Shmuel's Soapbox: Now available in bite-sized Weblog McNuggets!

Saturday, July 12, 2003

7:20 PM:

Aside to anybody using the personals on Nerve, Salon, Clean Sheets, Boston.Com, or any of the many other affiliates of Spring Street Networks: while it costs money to send somebody else a message for the first time, replying to a message somebody's sent you is free. If you're not interested in having anything to do with somebody who's sent you a message, a simple "no thanks" will suffice. It beats letting the other guy spend days wondering whether you've gotten around to checking your messages.

Not that I have any personal experience with this.


1:35 AM:

Holy hit spikes... I got linked to by both Ann Arbor Is Overrated and Kymm yesterday. All I need is a mention in Mo's sidebar to complete the trifecta, and I'll be in prime position to take over the world. Muhahahahaha!

Umm, never mind that. Move along. Nothing to see here...

(The slightly unsettling thing: how much better A.A.I.O.'s precis read than the version I wrote. Once upon a time, I too knew how to write entertaining sentences...)


1:28 AM:

So... after a couple of years in which I pretty much didn't need to worry about money, my financial situation has once again become the most pressing issue in my life. Which is a more normal state of affairs, I realize.

To recap, from January onward, I was living off the money I got from a settlement related to a van accident I was in a few years ago. That carried me for half a year; I was able to use the time galavanting around the country, and rethinking my attitude towards Judaism and other fun stuff, but all good things must come to an end.

The move cost a small fortune. Well over a grand just to get my stuff from Point A to Point B. Add that to the two grand for the first month's rent, last month's rent, key deposit, and realtor's fee, and the upshot is that I'm now in that magical point in every young person's life when she maxes out her credit cards.

(Actually, this is the second time I've gone into the red, but I had a credit limit of $300 last time around. This time, I could dig myself as deep as $6000, although I hope to stop well short of that.)

So I'm looking for a job. I'm a bit late for the usual summer job market, but I dropped off my resume at a local bookstore that's hiring, I have an appointment with a career services counselor on Monday, and I need to get in touch with some temp agencies. The goal is to make enough to pay the rent and keep me in ramen and pizza this summer. (And possibly beyond, although I'll at least have student loans to draw on once the school year starts in September. Even then, working part-time seems both good and necessary, but full-time would be better until the semester starts.)


Friday, July 11, 2003

3:34 AM:

The World News Polka is on!

[contented sigh]

It's so nice being back in a city where World News Now is broadcast.


Wednesday, July 09, 2003

2:58 PM:

More miscellaneous stuff:

  • I have a shower curtain!
  • Capturing the Friedmans is a very hard film to watch. Kinda like watching a behind-the-scenes documentary of one of the Salem witch trials, but in which most of the characters seem to go out of their way to be unsympathetic. Anyway, definitely something I had to see, given my field of interest, but it's the furthest thing in the world from fun escapist fluff...
  • So, back on July 4th, I was watching the Boston Pops and others on TV, mulling over the fact that I was doing so even though the actual performance was only a few blocks away from me. Then they got to the fireworks. I hate fireworks with a passion, for the simple reason that loud noises scare the crap out of me, and these were literally echoing off my building. I ended up going outside and just down the block to see them, on the logic that if I was going to be scared stiff, I might as well get to appreciate the pretty lights. And they were pretty. But still way scary.
  • On the bright side, I didn't hear much fireworks outside of that official display. Possibly nobody bothers, at least in this neighborhood, as it'd be anticlimactic, or possibly they're better at cracking down on illegal fireworks use here than they are in New York.
  • I'm liking Boston so far. The one thing I've been having a teensy bit of trouble getting myself used to is that while it's, you know, a real city, it likes to sleep at night. The trains stop running around midnight. The stores close, even the 7-11s and the ubiquitous Dunkin' Donuts. As a New Yorker, I find this a bit weird, and as an insomniac, I find it a bit inconvenient. But it's just fine during the day, and, anyway, trust me, after Ann Arbor, I am so not complaining.
  • Speaking of which, as expected, I wasn't the least bit sorry to leave Ann Arbor. I'm gonna miss a bunch of the people there, but not the area. Well, okay, I might harbor a teensy bit of wistful nostalgia for Meijer, the local 24-hour superstore, and my apartment, my refuge during those two wretched years, but that's it. Honestly, I couldn't be happier to be out of O-squared [scroll down to the June 24 entry for the citation].


