Wednesday, June 24, 2009

i never learn

i keep leaving my windows open, and it keeps raining. last week, someone used my car and left the windows open over Shabbos. by Sunday morning, the front seats were thoroughly soaked, and water had collected in every indentation in the front of the car. it took three days, but the seats finally dried up.

and then the car started smelling. it always had a funky-old-car smell, but now it's accompanied by a very strong moldy smell, like an animal that has been left out in the rain for a week, then tied up in a plastic bag and placed in a very small, stuffy closet.

the smell is almost unbearable.

so every time i get in the car, i open all the windows. and it seems like i keep forgetting to close the windows. whenever i get back to my car, there's always one window that's been left open-not very wide, just about 3 inches-enough for the seat to soak up some more water. and with this erratic weather, it keeps raining, on and off-not very much, just for a few minutes at a time-enough for the car to retain water and smell again.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

It's graduation season once again. this year, i had five graduations to go to; brother 2, cousin 2, cousin 6, cousin 7, and cousin 8. i missed brother 2's graduation because i had class (and he insisted that girls were very specifically not invited.) I'm going to miss cousin 2's because i have class-why does everyone feel the need to graduate on Mondays?

cousins 6, 7, and 8 are all graduating from elementary school. one was on the same night as brother2 (i had class), one doesn't live in New York, and one graduated on a night that was actually convenient for me, so i attended. to be honest, i don't know the specific age of all my cousins, so i don't know which cousin is number 6, which is 7, and which is 8. (if anyone can clarify this for me, please do so)

so the cousin who's graduation i missed because i had class, attended the same school as myself, sister 1, sister 2, and cousin 4. I've attended enough of them to know that i wasn't really missing anything. they're notoriously long and boring. but my aunt made a cool party afterward. everything, with the exception of the kosher candy, came from Costco.

the cousin who graduated from an out of town school told my mother that her graduation wasn't anything much. in their school, they rent a hall or something for the high school graduation, and the elementary school graduates at the same time. i have no clue why they do this. of course, i could have misunderstood something when my mother was telling me this. I'm pretty good at misunderstanding things. i do that quite often.

the cousin who's graduation i attended was salutatorian. indeed, he did salute everyone; his parents, his fellow graduates, and his teachers. his speech was just the way i like speeches-short, and slightly humorous, but not too humorous. i think my uncle may have had something to do with his speech, but I'm all for parents writing speeches for kids if it means the speech is tolerable. the rest of the ceremony was short, yet boring (quite an accomplishment-i wonder if the institution is proud of themselves) i didn't have the option of ducking out under the pretext of davening mincha or maariv like my dad and uncles did. the other highlight of the evening was when my cousin went up to get his diploma. i think he got the loudest cheers of all the graduates. then again, his family was like 40% of the people sitting in the audience. but the best part of the evening was the after party.

i went to all the graduation parties so far this year-even those celebrating graduations i did not attend. this particular party was a rocking, Thursday-night-cholent-kishka-and-kugel party. with pickles and chips and dip and salads and candies and cookies. it was very cool. not that I'm a big cholent person. i usually only eat it on Shabbos, but i thought this was the best graduation party I've ever been to.

brother2's barbecue party is supposed to be tomorrow, but it's been raining for the past month, so the chances of strong sunshine tomorrow are very dismal. i wonder if we're going to get a refund for this weather. like will the summer extend through September to October?

Monday, June 15, 2009

even i do stupid things...

last week's assignment in microbiology was to create a slide of Staphylococcus aureus, do a simple staining, and then look at it under a microscope.

i created the slide-making sure to play with as much fire as possible, without making my professor nervous-we're only supposed to use the Bunsen burners to sterilize our inoculating tools and test tubes, but when my professor's not looking i burn little pieces of paper. I'm a thrill-seeker like that.

so i created the slide, stained it, and placed it under the microscope to look at it. but the slide was blurry and very unclear. when my professor looked at it she said "It's not you, it's the microscope. they're really lousy"

as i removed my slide from the microscope, ready to throw it out, i noticed that the letters I'd written on the slide to label it, were backwards...

