Friday, November 19, 2004

Haircuts

Yes, I finally got my hair cut. But, that's not what this is about. At the salon where I go, they have this painting that I truly love. Its this huge oil painting and I go a little early everytime just so I can look at it - I even drug Sven there one time to see it, just in case we ever get rich and can afford it. Today I finally asked where the painting was from and they referred me to this art gallery next door. Upon further investigation, I found the painter's website: http://www.duaiv.net/main.php. His name is Duaiv and he's from France, but lives in Florida.

Anyway, I suggest taking a look when you have a few minutes - the pictures are gorgeous and if you actually open the picture, the resolution is really good so you can save it and make it your desktop background. This is the one they have in the salon (obviously much better seen in person):



Here's another I really like:



Thursday, November 18, 2004

Running

Okay, so this isn't that interesting or anything, but if you're reading my blog, you're probably bored at work and have nothing better to do anyway. Alright, disclaimer over - so, here goes.

Rachel and I went for a semi-long run this morning before work, so we got up super early (4:15. In the morning!!) and headed for the canal. So, of course, since it was the middle of the night, it was really dark, which turned out to be completely awesome. The whole night sky was reflected in the water - you could see all the clouds and stars. And then we saw a shooting star. And THEN we were running underneath this telephone pole that was super tall and it had a light on top, so our shadows were like 50 feet long. It was so crazy, in a weird, stupid, cool way.

Later in the run, we passed a highschool girls cross-country team, who incidently, flew past us. Rachel was like, "God it must be nice to run without exerting any effort. But, then of course, its probably a lot easier when you're only 15. Oh my God. Do you realize that I'm 15 years older than them? That means I have a whole extra lifetime in me." And just like that she turned my world upside down. I never thought about it like that. I am 10 years older than those girls. Holy shit. This is almost as disturbing as the time I went to the concert for the kids at rock camp. The thing is, when I see highschool kids, I think, "oh yeah, a few years ago, when I was in high school..." But, this is not the case anymore. I need to be like, "oh yeah, a decade ago, when I was in high school..." Crap. How is it possible for time to pass so quickly?

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Pictures

So, I'm doing this photo project as a going-away thing for this guy at work, which means I've been toting my camera around with me. Its been working out really well - I keep getting to take all these candid pictures. So, here are some of the things that are a part of my everyday life that you probably don't know.

This is the license plate of one of the women who works here - she works for this company called Avanade - its the intersection of Accenture and Microsoft. They're like super-action hero's in programming. Anyway, if you've ever talked to Sven, you know that he considers himself an expert in XML (which happens to be a universal file type in case you were wondering. I had to ask someone.) Anyway, he's even joked that XML should be his middle name. (Which, maybe it should be, because strangely he doesn't have one. An entire discussion unto itself, I will save this topic for later.) So, for the past 7 months, I've harbored a secret jealousy of this woman because I know that if Sven ever met her, he would immediately fall out of love with me and ask her to marry him.
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This is a shot of the convicts I told you about. I felt a little bad about taking this photo because I probably embarrassed them, and it really is kind of mean to exploit others. But, I guess that's the point - maybe next time, they'll think twice before robbing a bank. But, of course, I still feel bad in case they were wrongly accused and/or lived under horrible circumstances and had to steal in order to survive. But, anyway, the point is: These are convicts. They clean the grounds around state buildings. This doesn't happen in Texas.
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I've saved the best for last. These are evangelists that stand on a street corner downtown across from Baja Fresh and Starbucks and yell at people. The one wearing the cross has been doing it forever - he's always out there. A frighteningly reliable man. But, anyway, I have no idea what he is saying or what language he is speaking. My guess is that its English or Spanish because otherwise, his crusade is pointless. Its almost impossible to tell though.

The other interesting point is that here, in the 60 degree F weather, he is wearing a t-shirt. This summer, when it was 110 effin degrees, he was out there wearing a suit jacket. On a sidenote, do you have any idea how hot 110F is? Its hard to describe what its like. Its like convection heat from the oven - its so hot that it feels like the sun is actually exerting pressure against your skin and there is a force keeping you from moving forward. I don't even want to walk from my car to work in the morning or evening, much less mid-day. And then, here's this guy, yelling his guts out on a street corner wearing a suit jacket. You guys, he was sweating through the jacket - you could see it. All across the back and patches extending from his underarms almost to his belt line. And after doing that all summer, he gave up the jacket. I don't understand.
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Okay, and so the guy in blue is new. I've never seen him before. I think its a little odd that he's invading the other guys's turf, but whatever. They take turns. This guy you can actually understand. I think he's a little too deep for the sidewalk though. The first time I walked by he was saying something about cranberry juice. And then it was a stain on the carpet. I thought maybe he sold carpet, or carpet cleaner. Finally, I realized he was making a comparison between a stain on the carpet and a stain on your soul. Anyway, it looks like they get along, so I wish them both the best of luck.
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The Time Traveler's Wife

