Monday, June 27, 2005

It's fun to waste time, mkay?


God bless the internet--now you can South Park-ize yourself.

(It's kind of alarming how accurate that picture is...really makes me want to get a new haircut, though. I guess I have had that one since the 8th grade, except for the time I shaved it, really...)

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Cuckoo!!!


I'm not one to follow a lot of celebrity gossip stuff...but I think regardless of whether you follow such things or not, if you're at all familiar with Star Wars, this is pretty awesome.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Red!


My hair's been looking entirely too brown lately...so I decided to dye it this weekend. Nothing too outlandish, as y'know, I work with a bunch of senior citizen volunteers and I don't want to give them any heart palpitations (heck, if it weren't for that, I'd have shaved my head again months ago!)--this time, just another reasonably tasteful reddish hue, in a formula that (supposedly) washes out pretty quickly.

In honor of the red dye, I enjoyed a deliciously red Killian's Irish Red as I waited for things to percolate...

And the results (left=before, right=after)...uh...well, not much happened. I guess it looks a little reddish when I'm out in the sun, but indoors, it didn't look all that different to me. Oh well--all the more excuse for me to try the really red-looking dye next time... ;+)

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Deserves a quiet night...


I've never, ever been a morning person.

I can remember being six years old, and suffering daily because some fool teacher at Beaser Elementary put me into the morning kindergarten class. Sigh. My poor mother literally had to drag me out of bed each morning that year (and let's be honest, for several years more after that one). She'd carry me into the kitchen, get me dressed as I sprawled in a rocking chair more than half asleep...I'd only vaguely sense her putting on my shoes, shoving my lunchbox into my backpack, and aiming me toward the door. Only when I'd step outside would I start to wake up--and only then when I could hear the school bus rumbling somewhere down US 137 and know that soon, it'd be kicking up gravel on Sajdak Road. That was my cue to run--time to make the mad dash out our driveway on my short, uncoordinated little legs. (There were two sounds that terrified me as a little kid: one was the school bus rumbling up the road, and the other was the sound of my blood rushing through my head late at night as I'd lie awake, unable to sleep. "Stay up late, insomniac.")

Maybe it has something to do with me being born close to midnight, or maybe it's genetic (my mom's quite the night owl, as are my brothers and some of my aunts), but there have been very few days in my life where I've looked forward to getting up early...and many, many more when I've wished to stay up a whole lot later at night. But, the world is sadly ruled by the morning people...for some reason, getting up early is looked upon as being more of an accomplishment than staying up late at night. I'm not sure why that is. In my experience, they take about an equal amount of stamina, and it all seems to boil down to personal preference more than anything else--some folks like me are just a lot more productive & happy after the sun's gone down. Some argue that "the early bird gets the worm," but these people clearly haven't considered that if night people are dedicated enough to their craft, they might manage to stay up late enough to catch the damn worm as it's slipping outta its hole. The worm wouldn't see it coming.

Anyway...so here's some pictures from around late-night Helena, for those of you who aren't up late enough to see it. :+)

This one's clearly been doctored, because the light was really low...

Sculpture on the side of the Holter Museum of Art.

This is my favorite place in Helena. The picture doesn't do it justice, not to me, anyway...

Friday, June 10, 2005

"It's a Major Award!!!"


Because I showed up for a mandatory meeting at work, I am now the proud owner of...a Shop Vac. Bless the personnel department for rewarding staff with door prizes, even for meetings that we have no choice but to attend.

"It's... it's... it's indescribably beautiful! It reminds me of the Fourth of July!"

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Mind like a steel trap...

Over a week ago (at least), driving in the car somewhere in Missouri, Josh asked me what the name of the instrument that makes the "ooooh-WHEEEEE-oooooh!" sound in the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations" is.

Just now, my brain returned with an answer. (It's the theremin, by the way.)

The thing is, I'd forgotten I was ever even asked the question until just now. I'm not sure whether I should be impressed with myself, or horrified at how long that took my subconscious to work out.
-------------------------
And now, for something completely different:

An old VISTA friend of mine, Stephanie (served in Helena with MT Legal Services during my first year, '01-'02), is going to be running the Honolulu Marathon in December to raise money for AIDS health care services for a clinic in the Washington D.C. area. If you've got any spare change and would like to make any donations, you can check out this website for more information & donation options. :+)

Thursday, June 02, 2005

May 26-28: Missouri!


May 26th...a long day, but a good one. We flew from London back to Philly, then on to Kansas City, and by the time we got back to Josh's hometown and hit the hay, we'd been up for over 36 hours.

Josh didn't get any visits from "the Birthday Beagle," but he did get to enjoy a delicious cigarette upon landing in Philly, which may have been just as well with him. (His GOLDEN birthday, no less, even if that wasn't a term that anybody in Missouri seemed to be familiar with.)

May 26th--Plane from Philly to Kansas City, 7:06 PM: Bear in mind it's more like midnight to us, as we've spent the day flying across the many time zones of the Atlantic. Giggling merrily about "freedom fries," "freedom toast," "freedom kisses," and "freedom donuts with liberty sprinkles." (I'm also particularly proud of my coining of the phrase "freedom tax.") The goofiness levels continue to rise. We had a raging debate earlier over whether or not fjords exist outside of Scandanavia (Josh says yes, I say I'm not sure), prompted by our flightpath over scenic Greenland. We must remember to look that up later.

(heeheehee...Knob Noster.)

