Wednesday, May 25, 2005

You guessed it, another time-wasting website!!!

Give this one a try.

I do it all the time at my desk, only with real Paper!! No fan though.


Monday, May 23, 2005

Easier than falling off a log.

So a couple of Sundays ago we had a particularly beautiful day, so Brent and I decided to go hiking Eno State Park. We've been to this park three times before, but there were some trails we had yet to explore.

We were hiking along, and all was well until we came to a stream that we had to cross. Every other trail we'd been on had bridges, even in places where they weren't really necessary, but this stream had no bridge. And to be fair to the trail developers, we were on the only trail deemed "strenuous" in the whole entire park, so I'm not surprised there was no bridge.

There was, however, a log crossing the stream right at the trail edge. It was nice and thick and looked to be the perfect bridge.

Brent didn't trust his balance, especially since there looked to be a shallow spot just a few yards down stream where he could rock-hop most of the way. Plus, we both have waterproof boots, so odd were he could stay dry.

But I decided I'd go for the log. I took a step or two out, and then went back to solid ground, deciding that having my camera hanging from my neck was not a good idea, just in case. I took it off, put it in a huge plastic ziplock, and then stuck it in my backpack.

I went back on the log and started my way across. It didn't take me too long to figure out that this was a particularly bouncy log. It was probably a pine, now that I think about it - one of those trees that I've seen really whipping in anything more than a light breeze. Well, I was inching along as smoothly as I could, and got about to the middle when I felt like I was starting to lose my balence.

My intentions were either to:

1. Stand still, regain my balence and stop the bouncing


2. Sit down on the log and inch along on my butt, if that's what it came down to.

So, I stopped moving along the log, but it kept bouncing (Damn Newton and his laws of motion!). And I had to keep moving, counterbalancing to stay on the log. So I decided to go with option 2. I sat down, straddling the log, for all of a split second. The bouncing was enough that I got pitched over. Luckily I grabbed on with my arms and locked my legs together, but there I was, hanging upside-down like an opossum on a log over the water.

At this point, I figured even if I did somehow manage to get on the top of the log, I'd still have to make it the rest of the way across, so I just dropped my legs into the water and waded the rest of the way across.

Oh, and I must mention while all this was going on, Brent was safe and dry, already across the stream, trying to encourage me while I yelled at him to shut up and let me concentrate. Good times.

After hauling myself out of the water and checking to see that I wasn't majorly injured (I had some "tree burn" on my right arm and leg from when I flipped, but luckily didn't break skin. If that log still had bark, it'd be a much different story) I burst out laughing. I was soaked from the waist down. My waterproof boots were squishing since they filled up from the top. And I must have looked so hilarious hanging upside down from that stupid log.

To Brent's credit, he somehow managed to hold back his laughter until I started laughing. If the roles were reversed, I probably would have had a more difficult time.

We completed the loop, with me periodically laughing and shaking my head at my own stupidity. When we had to cross that stream on the way back, too. I just forded right in.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

"Unclean, unclean!"

Otherwise titled "Isn't it time you talked to your doctor about Social Leprocy?"

So I was back in Iowa for a whirlwind trip from last Friday to this Monday, and while there I had myself my very own Degrassi-like flash back.

The company Brent works for flies all of the national division back to Des Moines every spring for training and a banquet. This year, as it's Weitz 150 anniversary, they decided to go all out and invited some other nearby divisions to the festivities, so it was an abnormally large crowd.

Here's the scene:

Now imagine if you will, walking into prom (because seriously, that's what it looked like, a high school prom, only the youngest people there were in their early 20's.), knowing only a handful of the 500(-ish) people there, and not particularly caring for that particular handful of people because you* have nothing in common with them outside of work.

You are not particularly fond of crowds and have several theories for this:
1. Even with the best and brightest, the mob mentality is not escapable. Therefore, as crowd size increases, the collective IQ levels plummet. It's an inverse proportion thing.
2. Though you got really good at hiding it over the years, you're naturally a rather shy person. (Shhh...don't tell. I think I've managed to con quite a few people on this one.) But that shyness has been coming out more because:
A. You married a person even shier than you are
B. You are currently living in a situation that you feel at times requires either a passport, or a translator, or sometimes both.
C. You suck at small talk, especially with the particular group present at this shindig because you don't care about celebrity break-ups, don't watch reality TV, don't drink for the sole purpose of getting drunk and don't know enough about construction to participate in shop-talk. Now if you found a kindred soul who liked running, listened to NPR, loved the outdoors or would at least smile, nod and pretend to look interested about any of these topics, that would be a different story.
But, in any case you* don't generally go for this sort of thing.

The company wanted everyone to look schnazzy, so they required the men to wear jackets, which therefore encouraged the majority of the wives to go shopping for something sparkly. Luckily, as there are a few female employees who didn't feel like going for glitter, you don't stand out too much, yet you still feel underdressed. However, your tomboy tendencies have put you in this situation many a time before, so you can deal.

You* wander around the crowd at cocktail hour, looking for a few familiar faces, eventually find them, and wear out all possibilities of conversation topics within five minutes. As the conversation dies, the little group starts wandering off in different directions, trying to avoid awkward pauses that lead to even the even more awkward activity of just staring at each other.

