Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Christmas commercials

Well, it's officially the holiday season now. I've just seen the M&Ms commercial:



Now if only they'll bring back the Hershey Kisses one too:



That will make it really official.

Santa's transportation

I would like to take this opportunity to point out that Santa Claus does not drive a motorcycle, an airplane, or any other ridiculous vehicle you idiots with your giant inflatable lawn ornaments can dream up. He drives a magical sleigh, drawn by eight tiny reindeer. The only acceptable variation on this form is the possible addition of a ninth reindeer in the lead, sporting a shiny red nose. That's how Santa rolls, bitches. Deal with it.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving, and congested ramblings

Thanksgiving was lovely. The trip to Aunt Lori's was generally pleasant, the dinner was excellent, and the company was good, and dinner today here at Dad's was also delicious, with equally excellent company (though rather fewer meat-free options—I really must say, I appreciate how Aunt Lori & co. take into account my dietary preferences without me having to ask and feel like I'm putting people out; I don't get that here).

At any rate, it was a lovely holiday, and so wonderful seeing everybody (and especially the kids; I am related to such adorable children!). My only complaint is that the cousins at Auntie L's all had some nasty Florida flu, and I have apparently picked up the bug. I refuse to get sick-sick; I simply won't do it. I have every confidence that it will not happen. But I am thoroughly congested, which is probably part of why I'm not asleep yet, and it will make sleep rather less comfortable when it arrives.

Ah well. I've found free internetz again for the moment (hooray!), so I can while away my sleepless hours with the other weirdos on the interwebs. And of course, I've got the TV, though its company, as always, is sometimes less than joyous. Right now, for example, all the good shows (read: SVU reruns) are over, and the "music" channels won't start playing videos for another couple of hours, but I want the noise, so I left it on and put on C-Span. It's generally easy to ignore if I'm interested in what I'm doing, and sometimes I catch interesting bits of information. But right now they've got Fred Thompson on, and before him was Mike Huckabee, and they're saying such stupid, stupid things, and it's making me upset. Why are they so stupid? Why?

The tissues are hurting my nose. :(

Sunday, November 25, 2007

highway musings

I really love driving through Chicago at night. It's so huge and exciting and alive. And I don't mean the actual city, although I like that on its own terms. No, I mean the highways themselves.

I suppose most people would say I'm just easily awed. But it's not like it's something I haven't seen before. It's not like I'm some country rube that's never left my little town in rural Indiana. I've seen insterstate highways, and numerous large cities (in numerous foreign countries, even). But really, they're so huge when you really think about it. I-90 through Chicago is mostly twelve lanes—twelve lanes—of traffic, with the Metra tracks in the middle—think how wide that is. If each lane is what, twelve feet across, plus the shoulders and the tracks, you're talking well over a hundred feet—that poor chicken'd have a hard time crossing this kind of road. And the overpasses have always amazed me, ever since I was little—bridges upon bridges, stacked three and four deep, curving up and down, left and right, soaring over empty space and each other, cars criss-crossing over and under other cars in seemingly random directions, but all ending up going where they need to go. And the lights, all the lights, a constant stream of red taillights on one side, and the oncoming white headlights on the other, and the impossibly tall orange streetlamps, endless rows between each set of lanes, snaking on and on until they merge with each other and all the other lights and disappear over the horizon. It's all so huge and brilliant!

Now, don't get me wrong; the environmentalist in me rails at the miles of concrete and steel and the tons of noxious fumes emitted daily by the traffic. It's a long way from the pioneers and their dirt roads, that's for sure. But that's neither regrettable nor commendable; it just is. Hopefully, we'll wise up someday and think of some new form of transportation that's not quite so disgustingly wasteful, and it will have wonders all its own. And that will be good. But for now, the child in me still loves the lights, the vast concrete expanses with their orderly lanes, the soaring chaos of bridges upon bridges stretching impossibly across the fume-filled sky. It really is marvelous.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

killing time

Earlier today, I happened to be at Wal-Mart (because there's no place else to get what I want in this godforsaken place, gr) and I happened to see the movie Rose Red in the five dollar bin. Now, I love a good haunted house flick, and Kat and I watched this one last year, and I highly enjoyed it, so I grabbed it. Now, as I'm sitting here contemplating the long hours ahead of me in my quest to stay up 'til 4 AM in preparation for tomorrow's drive, I happen to notice the DVD sitting there on the table, and I think to myself, "Hey, that's a four-hour movie; I could put it on now and that'd take care of my whole evening in one go."