Tuesday, July 08, 2003

1:53 PM:

Oops. I forgot all about the Friday Five until Adelle just reminded me. Here goes:

  1. What were your favorite childhood stories?
    • The Fire Cat, by Esther Averill, not to mention at least one of the other installments in her Jenny Linsky Cat Club series.
    • The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, among many others, by Dr. Seuss
    • The Ramona series, by Beverly Cleary
    • Lots more. (And note that I've gotten this far without listing my favorite book for the umpteenth time. Let's just take that one as a given.)
  2. What books from your childhood would you like to share with [your] children?
    All of the above!
  3. Have you re-read any of those childhood stories and been surprised by anything?
    They all hold up pretty well, if that's what you're getting at...
  4. How old were you when you first learned to read?
    Less than three. I faintly remember my grandfather testing me with the front page of a newspaper, then seeing if I could read it upside-down. (I could.)
  5. Do you remember the first 'grown-up' book you read? How old were you?
    This might depend on how you define "grown-up" book. First book in which sex-related issues were at the heart of the story would be The Robots of Dawn, by Isaac Asimov, read while down with the flu in eighth grade, when I was twelve.


1:26 PM:

Tuesday This-or-That:

  1. Strawberries or blueberries?
  2. "Legally Blonde 2" or "Terminator 3"?
    Probably "Legally Blonde 2." Although I haven't yet gotten around to renting the first one, which I assume is a prerequisite.
  3. Hamburgers or hot dogs?
    Hot dogs.
  4. Boating or hiking?
  5. Suntan lotion or sunblock?
  6. "Big Brother" or "The Amazing Race"?
  7. Beach Boys or Jimmy Buffett?
    Beach Boys.
  8. Grow your own produce or buy from supermarket/ greengrocer/farm stand?
    Buy from supermarket, and not very often.
  9. Drive with car windows/top down, or with air-conditioning on?
    Air-conditioning! Not that it's ever my choice, given that I'm always just the passenger.
  10. Go away for vacation, or stay at home?
    Stay at home.


Monday, July 07, 2003

11:53 AM:

Unconscious Mutterings:

  1. Fashion show::Runway
  2. Boundaries::Exhibition
  3. Roadkill::Vultures
  4. Narcissistic::Alanis
  5. Authority::Figure
  6. Martini::Olive
  7. Personality::Complex
  8. Comfortable::Shoes
  9. Symptom::Disease
  10. Dating::Mating
Okay, for once I feel the need for an explanation or two. I think "Exhibition" was influenced by "Fashion show" a line earlier... and "Alanis" came to mind because of her song "Narcissus."

11:35 AM:

Okay, time for another roundup of lots of things that may or may not deserve entire entries of their own...

  • I have phone service again! And, by extension, Internet access in my apartment! Between that and installing my air conditioner, the place is officially open for business.
  • Back when I applied to the program I'm going to be attending in the fall, I was torn between the "MFA in Creative Writing" and the "MA in Publishing and Writing." I actually applied to both, but was told I couldn't do that, and ended up choosing the former. Well, it turns out that once you're actually in the program, the boundary between the two is pretty fluid, and I could easily switch if I wanted to. My current course selections are compatible with either; I figure I'll give this more thought and decide after the first semester. Nice to have the option, though...
  • The doorbell/intercom/buzzer thingy in my apartment seems not to work properly, although I haven't been able to test this very well. As near as I can tell, if somebody rings my doorbell, I can hear it (rather faintly), but neither the intercom nor the buzzer that's supposed to unlock the front door actually work. So I get to run down four flights of stairs in hopes of catching whoever it is before they give up and drive away. Like, for example, the phone technician. What fun!
  • So I was telling my oldest sister last night that I'm in a bit of a vicious circle, in that I don't want to leave my apartment until I've taken a shower, but I can't take a shower until I leave my apartment and buy a shower curtain. "So put down a towel on the floor near the shower," she said. My sister is brilliant.
  • There's this offer on boxes of Corn Chex offering breakfast-eaters the chance to "Own a Piece of the Car!" Seems that the Kelloggs racecars have been cut up into little bitty 2-inch pieces and lovingly embedded into keychains, which you can get for just a few UPC codes. So after the usual thoughts about how this relates to Benjamin's concept of "aura" in an age of mechanical reproduction (one of my hats is labelled "theory geek"), it occurred to me to wonder what would have happened if they'd done that with Christine, from the Stephen King novel of the same name. Right at its heels was the thought that if they'd done that with the car used to play Christine in the film version, that would've been cool.
  • In case this applies to anybody else reading my journal, check out Not Observant Anymore.Com. I'm torn between the desire to tell the author my life story, and to keep it to myself for my own book. Either way, I'm glad somebody's working on this. (Seriously, I do plan to get in touch. I think I wanna get the first written draft down here first, though... but this may serve as an impetus for me to do so already.)


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