my mother said that ladies should never wear red..."

I noticed that her toenails were painted red that day.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Me, me, ME!

I was just tagged for my first-ever meme! I am very excited because... well... no one ever liked me enough to tag me before. Thanks JChevais! So here it goes. Let's hope I don't screw it up.

1. Add a direct link to your post below the name of the person who tagged you. Include the city/state and country you’re in.

Nicole (Sydney, Australia)
velverse (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
LB (San Giovanni in Marignano, Italy)
Selba (Jakarta, Indonesia)
Olivia (London, England)
ML (Utah, United States)
Lotus (Toronto, Canada)
tanabata (Saitama, Japan)
Andi (Dallas [ish], Texas, United States)
Lulu (Chicago, Illinois, United States)
Chris (Boyne City, Michigan, United States)
AB (Cave Creek, Arizona, United States)
Johnny Yen (Chicago, Illinois, United States)
Bubs (Mt Prospect, Illinois, United States)
Mob (Midland, Texas United States)
Yas (Ahwatukee, Arizona USA)
Alicia(Idaho Falls, Idaho, USA)
Tug (Hell, Colorado, USA)
Bond (Memphis, TN, USA)
TopChamp (Glasgow, UK)
Kailani (Honolulu, HI, USA)
Amber (Henderson, TN, USA)
the weirdgirl (San Francisco Bay Area, CA, USA)
JChevais (Paris, France)
Gem (Norfolk, VA, USA)

2. List out your top 5 favorite places to eat at your location.

Disclaimers before you read: Norfolk is not necessarily known for its cuisine, although there are lots of nice restaurants. Those I have listed here are my favorites, so they are modestly priced (shall we say). I mean, I am a student living off of a limited budget...

With that out of the way, I can begin my list:

La Herradura. This is a Mexican restaurant in University Village. It is about 10 minutes away by foot from our apartment and has great lunch specials. I think my favorite part about La Herradura is the margaritas. You can choose between "regular" and "jumbo" at dinner, with a lunch-sized margarita between 11am-3pm. I like them on the rocks with salt. Another good thing about La Herradura is that after 11pm on weekends it turns into a nightclub. I think I eat here more than any other restaurant.

Next on my list is O'Sullivan's Wharf. It might be the most expensive of the restaurants I frequent, but it has a deck on the Lafayette River and is only about 10 minutes away from my apartment on foot. It sells good seafood--my favorite is the catfish with Old Bay crisps.

The Rajput. I love Indian food, and you can get a lot at the Rajput (check out the link for some music with your menu). There are all-you-can-eat buffets at lunch and on the 1st Thursday of every month, but I like to get vegetarian entrees and take home the leftovers.

Kotobuki Restaurant. This place is also a bit pricey (for me), but has the best Japanese food in Norfolk. I love it because it's a family run restaurant. The kids run around and there is always Japanese television on the sets around the bar. We go at lunch because there are better deals (it reminds me of the Japanese restaurant we used to go to in Nice--ONLY at lunch, because otherwise we couldn't afford it at all).

Finally, although not a restaurant, I have to put down Smoothie Mania as my last favorite. I don't know if it's a chain or not, but I love it! The only one I know of is in the MacArthur Shopping Center in downtown Norfolk. Every time we visit I order a green tea smoothie and it tastes so good! We took Jube's friends when they visited from Ohio, and they ordered huge smoothies with "natural" supplements added (for energy or bodybuilding, I'm not sure which). Yum.

3. Tag 5 other people (preferably from other countries/states) and let them know they’ve been tagged.

Okay, now the hard part. I'm going to tag Fraise, because I want to know what restaurants she likes in Nice (I know mine, but they could be different). And Brooke because I want to hear something about O-H-I-O! Then I'll choose Random Guy because I'm sure he'll have something gross to say about Norfolk cuisine... and Aerrin to find out about Bloomington. Finally I'll tag Caroline in Rome to hear some more about Italian food. [Don't worry about doing the meme if it's really annoying you. I'm just excited to tag other people!]

Now I think I'll go eat something. Too bad Smoothie Mania is closed...

Sunday, June 03, 2007


Yet another Sunday night, the saddest night of the week. My dad and his girlfriend Robin visited us this weekend. We had a pretty laid back time, watching L'Auberge Espagnole, visiting the U.S.S. Wisconsin, and eating at a couple of restaurants. But now it's less than 12 hours till I'm back at work, and I don't want the weekend to end. Oh well. At least I uploaded this video of les vachettes after years of keeping it hidden on my "2004-2005 photos" CD.....

Friday, June 01, 2007

Switch on Summer with a Slot Machine

Sometimes I sleep with earplugs in. I started using them to sleep for the first time on the first anniversary of this blog! I'm sure you don't remember it (it was so long ago!), but I was on vacation and liked to sleep past 8am, while the construction workers outside my window not only started working at 8--they left big sheets of metal to cover the holes they left, so even at 2am it would make a horrible noise and wake me up!

I use them now to block out the pesky sounds of Norfolk traffic, partying college students, and this annoying bird that likes to sing at 11pm. Of course we have the window open. After my time spent in France, I don't like air conditioning very much. (Oh yeah, and it's also really expensive and I'm a poor student...) Before Jube arrived, I would turn on the AC for about an hour before I went to bed and woke up sweaty in the morning--but blocking the city noise. This isn't an option for Jube, who likes to have a bit of fresh air and who makes the bedroom a lot hotter at night.

That's why I started using earplugs again. The weird thing is that sometimes, when I wake up in the morning, I no longer have them in my ears. The first time it happened, I assumed they had fallen out--but then I found them on my bedside table. This happens pretty frequently, and I have no memory of waking up and setting them there. I think my subconscious/unconscious mind is more organized than I am in waking life...