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bad news, emily!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Huggies, please?

I was at Target this evening, running down my list of things I needed to get. Next on the list: baby powder. I went up to a Target "Team Member" and asked him where I could find the diaper section because I hadn't found any baby powder in the general cotton balls, lotion, etc. sections. He leaned in a bit and asked "What?"

"I'm sorry, I didn't hear you."
"Sorry, I can't hear very well." (leans in) "What are you looking for?"
"Diapers, like for babies."
"What? (cups his ear) What are you saying?"
"Diapers! Di-i-i-i-per-r-r-rs!"
and then I found myself shouting in the middle of the busy store:

"Oh," he said. "Diapers are over there."

I think the humor of the whole scene - and I can't kid myself that it wasn't a scene - was more powerful than the embarrassment factor. And so I giggled all the way to the diaper section.

Standing in that aisle, I found the second thing at Target that made me laugh...

(It's this sort of thing makes the camera-phone totally worth it.)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Almost witnesses

Though we did have a wonderful time in Williamsburg this weekend, there was one really freaky thing that happened. Well, it was over by the time we arrive at the location, which we now know we are VERY thankful for.
On our way to turn in my stolen silverware at the University Center at William & Mary, we saw that the Zable Stadium parking lot was roped off with police tape. We parked further down the road and started walking through the parking lot on our way to the UC. It's a small parking lot with only two rows of parking spaces, so we weren't far from all the activity. There was an SUV that appeared to have had the driver's side tires blown out, that was smashed into a parked car near the entrance to the parking lot. There must have been six police cars right there, with a lot of officers walking around. We started walking past the scene, speculating on what had happened. Further down the parking lot we noticed that there was more police tape, cordoning off most of the courtyard of the Bryan Complex (dorms that Sarah and I had lived in when we were in college), and there were more police cars. In the middle of the grass, there appeared to be some trash and maybe a jacket or blanket of some sort, and then a much larger shape. The way people were standing around, my mind jumped to the conclusion that it was the body of a dead person.
We were close enough to one of the officers standing around, so I asked him what had happened and he simply said "he ran." I asked who he ran from and the offiicer replied "from a lot of people."

I couldn't take my eyes off the shape that was lying on the ground in the middle of the courtyard. From our vantage point I was unable to rule out that fact that it might have been a body. I wanted to rule out the possibility, but it just looked too much like it could have been one, and the two words the officer had used, "he ran", made it sound like they had done something to stop him from running. It was truly frightening, but I confess that my curiosity was piqued - I wanted to know exactly what had happened. My friends and I debated back and forth about what the shape was, and it seemed I was the most convinced that it could, indeed, have been a person. We went back to our car and as we drove away we saw 3 more police cars pull up, as well as a TV news van. When we got back to our hotel, we looked online to try to find a police report, but we didn't find any.

The next day, Daniel found some news reports and emailed them to us. Thankfully, it hadn't been a body that we saw, but someone had shot himself right there less than an hour before we had gotten there. It's strange that I feel comfort in knowing that the incident involved a man shooting himself, rather than shooting another person. That sense of relief, while it makes sense, still feels wrong.
Here are a first and a second article describing the incident.

We are SO thankful that we hadn't been there earlier. We could definitely have been in harm's way. It's pretty scary to think about.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Ignorant blogger

I don't know how I could be so foolish. I'd been wondering how everyone creates their posts with varying fonts, font sizes and colors and here was the answer right before my eyes. I'd been working out of the...

  1. "Edit Html" mode,
  2. completely oblivious to the
  3. "Compose" mode.
  4. I guess I just assumed that everyone else was
  5. fluent in Html.
  6. Sheesh. I feel like an idiot.

Well, and plus I've been using Safari during the day, which I guess doesn't support all of Gmail's beautiful functions, so I didn't know what all I was missing until I was at home with reliable ol' Explorer.