To all my book-reading friends, I highly recommend The Time Traveler's Wife. It's kind of a weird story about this guy who is randomly transported to different time/places, but it is so well written. (And somewhat believable.) The author has this really luxurious writing style - its almost like poetry. In fact, its similar to the Lovely Bones, but its funny too. Here's an excerpt:

HENRY (a librarian): I walk through the office and past the page's desk in the Reading Room. I am halted by Isabelle's voice saying, "Perhaps Mr. DeTamble can help you," by which she means "Henry, you weasel, where are you slinking off to?" And this astoundingly beautiful amber-haired tall slim girl turns around and looks at me as though I am her personal Jesus. My stomach lurches. Obviously she knows me, and I don't know her. Lord only knows what I have said, done, or promised to this luminous creature, so I am forced to say in my best librarianese, "Is there something I can help you with?" The girl sort of breathes "Henry!" in this very evocative way that convinces me that at some point in time we have a really amazing thing together. This makes it worse that I don't know anything about her, not even her name. I say "Have we met?" and Isabelle gives me a look that says You asshole. But the girl says, "I'm Clare Abshire. I knew you when I was a little girl," and invites me to dinner. I accept, stunned.

Let me know if you want to borrow it anybody.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

My boring life

Nancy has been complaining that my blog is getting stale and she's right. Here's the problem though - a friend read this awhile back and she made some comment to the effect of, "yeah, I would host a blog but I don't have that much to rant about." Which, of course, made me very self-concious because ALL I do is rant on my blog. So, everytime I think of something to post, I decide its too negative and bitter and just don't write anything.

But, the blog is going to die if I don't write something, one way or the other. So, let me tell you about my week. It started off pretty good - I asked for some time off during the holiday season and it was approved (yay!!). I quickly went to update my schedule in Outlook and was happy to see that I only had to work 11 more days in November and 12 days total in December. But, 5 minutes later, I discovered that my task, which was 99% complete, needed to completely reworked. I'm sure you've all had a similar experience, so you already know that the really excruciating part is that its unprofessional to yell the F-word at work. No wonder everyone in America is on anti-depressants.

So, did I hide in the bathroom and kick the shit out of the wall like I wanted to? No. I sat at my desk and pretended to have no feelings at all and tried to fix it. Anyway, I decided that they really need treadmills at work. Its really hard to sit still and think when you have feelings. I think if I could just get up and go for a walk, I could get over my frustration and think more clearly. It makes sense, right? I mean, when you exercise you take breaks every now and then. So, if you're sitting on your ass all day, you should also take breaks.

I spent the other half of the week being annoyed by nice people. I mean, not that they don't sometimes have good intentions, but it in a way, it just seems sort of dishonest. I mean, nobody has that many good things to say about other people. And plus, its no fun. Its like they don't want to be mean, so instead I have to be extra mean so we're not all bored to death. Luckily, most of my friends aren't nice. At happy hour, when I brought up this issue, Nancy stole the word from my mouth. She said, "Yeah, being nice is so one-dimensional." As the tears crept to my eyes, I said a quiet prayer, "Jesus, thank you for blessing me with such awesome friends."

This weekend has been exceptionally good. Its been cold and rainy, which has been really great. Sven and I attempted to recreate the Pastry Brothers hot chocolate, which has made frequent appearances in my dreams lately. We each came up with our own recipe:

Jamie: Heat 1 serving fudge pudding for 30 seconds in the microwave. Stir in half 'n half to get desired consistency and reheat for 20 seconds. Make sure to use the regular pudding though - I tried the no-sugar version and its not the same.

Sven: Heat 1 cup half 'n half. Add a ton of cocoa powder, 1 Tbsp vanilla extract, and half a pinch sugar. (Americans, keep adding sugar until you can drink it without choking.)

Sven disagrees, but I think my recipe is a pretty close approximation, although I must admit, it is a little sweeter and slightly less chocolatey. (However, if you're going to pick sides, please remember that I drank way more hot chocolate than Sven.) His is good too, but I think the proportions still need a little work. Anyway, try it out and let me know what you think.

Have a good week everybody.