...yup, I'd put the slide on the stage, upside down

Thursday, June 11, 2009

i have no clue what's going on with this weather. it seems like early or mid spring weather, not June. the ironic thing is that two months ago everyone was lamenting the weather-that it was too hot. now everyone's complaining that it rains too much.

so out come sweatshirts with hoods. but somehow they don't protect my hair from the little Frizz Fairies, who manage to find me the second i step out of my house. i know that somewhere in the recesses of my closet are a bunch of umbrellas, but i can never seem to find them when it's raining out.

today's choice of umbrellas was a red white and blue umbrella that didn't open, or a gigantic black one with broken spikes. so i fixed the black one and took it.

using an umbrella is not an easy feat. especially when juggling a huge bag, a computer, a coffee, and my notes. getting out of the house was not so hard, but getting into the car gave me problems. i opened the side door, threw all my things in, and then tried to get in on the driver side. i had to open the door, and in one motion, slide into the car, close the umbrella and slide it in with me without poking myself in the eye or getting water everywhere. the problem is that if i close the umbrella too soon, i get soaked. and if i wait till I'm all in the car the umbrella gets stuck and won't fold. 

but i managed somehow, and my umbrella was safe until i got to school and attempted to open it. i have the same problem getting out of the car. in one fluid motion i had to stick the umbrella out of the car, open it, and slip out underneath it. but when i opened the umbrella, it gave a loud "WHOOMP!" and the whole thing blew out. y'know in cartoons when a character is holding an umbrella in the rain, it blows the other way? that's what happened to me. i almost laughed out loud at myself, but i could feel my hair getting curlier by the second, and i knew there was no time for laughing. so i folded the umbrella back and tried again. thankfully it opened correctly. but by this time i was wet and late for class so i grabbed my stuff and ran. i felt Mary Poppin-like, with my massive black umbrella bobbing up and down. i don't know how she manages to look graceful with that thing, i can barely maneuver it, open or closed. 

i managed to get to and from school without taking anyone's eye out, which was a pretty big accomplishment. later that day i was doing some stuff around the pool with sister2. it wasn't rainy, but the sky looked like it could start raining any second. so i had my umbrella with me. it's hard to walk under decks and go through gates with an umbrella of that size, but i didn't want to get stuck without an umbrella. i felt so much like Mary Poppins that i tried dancing around the pool with it, singing "Step In Time" and "Sister Suffragette"

although i felt more like sister1 than Marry Poppins. she (sister1) likes to turn an ordinary space, like the top of a car, or the street under a streetlamp into a stage. 

Sunday, June 7, 2009

i wonder if anyone else has the same luck as me when it comes to headphones. it seems like I'm always buying new ones. since the days of Walkmans, i was always looking for that perfect pair that would cost enough to ensure that it was actually a working pair, but not too much that I'd be wasting money, because inevitably they got stepped, crushed, left on a bus somewhere, or thrown out. even once i bought my ipod i was still cursed to continue hunting for headphones forever. the apple headphones are not very comfortable, especially when you go to sleep wearing them. i had to hide them from the pillaging hands of brother2 who never seemed to be able to hang onto his own headphones-I'm going to interject a completely different thought here; don't all ipods come with the cord to connect it to a computer? so why does mine always disappear, only to reappear in a different room in the house, connected to a strange ipod? and why does my wall docker never come back attached to the cord?-then my friend stepped on my headphones, and felt really bad about it (they were on floor because when she "returned" them, she missed my bed as she tossed them) so she gave me hers which were only slightly broken. that means that both earbuds were working, but the left one was hanging together by a single wire. after about a year, the left earbud stopped working, and i slept with only one piece in my ear. 

then i finally broke down and bought new headphones. the college bookstore had a pair for eleven dollars, which falls out slightly above my headphone price range, but the guy who worked there swore they were good. but then again, all he knows is that he has to sell everything behind the counter, so he probably wasn't such a great judge of quantity.

anyway, these headphones are great. they're comfortable and provide great sound quality. except one morning i woke up to find the black rubber piece that goes on the end of the earbud was missing. i looked all over for it and it was gone. so i asked sister1 if i could look around in her headphones graveyard to find a spare part. she hates to throw anything out, and this extends to non-working headphones. I'm not exactly sure what the purpose of saving them is. maybe she's waiting for The Second Coming of Headphones or something. in any event, I'm glad she saves everything, because i found a black rubber piece that fit over my headphones. it's a little too loose and it falls off quite often, but i always seem to manage to find it. it's uncanny. if i wake up in the morning and it's not on the headphones, i know it's somewhere under my  pillow. if i take my ipod out of my bag and it's not attached, i know it's somewhere in my bag (although it will take me a good fifteen minutes to find it because my bag is huge). if all else fails, i check the floor of my car and it somehow shows up there too. yesterday I'd thought I'd lost it for real and then sister1 told me she'd found it and stuck it in my bag. 

so far, it looks like I've found The One. the Perfect Pair. but I'm holding my breath. 

just another sunday...