"Foodcation" for short

My household went to Williamsburg, VA this weekend. It was packed with tourists doing their touristy things in the colonial historical part of town. Us? Well, we came for the food and nothing else. We were on a Food Vacation, or Foodcation for short.
Our first stop Friday night was Paul's Deli. At William & Mary, when you say "I went to the delis" you're usually saying you went out drinking with your pals. But we didn't go to Paul's to drink, rather to enjoy a great meal. Sarah and I got delicious turkey subs, mine with bacon, just like I'd always get in college. Lara boldly ordered the calzone despite the fact that no one offered to split one with her. The thing stretched the entire length of a large pizza pan. Needless to say, she didn't make it through the whole thing. Daniel ordered a rueben and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Next stop: the glorious Sno-to-Go!
I mis-spoke in an earlier post by calling them "sno-cones", as they are really called "snoballs." When hearing the word sno-cone, one usually envisions a cone-shaped paper tube filled with crunchy beads of ice that has had sticky, too-sweet syrup poured over it. Eventually, the syrup starts sinking to the bottom and you're left with a lump of crunchy ice and once you make it through that you're left with only a pool of syrup at the bottom.
Snoballs are VERY different, smooth like a Slurpee, only a little bit thicker. Order it "stuffed" and you'll get a layer of soft-serve in the middle and another dollop on top. Choose from over thirty flavors, like Bahama Mama, Tiger's Blood, Maui Wowie, and other concoctions, or you can stick with single flavors like cherry, raspberry, pineapple, etc. My personal favorite is stuffed rootbeer. It was delicious!

We drove to Richmond to stay the night. In the morning we were off again to Williamsburg. We spent the morning wandering down "DOG" Street (its official name being Duke of Gloucester Street), wandering in and out of shops, taking pictures of ourselves in the stocks and enjoying the fife and drum corps.
Then it was lunch time. And you know what that means...
I got to the front of the line and flowed out, "turkey on french with provolone, house, and sprouts." Because of the possibility of there being multiple Sarahs standing in line (in addition to our own), I gave them the name Betsy instead. They called "my" name and I grabbed my sandwich, a birch beer, and a cheesecake brownie and I was off to enjoy the tasty goodness.
It was ridiculously hot that day, so we spent most of the rest of the afternoon in the Barnes & Noble - the official campus bookstore - enjoying the A/C and some good books. We decided to have dinner in Richmond, but to stop at Sno-to-Go again on our way out of town.
But there was one more stop we had to make.
It was an event 6 years in the making.
I was going to finally return the silverware that I had stolen from the campus dining facility in the University Center my sophomore year, 9 years ago. At the time, I had justified my crime by saying that I was going to return them before I graduated. Needless to say, I never did. But I had promised myself that I would return them, and I wasn't about to break that promise - no matter how long it took. In fact, I have been to Williamsburg many times since I graduated and have even brought the silverware with me, but never got around to returning it.
But I always knew I would do it. It's a matter of principle, which is ironic, really, because if I was acting on moral principle at the time, I never would have stolen the darn things.
But I did it, and I beamed with pride. I even have documentation.
(insert picture here)
Our return to Sno-to-Go was great, as expected, and I savored my Bahama Mama.
Back at the hotel, we ordered dinner in and watched "The Fugitive" on TV. We ate the glorious, famous "Death By Chocolate" from The Trellis. Daniel took his Ambien and got hilariously loopy before he finally fell asleep. The next morning we woke up and ate the Big Apple Bagel muffins we had bought in Williamsburg the day before and we headed back home to Durham.

It was such a wonderful weekend, spending time with my housemates, with no pressures but to decide what we wanted to order from various menus.
(pictures will be added soon)

Friday, July 14, 2006

An Unscheduled "Adventure"

We're hanging out at the house, 11:30 on a Friday night, watched some stand-up comedy on TV and before I knew it we were watching "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure". Sarah just wanted to watch the scene about the Alamo, but we started it from the beginning and haven't turned it off. I have to say, it's still really funny. I'm embarrassed to say that I'm really enjoying it.

But there was one thing that bothered me... there was something about Pee-Wee that seemed familiar, and not just because I used to watch "Pee-Wee's Playhouse" and loved his "Big Adventure" a lot back in the day.
Then it hit me:
Pee-Wee Herman and the new Clay Aiken could be twins.

Kinda freaky.

Then I discovered, when looking for pictures to prove my point, that the resemblance had been pointed out already.

But we are still laughing at the movie.

A Great Year

"With the addition of your new office furniture, I hope this is a great year for you."

That was the last line of an email from our office manager notifying me that my leave allowance is increasing soon because I'm reaching 5 years of state service.
I almost laughed outloud.
No wait, I did.

Apparently my new furniture is #2 on the list of things making it a great year.

bad humidity, emily!

It's really gross when it's 90 degrees out and the "feels like" temperature is posted as 100 degrees.