Then it comes time to find a table for dinner. You walk up to a table that contains one of the few people that you know and like. But his wife informs you* in a very snippy tone, "That seat is taken." Alright, you* didn't know, and he's been with the company for a long time and seems to know everyone, so it's not surprising that the seat in question is reserved for someone that both he and his wife have known longer, but that doesn't mean his wife has to be a bitch about it. But whatever.

You* have another friend who's also been in the company longer, and meet up with her and a crowd heading for a different table. But then you* notice the number of heads doesn't match up with the numbers of chairs -- there's too many people for a table. You* just keep walking.

This is hardly The Scarlet Letter or The Witch from Blackbird Pond. You haven't been shunned and forced to wear a big red letter on your chest or branded and run out of town, but you still kind of feel like you should be walking around shouting "Unclean!" like the (apparent) social leper you are.

In the mass of people, you* can't find anyone else, and by this point, just don't even care. You* head to the back corner, and survey the chaos from a distance trying to decide if you* want to join a table of strangers or just want to sit by yourself*. Everyone is getting settled and the salads are coming out, and you realize you are physically exhausted from several consecutive nights of screwed up sleep catching up to you and therefore have a major headache coming on. If you sit down, you realize that you're likely to be falling asleep in your salad. Plus, when you're this tired, you have a tendency to talk in your sleep, which would just prove the whole social leper theory.

You* just don't care anymore. You make a beeline for the door, kick off the evil dress shoes that you can't walk in, even though they are flats, and head back to the hotel through the skywalk. Back in your* room, you stumble around getting ready for bed and are fast asleep by 7:30 on a Saturday night and are out for a good twelve hours.

You muse (but are notably not amused) that this was a lot like an episode of Degrassi Junior High (thank you Mr. Hatch, wherever you may be) -- it was just a bunch of cliques. It's the well-defined circle of old friends that doesn't make room for two more. There are the in-groups, the sub-groups and even the out-groups. There are all sorts of categories, but you* don't seem to fit into any of them.

You feel like the new kid at school again. You've been there before. And once, you were even told, point-blank, by a particularly nasty breed of mean girls, "We don't want you hanging out with our group." (not anyone in Osky, just in case you were wondering.) At times, it really sucked. But it eventually got better, and in the end, you had a really great group of friends.

When you were new to Oskaloosa, didn't sit alone at the lunch table. You sat by whoever you were in line next to, and made an effort to get to know new people, even if the boy across from you did kick you under the table (and you kicked back, even though Cory Van Der Wal wasn't exactly a shrimp even as a sixth grader). And if you weren't so damn tired, you probably would have picked a random table and claimed two empty chairs and at least given the whole being social thing a shot. But that night it just wasn't worth the effort.

I hope this isn't coming across all whiny and Drama Queen-ish (I tend to get cranky when overly tired, can you tell?). I guess the point I really wanted to get across is as simple as this:

I was, and still are, lucky to have you all as friends, so a big thanks to all of you.

So there. A very long story to get to a very simple point.

edit: Next time I post, it won't be so heavy. I promise. Especially since I just realized I not only sound completely melodramatic, but also like a complete dork. Buy me a pocket protector and book me on Ricki Lake.

*You; meaning you, as in yourself, and your spouse. (Which is just two people. And now I'm beginning to confuse myself. Do I need to do a diagram? Or how about a Power Point?)

A mid-week Laugh

I don't know about anyone else, but I usually start to drag about noon on Wednesday. So as a pick-me-up I try to find funny things on the net.

Here is this week's installment. I hope you enjoy it. You might have to watch it a couple times to see everything!!


Saturday, May 14, 2005


a couple of things that i have been thinking about posting, but only just got around to it...

1- i'm a pseudo-librarian! one of my summer jobs will be working at the library here in winterset doing library-type jobs (shelving, checking out books, etc.). i'm thinking about going back to school for library science, so i thought this would be a good place to start. my kids love seeing me in the library ("man, we can never get away from you, even on the weekend!", "since your name tag says 'rebecca,' do we get to call you that now?" etc.), but i only have to deal with them for another 2 and a half weeks until my summer of bliss starts, so that's ok with me!

2- while the track season is over for daniel and kyle as of last night (a disappointing finish at districts, but a nice try all the same), i've really enjoyed watching daniel and kyle run together! it's so cool when i go home and talk to my brothers and hear them talking about little collman and little's like re-living my own high school days (without all the chorus practices)!

3- diet pepsi with lime is really good. even better than diet coke with lime.

hope you all enjoy your weekend!

Monday, May 09, 2005

One down, Three to Go!

I'm done with my first year of pharmacy school! It seems a little unreal to me that after undergrad and a year of working, I'm back in school, celebrating the fact that I only have three more years left. But here I am, excited anyway!
Now, if I could only find Luke Willamon again - then I could really party...

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Did someone say hats?

Well, "stocking hats" was the phrase, but anyway. The answer is sort of. I have yet to make a hat as I taught myself to knit in mid-March, which isn't exactly hat weather. But I do have the ability to make hats. I even have a pattern or two to choose from.

Lookie here. Isn't that a fabulous next project? Or maybe this one. I can't decide which one I like better.