I spent a day or two in Missouri after we got back, to catch up on sleep/jet lag and because Northwest wouldn't fly me out until Saturday anyway (it being Memorial Day weekend and all). There was a lot of sleeping, a lot of lounging around the house, a trip to a local Country Kitchen for voluptuous cheese sticks, and just Missouri magic in general, really.

Josh's roommate Matt's goldfish.

Could it be?...

IT IS! IT'S THE SHOOTING RANGE!!! Yay, every girl's dream come true!!! ;+)

I observe for a while, to learn the rules of the range and how not to inflict bodily harm or property damage...

May 28th--Plane to Minneapolis from Kansas City, 6:25 PM: Went out to the shooting range with Josh & Matt this afternoon, where, for the first time ever, I fired a gun. Two guns--wait, actually, three--to be precise. A .22, a "glock" (I honestly forget what that's short for), and some other little gun. Apparently, I was pretty good at shooting the .22--I hit the bullseye/hole in the target on the 100 yard sign a lot, I guess. Of course, the gun did have a scope on it, so I don't quite see what was so impressive about it, but the boys seemed pleased.

I'm not too proud to say that Josh looks way cooler shooting a gun than I do, though.

Since the shooting range expressly forbade me from leaving them there (see the last picture), when we got back to Josh & Matt's I threw my shoes out in the yard for the neighbor dog, Patrick, to chew on to his heart's content. (They were pretty worn-out before I left Helena, and after walking around in them for two weeks in Europe, their time had come.)

I think it's a new tradition for me--leaving stuff behind wherever I go. Peanut butter in San Francisco, shoes in Missouri...not sure what I'll leave behind next time, or where the next trip'll send me, but hey, I've got plenty more shoes to wear out. :+)

May 24-26: London



On the 24th, we flew back to Birmingham from Amsterdam, and then we took a bus down to London for a quick 48 hours or so there...it went really fast. In retrospect, it might've been nicer to cut our time in Amsterdam a bit shorter, and had a bit more time in London instead...but ah, next time, right?

(Clark Griswold: Hey look kids, there's Big Ben, and there's Parliament.)

May 24th--Airport in Amsterdam, 10:20 AM: I'd like to thank BMI Baby for being craptacularly late. Sincerely. Thanks. It's a long-held dream of mine to sit wasting away since the buttcrack of dawn (well, as far as I'm concerned, getting up at 6 AM will always count as the "buttcrack of dawn"), in an airport. Thank you, BMI Baby, for helping me realize that dream. (The plane is running late...Josh needs a nicotine fix. I would've brought him a box of nicotine patches for his birthday, had I been thinking...)



Potholders for my friend Etty (who we met up with later in London) that I finished during our unexpected airport delay...see, when life gives you lemons, you should make potholders.

Clark Griswold: Aw, there's Buckingham Palace, kids, that's where the Queen lives and works. Audrey Griswold: What does she do?
Clark Griswold: She queens. And she vacuums.

Unfortunately, the guard was behind a fence, so we didn't get to test his patience by flicking him in the nose or anything. ;+)

Statues in front of Buckingham Palace...

More Buckingham statues--you can see the Millennium Eye (the Ferris wheel, that is) in the background, which is back over near Big Ben.

A tile in the wall at one of the Underground stations we were in...

And another.

This sign amused us for some reason.

Was it just us, or is it kind of weird that there's a statue of Oliver Cromwell in front of Parliament?

Pennels in the park...

Not the most exciting picture, but if you've never seen a train station in London, here you go! (Well, one of the ones on the outskirts of London, anyway--the ones in the city feel a little homier, in my opinion.)

Westminster Abbey, which I toured with my friend Etty...amazing place. Tombs of kings, statesmen, "noblemen," and poets/playwrights/actors.

Like a spire of dorkiness, it drew us in... ;+) This is one of the big movie theaters in Leicester Square, and, incidently, where Star Wars premiered in London a few weeks back (we know this because we saw it on the BBC).

Inside the theater...kind of puts the crappy Carmike in Helena to shame. Not that that takes much.

Standing outside the Leicester Square theater after we saw Star Wars again...they try to look all nonchalant, but on the inside, they're making lightsabre sounds, I just know it.

The view from our hostel in Upton Park (a suburb of London, if I understood my geography correctly). It was really close to the West Ham football stadium, for those who know what that is. Kind of nice to get out of the middle of the city and to see a smaller neighborhood again.

Neat little fireplace in our room...so cozy.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

May 22-24: Amsterdam (Again)


After our time-out in Haarlem, it was back to Amsterdam for a few more days of tomfoolery and...well, okay, we sat around reading & playing gin a lot, too, but it was nice. :+)

Here's Josh and Adam in one of the hostels we stayed at, enjoying another dinner consisting of market-fresh goods (no pears!)...if memory serves me right, later this evening we watched The Dukes of Hazzard (I kid you not). I don't understand why the Dutch import such god-awful American shows--Walker, the Dukes, Cops...is it any wonder they think all Americans are crazy rednecks?

Suppertime!

My ongoing scurvy prevention efforts were aided by the fact that I'd saved a spork from the plane flight over... :+)

The view from our hostel room's window...

If you've got a Euro, McDonalds would like to sell you two donuts. If they're out of donuts, you might want to opt for...

THE McKROKET!!!

I have no idea what the McKroket is. It appears to be some sort of breaded meat product on a bun, with some kind of mayo/tartar sauce. I don't know what kind of meat a "kroket" is, though. My attempts to obtain a McKroket for further research were thwarted by yet another angry Dutch cashier, this time at a McDonalds late one night where I was sent in to obtain donuts by the giggling likes of Josh and Adam, who waited outside...smoking is such a conveeeeeenient excuse, isn't it?