As my friend Sarah likes to say,
"You step outside and you feel like a big monster just licked you."

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Man Purse

I just finished recording the last episodes I needed from Season 5 of "24" onto VHS. In addition to the comments about how no one on that show ever eats or goes to the bathroom, there was also a lot of discussion this season about Jack Bauer's "Man Purse" (aka "The Jack Sack" or "The Jack Pack")."Frank" must have been an online shopper between shifts at the oil refinery because you can find his bag o' tricks on Amazon.com
The infamous Man Purse (*all the tools Jack ever needs sold separately)

It's like a cool, urban version of Batman's utility belt.
My only concern is that the bag has velcro. Someone who is constantly hiding from bad guys doesn't need to deal with noisy velcro when he's trying to get something out of his bag o' tricks.

What we know he has:
-His handy-dandy spyglass
-A magical cell phone that can't be traced by anyone, anywhere and always gets perfect reception
-The PDA of all PDAs with GPS capability and USB ports
-Lots of extra ammo
-Guns he picked up from bad guys he has killed
-(and didn't he pull some smoke grenades out of it when he stole the helicopter in the first hour?)

Speculations on the other items Jack has in his M.P.:
-Deck of cards
-Ice pack
-Change of socks
-DVD from Blockbuster that he hasn't quite gotten around to returning yet today

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


The order rolls off my tongue:
"Turkey on french with provolone, House and sprouts."

It's like poetry, inspiring a chorus of angels to sing, leading to the glorious consumption of a Cheese Shop sandwich in Williamsburg, VA.

on bread.

Whenever I go back to visit Williamsburg, the town of my college years at William & Mary, I try to not only get my signature sandwich, but to also buy an extra tub of their famous "House" dressing. Sometimes I even buy an extra sandwich to take home with me for another day.

(stomach rumbles)

We're going in 10 days! We were honest with each other last night and decided that our main activity will not be touring the colonial town and enjoying the historical reinactments, but rather our main activity will be eating.
We're going for the food.

The Cheese Shop (for sandwiches and House), The Trellis (for the famous Death by Chocolate they invented), Paul's Deli (fantastic pizza, sandwiches, and chicken souvlaki), and Sno-to-Go... just to name a few.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Right on time, Merriam & Webster

I knew it was coming.
The lexical Powers-That-Be at Merriam-Webster have added the verb "google" to their dictionary, CNN reported today. I feel a bit like "that guy" who wants to be sure everyone knows that he's been listening to a band's music since the days no one had heard of them. That's the pride that comes with the "language is dynamic" mentality. I have thoroughly enjoyed using the verb "to google" for some time now, but I know most all of you have too, so I'll shut up now.

In other news, I googled "trip the light fandango" yesterday because the phrase popped into my head - a (misheard) line from the song "A Whiter Shade of Pale" by some band I'd never heard of, but Annie Lennox sang it on her album "Medusa" so I thought it was her song. Years later I realized that the entire album was cover songs. Moving on... I never knew what the line meant, but sang it just the same. (Trust me, there's a connection - it's about language being dynamic.) The song lyrics are actually "We skipped the light fandango, turned cartwheels 'cross the floor. I was feeling kinda seasick, but the crowd called out for more."
"Trip the light fantastic" is the more common phrase and has roots in Shakespeare and Milton, meaning to dance nimbly or lightly. Wikipedia made a point to mention that it is a verb phrase, which made me stop to consider the two possible ways one could read it. If fantastic is the chosen noun, then light is an adjective. However, I think it could also work - because it's poetic either way - if light is the noun and fantastic is the adjective that got placed on the end, like it does in Spanish and other languages.
This little exercise in syntactic analysis probably doesn't interest anyone who is reading it - save perhaps for my nerdy friend KC.
It's like looking at the sentence "Robert is an American History professor." This sentence gives us no clue as to whether Robert is professor of American History or if he is a History professor who is an American. Tickles your brain, right?

Sheesh. Sometimes when I start to talk to people about what I think are exciting thoughts about linguistics, I feel like Matthew Cuthbert in "Anne of Green Gables" who said that "picking up them ugly white grubs in the cucumber bed" gives him a thrill.
Well... to each his own.

(It is important to note that I googled "matthew cuthbert" and "grubs" in order to find the exact quote from the movie, which, I must add, is not the quote from the book.)


I just thought this logo was funny. Memory Lane: 4th grade