I've made my feelings about Sundays known. and June Sundays are the best. every one's either finished with school or up to finals, and no one's left for various summer jobs yet. i spent an hour sitting out in the sun with my favorite friends; a book and my ipod. (my phone isn't considered a friend because it's a part of me) and this time i even remembered to put on sun block! but I'm on my way to acquiring a nice tan, to compensate for last summer when i worked two office jobs and finished off the summer looking as though I'd spent the entire month of August in an office. 

my dad asked me to go to NJ with him to pick up a tool chest he had bought-New Jersey, the armpit of the United States, but still good enough for me to get my gas-i agreed to go with him. i thought it would be a simple trek to NJ, and then home again, where i could continue my conversation with the sun. but i didn't realize that the tool chest had to be put together. meaning, it had to be unloaded and unscrewed, a section of the shelf had to be sawed out, and the entire monster had to be rescrewed together, and the shelves had to be loaded in. of course the only fun  part was sawing away at the shelf. and of course that was the only part that my dad wouldn't let me do. 

men have funny ideas when it comes to girls and power tools. they'll trust you with their kids, their houses, and their cars. but ask them for a saw, and all of a sudden you're not responsible enough, mature enough, your fingers are too short, your hair is too long...the other thing they won't let you do is play sports. my uncle is vehemently opposed to girls participating in sports. this, as I've said before, is thanks to sister 1, who missed an easy catch because she was "fixing her hair" over the years she's insisted that she's really gotten better at sports. well, i was starting to believe her, until i watched her play basketball today. unfortunately she extracted a promise from me, not to post the videos anywhere. 

we are redoing our floors, so we've moved in by my mom's parents, who were away until today, which meant visits from uncle1 & co and aunt2 & co. i feel like I'm having one big sleepover because I'm sharing a room with sister1 and sister2. lots of fun, but kind of difficult when some of us have finals, some have summer class, and some work. thankfully it's been a long day, so the early sleepers have not yet retired, and the late sleepers are tired, so will probably go in soon. but i have to get off my computer now. sister1 shut the light and i can feel sister2 glaring at me from across the room because I'm making too much noise.

it's just as well. tomorrow is Monday, and I'm starting microbiology. six hour class. I'll definitely need any sleep i can get. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

why does orange juice taste better when drank directly out of the carton? i know it's gross habit, and something that a lady should never do, but if you've never done it, you wouldn't know that drinking out of a cup spoils the taste. there's something about drinking it straight from the container that really maximizes the taste of freshly squeezed oranges. of course i always drink from a cup. and i sincerely hope that all the member of my family do the same. although if they don't, I'm not sure i want to know.

so i bet you're wondering how i know what it tastes like. ever lived in dorm? or a bungalow with lots of other people who aren't related to you? i did it for four summers in a bungalow colony and then a year in seminary. public fridges are one of the worst thing ever. you can label your milk, orange juice, water, cereal, twizzlers, but people are bound to 'not see' your name on it, or even worse, use it anyway. the only solution is to make sure everyone sees you drinking straight out of your carton, and then suddenly your food supply doesn't mysteriously dwindle. it might be gross, but it works. and i know you're all agreeing with me, or secretly deciding that you're going to have to give it a try. 
first day of summer class...

as i struggled to open my eyes at an ungodly hour for the month of June, i tried to recall what was going through my mind when i registered for a class that would require me to be up so early. 

i tripped my way up two flights of stairs (yes, I'm one of those people who trips up stairs) and sank down into a chair, only to be told by a faculty member from across the hall, that they moved the class to a room one floor down because the elevator doesn't work and the professor has a hard time walking up steps. that doesn't sound very good. the only thing worse than a professor who's wet behind the ears, is one who is old and hard to understand. oh well, I'm taking this class to transfer anyway, all i need is a pass. 

so i found the second classroom, located the outlets, and took my seat. and observed everyone else as they straggled in. from the looks on their faces, i deduced that they didn't necessarily want to be here either. and from the looks on their faces i was also able to calculate that I'd probably be one of the smarter people in the class.

 the professor introduced himself, ( didn't give him such a good rating, although in my books, speaking English without an accent will ensure a better chance of being liked) announced the class, counted heads (16 people) and told us to expect twice that number. I looked around the room. twenty seats, and thirty two students-yet another class crammed into a classroom without nearly enough seats. Looks like we'll be sitting on each other’s laps this semester. the professor doesn't seem to be too worried about the lack of space, so he's not going to complain and try to get another classroom. in cases like this, the trick is to get to class early enough to ensure breathing space.  

The professor handed out the syllabus (the usual, up to two absences without penalty, daily quizzes on reading material, final is 35% of the grade) and gave us ten minutes to read three pages, one of which was a list of pages to read for each class. So I eight and a half minutes listening to a professor in another classroom talk about where she grew up, went to school, all her former jobs, and her extended family, including her sister-in-law’s younger brother.

Then the professor started teaching. As soon as he started, I knew it was going to be a very long five weeks. The professor has an annoying habit of pausing after each statement he makes. Whether he’s looking for verification of what he says, or daring us to disagree, I have no clue.