Then I look around and think that perhaps staying up 'til all hours of the night in a basement that has been on my list of creepy places since childhood is not the best environment in which to watch a good haunted house flick. I mean, I don't want to sleep yet, but I do want to sleep.

Le sigh. There's always my SVU DVDs. I think I'll go lose myself in season 2.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

thoughts

It's kind of ridiculous how much I miss my Knox friends already. I've only been home, what, two days? Le sigh.

Ah well. I'm sure I won't be severely lacking for things to do over break. Well, that's a lie, I will, but I'll manage to fill the time. I always do. I'd really much rather have nothing to do than too much to do, because then I have time to pursue leisure activities, or just sit and think, which I find to be a good thing. Perhaps I'll write, or get some reading done.

One thing I will do, I have decided, is take up knitting, at least for the time being. It looks like such a soothing activity. My intention is to make myself a scarf and a hat, and see how I like it. Perhaps I'll acquire a new hobby; if nothing else, I'll acquire a scarf and a hat.

And it will give me one more thing to do on the way to Minnesota and back. For which we're leaving tomorrow at four. And driving straight through. Meaning we'll get there at four. AM. I seriously do not understand what my mother hopes to gain by not taking Michael out of school for half a day. Seriously. Have you seen an elementary school classroom the last afternoon before a break? There is no learning there. So why we can't leave at noon is a mystery to me. But I've long since stopped trying to fathom the inner workings of my mother's brain.

So I'm planning to stay up ridiculously late tonight, sleep late tomorrow, and then I'll be awake for the duration of the trip. I expect I'll be driving a good portion of the after-dark hours, as usually ends up being the case. I don't mind. It's kind of nice, really, a car full of sleeping people, all under my watchful care, trusting me to get them safely where they need to go. It makes me feel very calm and capable. I like being calm and capable.

Of course, for the time being, I also have to finish the laundry. This is the downside of responsibility.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Ya know what?

It's really nice to be home.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Flip!

Ladybugs are pretty much the coolest things ever. I'm sitting here on the porch finishing my poetry final, and they're frickin' everwhere, which is pretty annoying, but one of them was crawling on my laptop, so I brushed her off onto the floor and she landed on her back. Well, she sat there for a moment, legs flailing in the air, and then she very deftly just popped her wings out and flipped herself neatly over onto her feet again.

I wish I could do that!

...and this is me procrastinating. Gah. Okay, off to finish my final.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

maps in my head

I spent most of last year having absolutely no idea where pretty much anything was in Galesburg, so this year, I've been working on filling that gap in my knowledge. In furtherance of this aim, I've done a bit of browsing on Google Maps, as well as a good deal of walking and riding my bike around town, and I feel like I'm getting fairly proficient with the basic layout of the town and its main streets. I don't have quite the extensive knowledge of the different areas that I can claim in Huntington, but then again, I haven't lived here for most of my life either. Although I must say, Galesburg is much easier to figure out than good ol' H-town—almost all the streets follow the same basic grid, and the street signs have numbers like the county roads at home as well as the names, so you can always figure out where you are relative to the square.

I'm also getting better with the street names, and knowing which streets are where. I've pretty much got the area around campus down pat, and I have at least a vague mental picture of pretty much everything north of Main St. My goal for the rest of the year is to flesh out this knowledge, as well as figuring out the southern half of town (although there's not as much there, and that's also where the sketchiest parts are, so I may not spend as much time on that part).

Partially in furtherance of this pursuit, and partially just because it was a gorgeous afternoon, I went on a bike ride today. I stayed pretty much around the residential area north of Main St., mostly in the historic section, and the sun was shining and the leaves were brilliant and it was just a really nice day. I enjoy riding my bike pretty much anywhere, and Galesburg is nice, because a)it's hard to get lost, and b) it feels very friendly to me; it seems like I always see somebody who smiles at me. And nobody's honked at me yet. Seems like there's always some asshole who doesn't know how to drive yelling or honking at me when I'm riding around at home. Usually in the S. Jefferson St. area. Jerks.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Season's Greetings!

I had to go watch a movie for class this evening, just as I have every Thursday evening this term. When I came home, I found various members of the house in the living room watching E.R. The first commercial break we came to, I was reminded very forcefully that it is now, in fact, the day after Halloween, because the first three commercials in a row were, you guessed it, Christmas themed.

x_x